This topic forms half of your paper 1 assessment at A Level. You need to be able to make linguistic observations about children’s use of language (both written and spoken) and relate this to theory/research on how we develop language.
In the exam, you’ll be able to choose from two child language questions - one on speech and one on writing - but both will require you to comment on some data, writing an essay that answers a specific question.
If you narrow your choices ahead of the exam by only preparing for one of the topics, you can pretty much guarantee that the other one will look great..
Remember that the data is there for a reason and you are expected to engage with it in detail. At the same time, you are asked a question, which will never be ‘what is this child doing?’. Your job is to pick out the most interesting things about the data in relation to the question in front of you and relate them to the theories and studies that you know. Also remember:
It is always a good thing to use data to interrogate research/theory and to show that actual, live children throw questions onto theories.
The study of Child Language is not a simple question of nature vs nurture - it’s much more complicated than that.
If you find yourself starting to describe the stages of acquisition step by step, stop. We learn them like that for convenience. That is a way of organising the information in your folder/head, not a way of answering the question. ONLY include the material that relates to whatever you’ve been asked - and make sure you’re referring to the DATA.