Child Observation Essay on Language

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Language Development Observation

    • Start Time 05:00 p.m.
    • Finish Time 05:20 p.m.
    • Method Used Pre–coded method
    • Number of Children Present 3
    • Number of Adults Present 3
    • Permission Obtained from Parent
    • Description of Setting

This observation took place in TC’s house. It’s an attached house with a large front garden and is located next to an open field.

    • Immediate Context

This observation took place in the kitchen. TC is sitting in the kitchen doing his homework and talking to his mother.

    • Brief Description of the Child

TC is a 6-year-old boy. He is in first class and has two older and two younger siblings. He is talkative and enjoys school.

    • Aim of Observation

To get a better understanding of the linguistic skills of a six-year-old.

    • Rationale

Observe children to assess their linguistic skills and plan developmentally appropriate activities.


I will be doing an observation of a six-year-old boy to observe his linguistic skills throughout the evening for around 20 minutes. I will be carrying out the observation in TC’s home, which is an attached house with wide surroundings – this will be easier to carry out because TC will be more comfortable and talk freely whilst at home.

I will be using my Child Development, second edition, Flood, E 2013 book page 140 as a reference to successfully carry out my observation and the pre-code method to successfully record TC’s conversation.

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I carried out the observation on 23/10/19 starting at 05:00 p.m. until 05:20 p.m. – I will be also including my observation front sheet that has further details.


My aim in this assignment was to assess the linguistic development of a six-year-old boy for 20 minutes whilst at TC’s home. ‘’Language is any form of communication, be it spoken, written, or signed. Language consists of words and a system of combining them. All human languages have five rules that organize and order them: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics’’’’ (Flood, 2013, page 122).

One of the key stages of a six-year-old child is fluent speech, correct grammar, and pronunciation. (Flood, 2013, page 133). TC spoke without any problems and was aware when he shortened words like ‘gonna’ or ‘sissy’ instead of saying ‘going to’ or ‘sister’. I found that TC’s language development was within the norms. When asked after the observation was done was, he aware that he was saying ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’, TC replied with ‘’Yep, just being lazy’’.

Children aged six can read simple story books independently and can relate a story in sequence but may concentrate on minor details rather than the bigger picture – (Flood, 2013, page 133). Whilst TC was doing homework, he seemed to read the questions perfectly but kept forgetting so he would re-read them.

During my observation, TC said ‘’How many days is that?’’, TC knew what a plural sentence was and when to use it, he added the ‘s’ to ‘days’ unconsciously. This is a good example of nature because he learned from the people around him. ‘In the nature debate, Noam Chomsky believed that children are born with a language acquisition device (LAD)’ – Flood, 2013, page 130.

In the nurture debate, Jerome Bruner believed that the child the adult provided the child with a language acquisition support system (LASS) – Flood, 2013, page 132. During my observation, TC pronounced words that his mother would say – for example; fab, gonna, and sissy. This is an example of nurture because the child has learned from the adult.

Personal Learning Gained:

I learned a lot during this assignment as it was completely different from the previous assignment I completed (physical development). I have learned how to pre-code and discuss the cognitive skills of a six-year-old boy.

The observation went smoothly, the only thing I found difficult was keeping up with TC. He is a fast talker, so I had to rush my handwritten pre-coding.


    • I recommend that the parent continue to read to TC at night to further develop cognitive skills and expand their imagination.
    • Continue to have open conversations with TC to further their learning and language development.
    • If TC struggles with sounding out a word – I suggest sitting down with them and helping them sound out the word instead of telling him the answer straight away.


    1. Flood, E (2013), Child Development for students in Ireland (2nd edition) Dublin, Gill & Macmillan.
    2. Minett (2014) Child Care & Development, 6th Edition, UK, Hodden Education.
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