Sunday, September 23, 2018

How we learn to speak

It's amazing to me how mini humans at one point grow up to be adults. The whole process of growing up and everything around it captures me.
Therefor I decided to school myself to know as much as possible for my future dream job.
I'd like to share what I learned about language development. 

The primair goal of of language is to communicate efficiently. 
So, how do we start?
A baby has one very effective way of communicating with it's surroundings. It cries.
And they do so to let us know they need something. A changing, food, protection, or affection. It is a very effective way that ensures this little human that it will get what it needs.
Parents will use baby language. This happens naturally and will get the most attention and response from the young child. They speak in a high tone, with a strong intonation, the sentences are short and a question mark is often used.
What is amazing is that within a month after birth the baby is already able to recognize phonemes which is the ability to make the slightest distinction between sounds in the language. For example the the e in between sounds different at the beginning of the word than at the end. They already learn the difference. Most likely this a nature aspect. We are born with this ability. This process is also responsible for how we learn our first language. It filters to the sounds of our native language. After 6 months the baby starts to babble away making combinations of sounds it picked up listening to it's parents. We can tell that the baby is doing this to communicate as it will do it more often in the presence of people. After 7 months it is quiet when being spoken to and babbles when the other listens. This is the first big milestone in communication.
Two conditions for acquiring language are:

  • Listening - they listen to the way words sound and save that knowledge before they can actively speak. We call this the phonological aspect of language.
  • Wanting to learn
The second one may sound odd to you, but there are kids that are born with communication disorders.

Autism is one example of that. Early signs may be

  • The baby doesn't babble as much
  • Seems less interested in social surroundings
  • Seemingly avoids eye contact
  • Says their first word later than usual
  • Does not support words with gestures (example pointing at something)

Kids will usually say their first word upon turning 1 year old.
It shows that for the first time they are able to make a mental representation of something that exists outside themselves. Those first words refer to unique objects or people that capture their interest. Mommy, daddy are common first words. But it could also be their favourite cuddly toy.
With their first words the prelingual phase of language development ends. The early-lingual phase starts
Before their second birthday the will combine words. Mainly nouns and some verbs related to their little world.  One word can have tons of different meanings. Usually the intonation and supportive gestures can make clear what the kid is trying to say. The child progresses to use two word or three word sentences.
Between 2-5 years old they come into the differentiation-period.
They get more sense of grammar but are likely to find exceptions on words difficult. They will make mistakes such as worstest instead of saying worst. The less common the use of the words the more likely they will make that mistake. Between the age of 2,5 - 3 years old the child will learn to adapt the distance between them and the person who is listening. They also understand that that they have to align their message to the language level and skills of the other. They will learn more about the pragmatic aspect of language. Which relates to the social rules around it.
In the school period the language of the child is much more like that of an adult and it will continue to learn more and more about how to use the grammar and expend their knowledge of the semantic side of language. The meaning of the words. They gain the insight that language has rules. Wee call this
metalinguistic awareness. Whilst some in Social Learning Theoretics claim that learning language can be induced by rewarding your kid such as reacting enthusiastically when it babbles or speaks, philosopher Chomsky had a different perspective. He believes we are born with the ability to develop language and highlights the originality of a child's language. Like the way they use self-conceived words. He claims kids have their own primitive grammar. He pointed out that they can discover grammar rules and learn to apply them.
I've always been interested in languages myself and how develop them. It is such an amazing thing.
Communication is survival. It's been that way ever since the old age.

Hopefully you found this article that is somewhat different from my other blog posts interesting.

Love and blessings,


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Your heart is your radar, follow it!

As an adult trying to navigate through life, I know how important it is to follow your heart.
After all your heart knows what is best for you.
Haven been at home for the last few weeks, I finally stopped to ask myself what I wanted.

And as another customer service job got offered to me, I found myself in complete panick. I spend all day trying to come to terms with another few months in a customer service position, and it just didn't feel right. I realized it was something I no longer wanted for myself.
When you receive money from the goverment in Holland, you have to accept any job they offer you that suits your experience.
Then a magical thing happened. The very next day someone from a Childcare organisation called me and told me she had my cv and application letter. She asked me to come in for an interview. YES please! I felt my heart do a little dance, and realized what has been happening over the last year.
I'm gonna have to apologize to you heart, I never really listened over the last year.
Only parts of my heart had been able to operate in my customer service jobs.
I was able to spread kindness and have compassion, but my I always had a commercial shadow hoovering over me telling me to hurry up my job.
For the first time I felt so clearly where I belonged.
The interview was lovely and ended up not much later in me participating in a creative arts session with kids. Honestly best interview I had.
Then one week later I received the call. I am hired! 

Which made it possible for me to reject the other job. What a sweet relief

The whole experience has been a big wake-up call for me. I took these customer service jobs to survive. So, that I would be able to pay for my rent, bills, and food. But I was so miserable. I had listened to everyone around me that would tell me having a shitty job is not a big deal as long as you can provide. 

But it isn't the way I see it.

OH hell to the NO! 

You spend 32-40 hours of your week in that place. Best believe you oughta have a good time. All you have to do is pay attention to what makes your heart happy, and then you aim for it. Because letting my heart speak in a job interview is one of the most powerful things I've ever done.

I am so excited! I'm getting my own group of kids aged 9-12 years old and I'm responsible for them having a good time there. It's upto me to offer activities that challenge them to just enough out of their comfort zone to help them grow.
Wanna have a guess what my first activities would be? Yes, cooking!
I spoke to them about it and they seem excited. I'll be turning them into mini chefs.
It seems that my dream of having my cooking club with kids is going to bloom in the next time. I wrote about my dream of that cooking club here
I also want to find out if there's a space where we can do a garden, so that kids can grow their own veggies, fruits and herbs. It will surely help with the appreciation of fresh food.

These are my plans so far. The plans that make my heart sing.
Because it does, I realized that in no way I ever wanna neglect my heart's voice again.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.
So, take a little moment to reflect. What is it that your heart tells you to do right now?
Go ahead. Chase it! It will be so rewarding, I promise.

Love and blessings,