Children and language

Does language have an underlying structure that is "hard-wired" into the human brain? This intriguing, probably unanswerable question comes up when you talk about children's language acquisition. Does the human brain create language? Is there a universal grammar?

 Are the sounds of language tied to culture? Is the very idea of language as essential to human life as people sometimes believe? Most theories of child development and learning try to define language acquisition as one of the benchmarks of children's educational process. But what kind of language?


This book describes an educational approach that seeks to teach children many kinds of languages:

"The city-run early childhood program of Reggio Emilia, Italy, has become recognized and acclaimed as one of the best systems of education in the world. Over the past forty years, educators there have evolved a distinctive innovative approach that supports children's well-being and fosters their intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation. Young children (from birth to age six) are encouraged to explore their environment and express themselves through many "languages," or modes of expression, including words, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture, shadow play, collage, and music."

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