Learning a first language is a complex process which requires the learner to use many pre-existing cognitive and psychological abilities. This course explores one of the most fundamental aspects of language learning, word acquisition. Students will gain a basic understanding of how children use skills to build their vocabularies. These skills include the ability to infer other's intentions, retain knowledge and acquire concepts, and understand syntactic structure. Although many aspects of child language acquisisiton are still being explored, this course provides insights about little understood topics such as the linguistic difficulties of autistic and aphasic people. Additionally, the course discusses social and cultural influences on word acquisition. By studying the way children learn words, we can gain a strong understanding of how their minds work. It is hoped that this understanding will help educators and caregivers facilitate successful word learning.
Professional development courses for teachers.
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