For a new subject English Language sure gets around. Last Monday the English Language students visited a local child care centre to study child language acquisition. How children learn to speak and connect the sounds they make with meanings to make sense of the world around them is a field of study in linguistics that is still being hotly debated. This visit gave students a chance to observe first hand this phenomena. The students also got their first taste of the frustrations and joys of collecting raw data in the field. We learnt just how long it takes for a child under two years to “warm up” to talking and just how many attempts it takes to conduct a “wug test”- to demonstrate a child’s ability to make plural endings. All the students found themselves very popular with the children who were all keen to talk to some new “big” people and lots of new friendships were made over the sandpit, lunch and games. Overall we all left with an enormous amount of admiration for the staff of the child care centre who must expend a huge amount of energy caring for their charges. Below: Jack Sorrensen & Ashleigh Fife.
By Christine Duff, English Language Teacher