When you see children, you cannot find easily common of language acquisition. For example, some children speak ‘mommy’ before one-year-old. Others cannot speak anything before two-years-old. However, children have something in common when it comes to language acquisition. The process of children language acquisition can be divided into three stages which are non-intentional pre-linguistic communication, intentional pre-linguistic communication, linguistic communication.
First, non-intentional pre-linguistic communication can be normally seen in one-month-old babies to five-month-olds babies. They cannot speak intentionally, but they just make sounds. There are reflexive vocalization, cooing and laughter during this stage. They make sounds for their physiological need and basic desire. When they are hungry, sick, or uncomfortable, they make a sound. There is vocal play and babbling, too. In this time, they make a sound which can be heard as language. But, they do not make a sound intentionally.
Actually, when they make a sound which can be heard as language, they are just training their vocalization. In this stage, they cannot speak something which has meaning. Second, intentional pre-linguistic communication can be normally seen in eight-month-olds babies to twelve-month olds babies. At this moment, children do babbling but their babbling is more developed and they represent their intention. Because they adjust their native language, their intonation and pronunciation are similar to their parents’ intonation and pronunciation.
Children produce a sound with intention. Intentional sound can be noticed when children make a sound consistently and gaze something continuously. In addition, they make a ‘Protoword’ and use it. They acquire the meaning of words. They also use ‘eye contact’ consistently and make some gesture and understand pointing. Both of them are very hard to acquire, so only humans can do these things. Pointing and consistent ‘eye contact’ have intention, but they are not language, so they are intentional prelinguistic communication.
Last, Linguistic communication can be normally seen after 12 months. Until this time, children’ language is developed rapidly. After 12 months, they understand the meaning of the word and use words. They have a skill that is called ‘Fast mapping’. ‘Fast mapping’ means that children can acquire many words rapidly in a brief space of time. Their pronunciation is more developed than prelinguistic communication stage. As their cognition is more developed, their grammar skills are advantaged. Their language skills are developed in all aspects.
They can speak language intentionally. In conclusion, children language acquisition has regular stages. First stage is non-intentional prelinguistic communication. Second stage is intentional prelinguistic communication. Final stage is linguistic communication. There is a little difference between children language acquisition. But, children learn or acquire their native language in these regular stages. They have regular stages, which imply people have an innate ability to acquire language.