How Children Learn to Talk
Have you ever wondered how children learn to talk? Many people, when asked that question, respond that they do it by imitating. This is at least partially true. Without imitation, we couldn't account for the fact that children in Texas usually learn Texan English, children in Paris usually learn Parisian French, and not vice versa. But imitation as an answer doesn't take us very far. For one thing, children routinely say things they've never heard: "Mommy, come quick—Waldo swallowed a frog!" At this point some would amend their position to say that children don't imitate others sentence by sentence. At any given point in development, a child's speech more closely resembles the speech of other children at the same stage of development than it does the speech of adults in the child's environment—even if there are not other children around. What do children do as they learn to talk? Imagine that you are in a kitchen with a two-year-old and his mother. Child: Want other one spoon, Daddy.
Related: How young children learn English
• Childhood education
• English in Early Childhood