From the moment we are born, our environmentprepares us for this journey we call life.
We learn to communicate bothverbally and non-verbally. In my opinion and based on three studies,socioeconomic status, the child’s gender, the amount of language they hear fromtheir caregivers, word mapping, and social intent all effect the child’svocabulary size. According to Spencer, Clegg, & Stackhouse, “the links between socioeconomic disadvantageand early language development are well documented with reports of up to 50% ofyoung children from areas of socioeconomic is advantage having language delay. Accordingto Pasek, Golinkoff, and Hennon (2006), research states girls showed a quasi-linearpositive gain in language across secondary school, while boys began with adecline and then accelerated.
To begin with, socioeconomic status iscategorized an individual’s or family’s social status regarding income andoccupation. I believe children from a low socioeconomic status have adisadvantage in learning language as opposed to a higher socioeconomic status.Language acquisition is the process that humans can perceive, dissect, andunderstand language. Much research has been conducted on infants and childrento support this. According to Spencer, Clegg, and Stackhouse (2012), many young children in that are from areas ofsocial disadvantage learn words at a different pace than their peers that aremore advantaged.
Many studies have been published to supportthis. However, one study wanted to focus on young adolescents to get a biggerpicture on the long-term effects of vocabulary size in students from a lowsocioeconomic background. The study was conducted on participants ages 9-16 intwo different schools. One school contained children from low socioeconomicbackgrounds while the other school contained participants from a background ofsocioeconomic advantage. These studentswere assessed on receptive skill at word kills and nonverbal word skills. Theresults suggested that students from a lower socioeconomic background scoredsignificantly lower on all language measures. I believe if more studies were tobe conducted the data would remain relatively the same.
Next, gender plays a major role in vocabularyacquisition. In this modern day, women are still fighting for equality. Formany years, we’ve literally been put to the backburner in terms of education,jobs, and social statuses. Data is nowsupporting that girls are now outperforming boys.
According to the article SchoolEngagement and Language Achievement, girls are showing a much betterperformance than boys on almost all educational outcomes. Moreover,woman are now entering in to fields that are stereotypically led by men. So why is the boys are now the underachievers? A major determination factor falls under the fact that boys tend tobe less engaged in school than girls (Van de gaer, leuven, pustjens, Damme,& Munter, 2009).Many studies that have been conducted haveshown that there are little to no gender differences in elementary school. Thedifference begins to appear in secondary school. A research conducted amongsecondary students found that there a big decline in boys attitudes towardshomework and effort for language. An interesting factor was that the data alsorevealed boys were less interested in learning tasks too as opposed to girls. Theresearch on language achievement in both genders in secondary school wasinteresting.
The data revealed boys showed less learning girls but only duringthe first 2 years of secondary school. In retrospect many factors that affect boys could include puberty. Nevertheless, as you can see gender doesaffect language.
Finally, language acquisition is the process thathumans can perceive, dissect, and understand language. According to Hennon,Pasek, Golinkoff, (2006) an essential task in language inquisition is mappingwords on to objects, actions, and events. This process is phenomenal. Babiescan map and associate words such as mommy to figures and objects. Asuggested theory is they will only do this that are perpetually interesting andfascinating to them. Children are sensitive to social information (Hennon,Pasek, Golinkoff, 2006). This means that babies are listening and watching bothour verbal and nonverbal cues.
If the person shows excitement verbally andnonverbally; such as pointing or smiling when teaching a new word, the childwill most likely retain information even if the object is not fascinating. In astudy titled Are10-Month-Olds Mapping Words to Objects or to Spatial Locations,the purpose was to see if two interpretations or words to objects and word tospatial location. Infants were exposedto boring and interesting objects. What the data revealed was infantsare learning words or are at least mapping words onto perceptually salientobjects in their environment. Coincidently, interesting objects regardless of social cues were easierfor them to map. The results of this experiments showed thatsocial input is what paves the way to early vocabulary. Furthmore, the study shows that infants beginrelying less on their own perspective and more on learning words to learning.
Concepts like this are amazing to draw on. Word mapping and social inputregardless play a role in learning language (Hennon, Pasek, Golinkoff,2006)Inconclusion, many factors effect a child’s vocabulary size. In myopinion and based on three studies, socioeconomic status, the child’s gender,and word mapping and social intent are all major factors that affect languageacquisition. Children of low socioeconomicstatus have a great disadvantage in regards to language acquisitions. Research on gender and vocabulary size showgirls are outperforming boys. Also, word mapping and social interest on objectshelp children develop better language skills.