TIMING IS EVERYTHING

the time sensitive period for language development

The Sensitive Period in Development

In a child’s life there are certain things vital to development that if missed out on time cannot fully make up for. One of those important things is language development. The language development period normally starts from birth up until age 8 years of age. In every stage something is either learned or development that helps the child move on to the next developmental stage. Even in the first signs of communication the infant learns crying will bring food, comfort, and companionship. As children start to grow speech sounds start to compose to words and 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language. Some people argue that language development is both biological and social and that language learning is influenced by the desire of children to communicate with others as we witnessed in the heartbreaking story of Genie. According to (Sparknotes 2015) Children’s ability to understand language develops faster than their ability to speak it.

Positively and negatively affect language development

During the early stages of life as I earlier stated proper development is very key but in many cases there are negative as well as positive effects of language development. Several factors that may directly effect a child’s speech and language development include but are not limited to a lack of stimulation, a delay in motor skills, inadequate awareness of communication, reduced or improper hearing as well as exposure to many different languages and high anxiety. According to (Eitel, 2015) social isolation or lack of socialization can lead to early childhood development issues, such as speech problems or an inability to socialize with others in a civilized way. The same can be said in a positive way as well. Researchers had suggested that conversation has the strongest positive effect on language development in addition to learning environment. Children who are surrounded by a strong learning environment as well as an informative support system were at lower risk of being negatively affected in terms of their development.
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Although the brain is made of many different part and functions there are specific parts for specific things. The portion of the brain that is responsible for speech and language is actually broken up into a few different parts. First and probably the most important part of the brain for this function is the Wernicke's area. According to (Mandal, 2016) this area is located in the cerebral cortex and is related to speech by involving in both spoken and written language. Also according to (Mandal, 2016) the Broca's area that is located in the frontal lobe of the brain is related to the production of speech. This area is named after Pierre Paul Broca was initially noticed by his parents when they noticed an impaired ability to produce speech in two patients who had sustained injury to the region. According to (Breedlove,Watson 2013) parts of the brain that are used for speech and hand gestures are the same.


Breedlove, S.M, Watson, N.V. (2013). Biological Psychology: An introduction to behavioral, cognitive, and clinical neuroscience. (7th Ed.). Sunderland, MA; Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Eitel, J (2015). Factors Affecting Early Childhood Development. Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/217996-factors-affecting-early-child-development/

Mandal, A (2016). Language and the Human Brain. News-Medical.net. Retrieved from http://www.news-medical.net/health/Language-and-the-Human-Brain.aspx