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Language Development Observation Assignment by Jamie Jo Ayers for EDRD 390

The subject I observed is three years and eleven months old. He will be given the
pseudonym of Roy. The observation took place on September 18, 2016 from 6pm to 7pm at
the subjects home. We were outside on the back porch and in the backyard the entire
observation. The subjects older brother accompanied us. He is five years and nine months old
and will be given the pseudonym of Ryan.
Anecdotal Record
(Scene: Child showing me his bike.)
Child: Jamie.
Me: What?
Child: Theres a spider on this wheel.
Me: Theres a spider on the wheel? Where?
Child: Well, its, it was gone yesterday (sounds like yestaday).
Me: You said it was there yesterday, but now its not there? Where did it go?
Child: It went home.
Me: Wheres home? Where does it live?
Child: In the grass (in da gwass).
Me: Do you know where in the grass?
Child: Right in this one.
Me: Right there? Is that the web that got on your face?
Child: Yeah.
(Scene: Playing with chalk.)
Child: This is pink (sounds like vis is pink).
Me: Do you want this one or that one?
Child: That one.
Me: What are you going to draw?
Child: Mmm, a muchel.
Me: A what?
Child: A mushel.
Me: Show me.
Child: Making a muchel! Its mase me in der. (laughs)
Me: (laughs) What color are you using?
Child: Yellow (yeyow).
(*Ryan asks Roy to tell their mom that his toy car needs a new battery.)
Child: Moms not here.
Me: Shes in the kitchen.

Child: What you making? (What sounds like Why.)

Me: Im making a guy.
(Ryan joins us playing with chalk.)
Me: Are you back in school now?
Child: I am!
Child: I find a sp, I find an ant!
Child: (States some words that I cannot understand in an excited voice.) Before I do
that sidewalkit was huge.
Me: You saw something on the sidewalk?
Child: Yeah, its a, an ant.
Brother: Roy, theres only black ants, or red ants.
Child: I know, red and black. Is gonna get that ant.
Me: Dont kill it. Are you going to color around it?
Child: Yep, Im making his house and he will eat it!
Brother: Roy, ants dont eat chalk.
Child: Im tryin put himI want him to get on my (ma) finger (finguh). Get on my
finger (finguh) ant!
Me: I think you killed it.
Child: Oh, hes a sline here. Get on here. Woah! I didnt got an ant on my finger(other
sounds)on my finger yesterday. We found a lot of ants all right (wight) here. Do you
remember (member), Ryan?
Brother: Yeah, they carried food from there (der) or there (der) we have anthill
standing right (wight) here.
Child: But this is got out now.
Me: What are you drawing? What is this again?
Child: Uh, me.
Me: And whats that?
Child: Ryan. He has this (dis) big head. (laughs)
Brother: Roy, my head is more of this (dis) big.
Child: But I make you this (dis) big head.
Me: What kind of pizza are you guys getting?
Child: Um, sausage (shashage).
Me: Sausage, yum, from where?
Child: From the (da) pizza guy, silly (siwee) goose!
Child: Is wanna try to make a guy.
Child: And I watch bunny and the (da) duck show. (laughs)
Brother: I forget what show it calls.
Child: Eh, me, too.
(Ryan tries to spell the name of the show and Roy tries to help by saying the letter A.)
(Ryan has two cherries, so I ask him where he got them.)
Child: Those are big ones.
(Ryan starts talking about their new neighbors and how he has not met them.)
Child: I did. But thats we got some cookies. (This was hard to hear exactly what he said,
except for the got some cookies part. Cookies was very drawn out, too.)
(We are playing with chalk dust.)
Child: Ill sweep (shweep) it off.

Child: I make some yellow dust. Make me pink dust (dus). Make a pink one on my
(Ryan starts talking about playing with nearby friends.)
Child: Yeah, and thats (thas) Bella. (That is their friends name.)
(I recall playing soccer with them and a girl once while babysitting. Ryan confirms that
the person was Bella.)
Child: I play soccer with my soccer (shacca) short! Fast now. Im gon. Now Im gon be
fast (fas).
Brother: You gotta be six to play soccer.
Me: Oh, how old are you, Roy?
Child: Three (Free).
Me: Do you guys still go to the same school?
Child: Nope. We dont. We dont go to the (da) same school. Ryan goes to a different
school and I go to a different school. And I goes to mommy, too.
Child: I wanna play hide-and-seek!
(Ryan blows around chalk dust.)
Child: Woah, its raining! Its raining!
Me: Its raining chalk!
(Ryan talks about eating chalk once.)
Child: Brooklyn, eat one half! (That is their dogs name.)
(Ryan talks about his new bike skills.)
Child: Im training (waining) with four (fo) wheels. (*States pedaled as puda.)
Assessment of Language Development
In the anecdotal scenes above, it is noticeable that the subject, Roy, struggles with
properly using consonant blends and diagraphs. For example, the th in the is spoken as d and
the gr in grass is spoken as gw. In these two examples, the consonant blends and diagraphs
occurred at the beginning of the words, but Roy also struggles with word endings, specifically
ones ending in ts and rs. For example, dust is spoken as dus and finger is spoken as finguh.
Roy also omitted the r sound at the beginning of a word when he said member instead of
remember. The double consonant sounds in yellow and silly causes trouble for Roy, too.
Although as Morrow (2015) stated, even children within the age 5 to 6 language growth stage
have difficulty pronouncing some sounds, especially l, r, and sh at the ends of words (Morrow,
2012, p. 107).

According to how these examples align with what Morrow (2015) said, Roy seems to be
functioning within both the age 2 to 3 and age 3 to 4 language growth stages (p. 106). His
minimal use of functional words, like conjunctions, prepositions, articles, and possessives,
connect him to the age 2 to 3 language growth stage. His use of syntactic overgeneralizations and
talking about what he is doing while he is doing it connects him to the age 3 to 4 language
growth stage. It is important to remember that even though research has identified stages of
language growth, the pace of development may differ from child to child (Morrow, 2015, p.
Strategies to Support Development
After comparing the language examples of Roy and Ryan, many similarities arise. The
social aspect of engaging in play with his brother is beneficial for Roy, but he also needs to
engage in meaningful experiences with adults. Morrow (2015) stated, Language acquisition is
fostered by positive interactions regarding language between the child and an adult (p. 103). By
obtaining language support from adults in the home, Roy will develop his expressive language.
They can support Roy by encouraging him to pronounce words correctly and scaffolding him by
asking questions that require him to provide explanations and think deeply (Morrow, 2015, p.
109 & 112).
In addition, Roys parents and teachers can support him by ignoring his use of syntactic
overgeneralizations. As strange as this sounds, Morrow (2015) stated, Eventually, with positive
reinforcement and proper role models in language, the child will differentiate betweenregular
and irregular grammatical conventions and forms (p. 113). They should reinforce what he says
through expanded syntactic structures because this will not discourage his desire to explore
language, which is key to learning and development.

Lastly, Roys parents and teachers can facilitate his language development by simply
reading with him. Reading will develop his vocabulary and syntactic complexity through the
use of adjectives and adverbs (Morrow, 2015, p. 120). Books that contain and encourage
rhyming will help him work on the ending sounds of words, which he often omits or changes.

Morrow, L. M. (2015). Literacy development in the early years: Helping children read and
write. (8th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.