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LCD 216 Language Acquisition Book Analysis

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Trunz 1
Grace Trunz
Professor Davison
LCD 216
Puppy, by DK Publishing
October 5, 2017
Language Acquisition Project 1
One of my favorite books growing up was this story called Puppy, created by the Dorling
Kindersley Publishing company. This little board book follows the day in the life of this little
Golden Retriever puppy Named Popcorn and his friend Smudge. Looking back on this little
board book now, it probably was not the greatest story for language development, but it still has
some pretty good qualities that can make it a fairly decent learning tool between a caregiver and
child.
One of the best aspects of this book is probably the simple sentences and the minimalistic
pictures that can be helpful in early child-caregiver speech and interaction. The story is filled
with easy questions and simple photographs of puppies with an object on each page next to them,
which can make child-directed speech straightforward. The child can learn and begin to
understand and possibly even answer questions such as “who”, “what”, and “where.” For
example, the caregiver can read the line “What’s that over there?” and the child can either point
to the picture of a ball, or say to their best ability, “a ball!”, encouraging a back and forth, turn-
taking interaction between the caregiver and child. Some of the other objects mentioned within
the story also include a “bowl” and a “bed” which both also conveniently start with the
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easier bilabial consonant /b/ for the child to attempt to speak their first few words and be a part
of the reading experience.
In regards to prelinguistic language development, this book can be a useful tool to
support this growth, with a little bit of creativity of the caregiver/reader. The sentences are short
and simple, and prosodic features of child-directed speech such as varied pitch and stressed
words can be exaggerated while being read. Questions in the book can be emphasized, and
certain keywords like “puppy,” “ball,” and “play” can also be highlighted in tone. Even though a
child may not be speaking yet, these aspects of the story can begin that foundation of language.
Nonverbal cues, such as pointing, laughing, and engaging in eye contact between the child and
caregiver can also be used within the book, but again may need some imagination and
enthusiasm of the caregiver reading the story.
When picking apart the story Puppy, the text does seem to be fairly useful in both
phonological and semantic development. Like mentioned before, the main words within the book
are mostly one to two syllables, beginning with easier bilabial articulating consonants like /b/
and /p/ and /m/, and avoids more difficult words beginning with phonemes like /r/, /l/, and /j/. In
regards to semantic development, the story asks simple questions and mentions simple daily
tasks that children experience such as “play,” “dinner,” and “sleep.” The child then can take in
easy questions and answers like “what’s this?”, “a bowl!” or “a ball!” At such an early age, the
child will only understand simple ideas such as these, but it creates that foundation for
understanding more sentences and ideas in the future, which is why this time is so crucial in
beginning to put words together into meaningful sentences.
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Trunz 1 Grace Trunz Professor Davison LCD 216 Puppy, by DK Publishing October 5, 2017 Language Acquisition Project 1 One of my favorite books growing up was this story called Puppy, created by the Dorling Kindersley Publishing company. This little board book follows the day in the life of this little Golden Retriever puppy Named Popcorn and his friend Smudge. Looking back on this little board book now, it probably was not the greatest story for language development, but it still has some pretty good qualities that can make it a fairly decent learning tool between a caregiver and child. One of the best aspects of this book is probably the simple sentences and the minimalistic pictures that can be helpful in early child-caregiver speech and interaction. The story is filled with easy questions and simple photographs of puppies with an object on each page next to them, which can make child-directed speech straightforward. The child can learn and begin to understand and possibly even answer questions such as “who”, “what”, and “where.” For example, the caregiver can read the line “What’s that over there?” and the child can either point to the picture of a ball, or say ...
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