Monday, February 06, 2012

Child Language research updates and summaries

We've started Language Development in my AS classes and - snow permitting - will carry on with it this week and up to Easter.

Here are some useful links to clips of TV programmes, You Tube presentations and research  papers that should complement your class work on the topic.

One of the most handy links is this You Tube presentation (powerpoint plus handy voiceover) outlining the key arguments about child language.

Then you'll find the impressively-mustachioed Robert Winston presenting this short extract from his series, The Human Body a good intro to the main developmental stages of child language acquisition. 

The Horizon documentary Why Do We Talk which we watched in class a week or two back is split into five separate You Tube clips which can be found here.

Did you shed a little tear at the plight of the lickle baby Zebra Finches? I did, but I weep when I hear Black Eyed Peas lyrics, so ignore me. If you want to find out more about the impressively-consonanted OferTchernichovski and his work on the fluffy birds, have a look here. Or here.

If you're ready for some hard stuff, then go to these clips from the big daddy of language acquisition, the living man-god that is Noam Chomsky. In this clip he talks about his theories of language acqusition (Universal Grammar and the Language Acquisition Device) while in this one (only for the hardcore ravers, it has to be said) he talks in more detail about how his ideas on UG have changed.

I've just found this Patricia Kuhl lecture about the critical period hypothesis on TED, which is a very clear explanation about what goes on in the first year of a child's language development.

If all of that is too much for you (or you are from Ipswich and struggle with anything beyond grunts) then check out this clip of cute twins talking to each other.

Edited to add Kuhl lecture link on 09.02.12

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