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Language Acquisition

February 1, 2008

Some strange illness has visited us upon our return from Tennessee, leaving some of us stuffy, others sore all over, and all of us more than a little off-kilter. Several times a day, I push back the imposing thought that The Girlie’s entire raison d’etre is to step on my feet and whine into my knees while I’m trying to do something. Or to scatter toys, books, and electronic gear in a giant obstacle course, since it physically hurts me to bend over and pick up all of that junk.

But she’s asleep just now, and so I’m a little more reasonable. More philosophical, too, as I consider a way through my current ethical dilemma: how to engender language acquisition while encouraging good behavior. So, for example, if my child says, ‘Mess!’ in understated, dimpled description of the new puddle of milk in the middle of the floor, should I commend her for her linguistic ability, or kindly correct her for making the mess?

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2 Responses to “Language Acquisition”

  1. sparksfly says:

    Oh no! I hurt all over and can’t lose the fever chills…and here I thought you brought this plague with you from the land of politics and good groceries!

  2. Liz says:

    Well, you could do both… “Yes, your are right. That is a mess. It’s not good to make a mess.” Handing her a paper towel, “Help daddy clean up the mess.” Of course, the second bit should only be said when you are in the mood to deal with the potential additional mess. But it does teach responsibility, show cause and effect, and develop self-esteem. Did you know that before I got involved in computers I did a huge research project on language acquisition in the deaf? My prof wanted to try and get it published, but I was stupid, stupid kid :( Anyway, when I had time for hobbies, language acquisition studies was kinda like a hobby for me. (Yes, I see the big geek sign flashing over my head.)

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