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Component of Oral Language

            Oral language is the foundation for all other forms of literacy and communication. If a child does not have a comprehensive understanding of the spoken word it will be very difficult for them to communicate on even a basic level (Hill, 2006). One of the main ideas explored by Fellowes and Oakley (2013) is that there is four key components of language; phonological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic. The key concept drawn from this is that a child will only be able to successfully communicate once they have the ability to effectively combine all four components simultaneously.
             Phonology forms the basis of oral language and refers to the way sounds of language operate. (Hill, 2006) There are three main factors that comprise the phonological component of language including phonemes which are the individual sounds used to form words. Every language has a different set of phonemes, in the English language it is suggested that there is between 40 and 46 different phonemes in comparison Polynesian languages only have 15. The two other factors are intonation which is the variation in pitch when speaking and stress which is the emphasis given to different syllables with in words or different words within sentences. (Fellowes and Oakley) Phoneme recognition and imitation are the first steps a child takes in learning to communicate through speech. Gleason suggests children as young as one month can start to differentiate certain phonemes. (cited Fellowes and Oakely) By the age of one a child's "babbling" will mirror the sounds and patterns of their native language. (Hill 2006) However at this stage a child still does not have the ability to communicate through oral language effectively because they have not yet mastered the other three components of language. .
             Fellowes and Oakley lists syntax as the second component of language. Syntax is the grammatical structure of sentences and the ability to bring meaning through the application of rules for arranging words.

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