Impact of Development in Infancy

As we have discovered in this module, language develops in a similar progression across cultures, including that of the deaf community. In this assignment, you will consider the importance of how language development applies to learning.

Select one of the following options to complete.

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Option I

Watch the documentary Babies (2010), directed by Thomas Balmés.

The documentary can be viewed using the following options:



Respond to the following:

  • What are the similarities between the development of the babies in the documentary?
  • What are the differences between the development of the babies in the documentary?
  • What does the documentary tell us about the influence of nature and of nurture?
  • Compare your own experiences, as children and/or as parents, to the experiences of the families in the documentary.
  • What surprised you about the documentary?
  • In what ways did your understanding of the documentary influence the way you view child development?

Option II

Keith is a consultant residing in Centervale, U.S., which is a friendly, predominantly middle-class community with a diverse ethnic makeup. Keith’s job is to design behavioral interventions for children and adults. He works with a variety of people, including teachers, children of varying ages, and parents. He also works closely with professionals such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physicians, and school administrators.

Referrals range from children with difficulty paying attention to adolescents exhibiting aggression. Keith encounters a continuum of developmental issues, from children with typical development to clients with speech impairments, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, and genetic syndromes.

Ms. Cole, a second grade teacher from Centervale Elementary, has contacted Keith because of a concern that a student might have some learning problems. The student is a 7-year-old boy named Martin, whose parents immigrated from Nicaragua. A meeting was arranged with the parents, teacher, consultant, and school psychologist because Martin was making errors in reading and having some comprehension problems. The psychologist and consultant asked questions such as: How long has the family lived in the United States? How long has Martin been exposed to English? Did he babble at the age of four months?

Based on your analysis of the scenario, respond to the following:

  • Why do the professionals need to know the history of Martin’s language development?
  • How might learning two languages affect Martin’s current learning?
  • What language milestones are of interest? Would the milestones be different if Martin learned Spanish first?

Review the following additional information on the case:

Martín’s parents indicated that Martin had only been exposed to English for one year and his early language development progressed normally. Ms. Cole reported that Martín typically uses speech such as, “I put table” or “I go bathroom” rather than “I put my paper on the table” or “May I go to the bathroom, please?” However, his parents reported that Martín’s Spanish seemed normal for his age and that he did not have difficulty in tasks not involving language, such as simple math.

Based on your analysis of this additional information, respond to the following:

  • What stage of speech is the teacher describing?
  • Given the history reported, should there be cause for concern regarding Martín’s speech or learning ability at this point?
  • From an interactionist perspective of language development, what advice would be given to Ms. Cole to help Martin?

Write your initial response in 4–5 paragraphs. Support your statements with reasons and reference to readings and research. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
By Saturday, March 14, 2015, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Through Wednesday, March 18, 2015, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses.