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Speech and Language Development

Speech and language development is a natural, fluid, and dynamic process beginning before birth and evolving throughout the lifespan. Through sounds, words, gestures, signs, and behaviors humans communicate thoughts, ideas, and information. They understand each other, socialize, and learn about the world. Genetic, cognitive, physical, social, cultural, and emotional development all shape speech and language development. There are a variety of theories about speech and language development, most notably those put forth by Jean Piaget, Noam Chomsky, Len Vigotsky, and B. F. Skinner. While none is universally accepted by speech language pathologists, each has influenced how we think about and support development in individuals. Every human brain is hardwired to acquire and learn language, regardless of culture. Over time, an individual advances through predetermined developmental ...

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