Imitation in Communicative Development

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  • Imitation plays a crucial role in children's communicative development in several different ways. First, and most obviously, in order to become fully functioning members of their linguistic community, children need to learn to use the same words and grammatical structures as those around them in order to be understood. The easiest and most efficient way to do this well is through imitation, and indeed, researchers have found many relations between infants' and young children's imitative and language skills. A second way in which imitation plays a role in children's communicative development is when imitation is used as a communicative strategy itself, especially during the period when linguistic skills are limited, to negotiate topics and convey meanings for which no linguistic terms are yet available to ...

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