Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good websites about Languages

Useful links about Animal Languages

Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute of Washington Uiversity

Alex Foundation about a Parrot

Critical Period Argument

10 Poor Cases of Feral Children
A feral child is a human child who has lived away from human contact from a very young age, and has little or no experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language. Feral children are confined by humans (often parents), brought up by animals, or live in the wild in isolation. There have been over one hundred reported cases of feral children, and this is a selection of ten of them.

About Input  and Interaction

  1. Adults and Older children use a special register known as  Child Directed Speech , when talking to young children. They simplify and clarify their speech in numerous ways at very level of language, including phonology, vocabulary, morphology and syntax.
  2. CDS is dynamic register with adult speech being  tuned to some extent to the language level of child as it changes over time.
  3. The amount of linguistic input available to children varies quite widely Children of high-talking parent tend to be relatively advanced in terms of vocabulary and grammar development.
  4. The child's linguistic environment comprises both input and interaction.
  5. Children cannot acquire language fro watching TV a situation in which they are exposed to input in the absence of interaction. Interaction is therefore are essential for language acquisition.
  6. Imitation both verbal and non-verbal is a fundamental aspect of human interaction. Infants who are especially responsive to imitation develop relatively advanced vocabularies.
  7. Parents frequently imitate their children, repeating back child utterances with modification.
  8. Some adults recasts can function as a form of corrective input for grammatical errors. They present a direct contrast between a child error and a grammatical alternative offered by the adults.
  9. It is widely assumed that CDS is not universally available but cross-cultural research does not support that assumption.
  10. CDS may be an inevitable consequence of adapting to the communication needs of a conversational partner who is both cognitively and linguistically immature.

Videos of adult-child interaction

Effects of TV viewing on child development

Teaching Good TV Habits
Here are some practical ways to make TV-viewing more productive in your home:

1. Limit the number of TV-watching hours:
Stock the room in which you have your TV with plenty of other non-screen entertainment (books, kids' magazines, toys, puzzles, board games, etc.) to encourage kids to do something other than watch the tube.

1.1. Keep TVs out of bedrooms.
1.2. Turn the TV off during meals.
1.3. Don't allow kids to watch TV while doing homework.
1.4. Treat TV as a privilege to be earned — not a right. Establish and enforce family TV viewing rules, such as TV is allowed only after chores and homework are completed.

2. Try a weekday ban. Schoolwork, sports activities, and job responsibilities make it tough to find extra family time during the week. Record weekday shows or save TV time for weekends and you'll have more family togetherness time to spend on meals, games, physical activity, and reading during the week.

3. Set a good example by limiting your own TV viewing.

4. Check the TV listings and program reviews ahead of time for programs your family can watch together (i.e., developmentally appropriate and nonviolent programs that reinforce your family's values). Choose shows that foster interest and learning in hobbies and education (reading, science, etc.).

5. Preview programs before your kids watch them.
Come up with a family TV schedule that you all agree upon each week. Then, post the schedule in a visible area (e.g., on the refrigerator) so that everyone knows which programs are OK to watch and when. And make sure to turn off the TV when the "scheduled" program is over instead of channel surfing.

6. Watch TV together. If you can't sit through the whole program, at least watch the first few minutes to assess the tone and appropriateness, then check in throughout the show.

7. Talk to kids about what they see on TV and share your own beliefs and values. If something you don't approve of appears on the screen, you can turn off the TV, then use the opportunity to ask thought-provoking questions such as, "Do you think it was OK when those men got in that fight? What else could they have done? What would you have done?" Or, "What do you think about how those teenagers were acting at that party? Do you think what they were doing was wrong?" If certain people or characters are mistreated or discriminated against, talk about why it's important to treat everyone fairly, despite their differences. You can use TV to explain confusing situations and express your feelings about difficult topics (sex, love, drugs, alcohol, smoking, work, behavior, family life).

8. Talk to other parents, your doctor, and teachers about their TV-watching policies and kid-friendly programs they'd recommend.

9. Offer fun alternatives to television. If your kids want to watch TV but you want to turn off the tube, suggest that you all play a board game, start a game of hide and seek, play outside, read, work on crafts or hobbies, or listen and dance to music. The possibilities for fun without the tube are endless — so turn off the TV and enjoy the quality time together.

(to be continued)

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