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Assignment5: Film Review Nell
Accordingto the research, the most sensitive period for language developmentis between 7 months and 6 years of age. This shows the progression oflanguage from babbling to use of single words and phrases thatcontinuously expands to comprehension and vocabulary. The environmentshould be in such a way that the child can develop the reading andspeaking skills. The lack of exposure of a child to languagedevelopment can easily lead to language deprivation and consequentlythe child becomes ‘feral’. The phonetic structure of a languagethat a person hears in early years influences the production andperception of speech. Nell speaks a very unique language thathas its own phonology and replaces some words with others. Thelanguage has been influenced by the environment that Nell was livingin. Nell had lived in isolation in North Carolina Woods and the onlyperson who influenced her language development was her mother andtwin sister. However, upon the death of her mother and twin sister,Nell’s language remained as it was the indecipherable language.
Theenvironmental factors affect the language a child speaks. Forinstance, Nell’s isolated environment limited her development oflanguage in a form that can be understood by other people.Biologically, parents seem to play a major role in the languagespeech of their children. For instance, Nell uses different phonologyin her English, especially in her pronunciations. She omits someconsonant sounds like ‘r’. This was majorly because of influencesof her mother. When she was carrying Nell’s pregnancy, the strokemade suffer from aphasia hence she was incapable of pronouncingcertain words. This was passed on to Nell. She either omitted somewords or joined words together. Despite the significant phonologicaldifferences in normal English and Nell’s English, the syntax andlexicon are similar. The words can be easily translated into Englishwithout necessary changing the order of arrangement, and this impliesthat each word that Nell uses follow the rules of English grammar.This was probably because her mother spoke English before shesuffered from stroke.
In"Wild Boy of Aveyron," Victor was intensely trained byItard but he never acquired the normal language skills. Victor, justlike Nell, had had his language influenced by the environment helives in. He was living in the woods. Just like Victor, Nell hadlived most of her life in isolation in North Carolina woods.Nevertheless, while Nell language handicap exposes her to abuse fromher immediate and uncontrolled environment, Victor’s environmentalfactors are favorable to his development of normal language. However,we see the change of environmental influenced Nell’s languagedevelopment. Jerry and Paula played a major role talking to Nell andinteracting with her until she developed confidence in them. At theend, Nell is seen to have mastered communication with other peoplecan even play and interact with Ruthie, Jerry and Paula’s kid.
Fromthe book, it is clear that the environment in early childhood yearsplays a major role in influencing language development. Therefore,Paula was wrong when he tried institutionalizing Nell. I would havesided with Jerry who was arguing that letting Nell continue living inher natural environment could have been better and more effective inher development of language.