Research Topic

The Role of Experience in Children’s Language Development: A Cultural Perspective

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About this Research Topic

Understanding the role of experience in children’s language development necessitates a critical re-examination of the standard paradigms, theories, and practices used in the field. The current collection pairs an approach to identifying the mechanisms which drive children’s learning and attention with a ...

Understanding the role of experience in children’s language development necessitates a critical re-examination of the standard paradigms, theories, and practices used in the field. The current collection pairs an approach to identifying the mechanisms which drive children’s learning and attention with a contextualization of children’s socio-cultural experiences.

In this Research Topic, we are seeking papers that, individually, or as a collection, showcase how qualitative, community-based perspectives on language development can complement and inform findings from quantitative and experimental designs. By taking a critical, culturally-responsive perspective to the questions we ask, the methods we use, and the outcomes we find, we can offer a richer perspective on the natural variations in children’s learning by describing multiple pathways to linguistic and communicative competence in the home, early childhood, school, and community contexts.

**Abstracts are no longer mandatory, but they are recommended in advance of full paper submission to ensure topic fit**

We are especially interested in including studies focusing on the role of culture in language development. Further, we are interested in methodological innovations, with an emphasis on mixed-method studies or methods which draw from the perspectives of underrepresented populations (e.g., interventions using participatory action research models).

Questions driving this Research Topic include:
-What are the different social and cultural contexts in which children learn languages? How might these contexts shape the learner’s attention and behavioral patterns?
-How can we incorporate perspectives from children, parents, families, and communities which have not been traditionally represented in studies of children’s language development?
-How are interventions or educational practices responsive to the child’s cultural and/or linguistic background?
-How might we redefine or refine our definitions of bilingualism, literacy, or communication by adding a cultural lens?
-How can we take an intersectional framework to our study of language development (e.g., cross-cultural studies of linguistic development in special needs populations)

We welcome manuscripts that provide insight into the extent of cultural, environmental and other experiential influences on language development. This Research Topic will feature original research as well as commentaries, opinions, and reviews and will provide a discussion forum for a wide range of researchers from the domains of developmental psychology, linguistics, education, among others.

Specifically, we are seeking contributions from the fields of Psychology, Communication Sciences, Linguistics, Education (including Special Education and Early Childhood Education), Cultural Neuroscience, and Sociology to contribute to the following topics:
-Bilingual development
-Cross-cultural communication
-Language brokering
-Contexts of learning: school, early childhood education, informal learning environments
-Language in children with special needs (autism, dyspraxia, etc.)
-Learning from technology
-Heritage language loss or learning
-Educational tools/methods (books, oral histories, music)
-Family practices
-Interventions
-Community language practices


Keywords: children’s socio-cultural experiences, linguistic pathways, bilingualism, literacy, communication, influences on language development, children's language development, cultural perspective


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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