Communication, language and literacy

Messer, David (2004). Communication, language and literacy. In: Davey, Graham ed. Complete Psychology. London: Hodder & Stoughton, pp. 321–339.


This chapter is divided into four sections. The first begins with a discussion of the development in the first year of the ability to process speech and produce vocalisations. This is followed by discussion of the role of social interaction in language acquisition, and the differences between communication and language. The second section considers explanations of language acquisition that emphasise the role of innate abilities, while the third considers the opposite perspective, which emphasises the role of experience. Evidence for and against these perspectives is evaluated and discussed. The final section considers the development of literacy; reading is a way of acquiring information that involves language, and the development of literacy appears to be associated with a number of linguistic abilities.

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