Language acquisition in children

Language acquisition in children

"He talked with his eyes, with his mouth, with his whole face, he did it with his soul when he spoke with me."

Talk about the language acquisition in children It is to resort to the different approaches that have allowed us to account for this wonderful process, which allows infants to access socio-cultural fields.

Psychological approaches to language acquisition

Jean Piaget

The first of these approaches is the cognitive approach addressed by Piaget, who states that the acquisition of language in children is established from a specific cognitive operation. That is to say, Children dominate mental and social structures, to access language. At first their language is self-centered, children speak for them so they are surrounded by other people. When your thinking stops being self-centered, it becomes social and communicative. In short, the acquisition of language in infants is a product of reason not of interaction with others.

Noam Chomsky

Approach shared with Noam Chomsky who proposes an innate approach, that is, that human beings come to language because they already come with those mental structures, which must be a progressive and continuous device agent, without accessing interaction with others, since everything is established from the inside to the outside.

Lev S. Vygotsky

In that same sense Vygotsky suggests from the interactionist approach, what language acquisition in children is generated from family and school ties. That is, permanent communication with adults. What allows an interaction with the social and cognitive world. Generating that language in children is internalized and go through an egocentric period, externally but with internal function. Becoming verbal thinking that has an internal form. That is, the acquisition of language in children will be from the outside to the inside, which requires continuous interaction with others.

Jerome Bruner

However, Bruner establishes three crucial elements when it comes to addressing language acquisition. Syntax, semantics and pragmatics, neither can live apart from the other for this process to be fruitful. It should be noted that syntax is a mysterious element, since it focuses on the elaboration of the theme.

In that sense childhood games are above the great hominids since they require the use and exchange of language. That is the games offer the first option for the systematic use of the child's language with the adult, in order to get things done with words.

Language and culture

From that perspective, the study of Jonathan and Richard is established from transitional objects that gradually generate language. His themes refer to the way in which the child acquires the uses of his native language, his emphasis is on the pragmatic in learn how to do things with words. Especially how to achieve reciprocal attention and the management of actions through language. In that dimension, thanks to the game the child enters the world of language and culture with a preparation to find or invent, systematic ways of relating to social requirements and linguistic forms. All these faculties are keys for the child to learn to use language. That is, before communication learn other functional exchange systems.

So, language acquisition is non-systematic or magical pragmatic. It is what moves language learning, the need for communication of being. This is how games are integrating babies socially, giving them great wealth for their growth. Helping them to organize their life structurally and orderly, through the rules of the game. Progressively bringing them closer to the use of language, that way they learn to handle a structured reality. To that extent, culture is constituted for children in the very act of master language, consequently it will only be understood in a cultural context.

From that dimension, childhood should focus as the space in which the appropriate conditions are generated to initiate infants in social life. It is they who, over the years, will be social actors constituted by a plurality of worlds that are born from words, that represent or symbolize the events that children experience. The word has been considered as the tool that humans use to get closer to each other, to understand that in their walk the stories are intertwined. The invitation is to create spaces inside and outside the classroom that allow children to access speech, which will allow them to be critical and purposeful subjects of the neighborhood, the country and the world, spaces in which they consolidate it as a subject.


Bruner, J. (1983).He speaks of the child. Learning to use language. Paidós editions. Barcelona- Buenos Aires- Mexico