What are the similarities between the development of the babies in the documentary?

Assignment 1: Impact of Development in Infancy

As we have discovered in this module, language develops in a similar progression across cultures, including that of the deaf community. In this assignment, you will consider the importance of how language development applies to learning.


Select one of the following options to complete:

Option I

Watch the documentary Babies (2010), directed by Thomas Balmés.

The documentary can be viewed using the following options:

  • Search the Internet.
  • Amazon Web site. Babies (Purchase the movie). Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Babies-Thomas-Balmes/dp/B002ZG974M/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285601518&sr=8-1
  • Netflix Web site. (Rent the movie). Retrieved from http://movies.netflix.com/movie/Babies/70129309
  • Respond to the following:
    • What are the similarities between the development of the babies in the documentary?
    • What are the differences between the development of the babies in the documentary?
    • What does the documentary tell us about the influence of nature and of nurture?
    • What concepts did you see in the movie that were described in your readings? (e.g., did you see any examples of imitation? What milestones did you observe?)
    • Compare your own experiences, as children and/or as parents, to the experiences of the families in the documentary.
    • What surprised you about the documentary?
    • In what ways did your understanding of the documentary influence the way you view child development?

Option II

Marcus is a child development consultant in Smalltown, U.S., which is a friendly, predominantly middle-class community with a diverse ethnic makeup. Marcus’s job is to design behavioral interventions for children and adults. He works with a variety of people, including teachers, children of varying ages, and parents. He also works closely with professionals such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physicians, and school administrators.

Referrals range from children with difficulty paying attention to adolescents exhibiting aggression. Marcus encounters a continuum of developmental issues, from children with typical development to clients with speech impairments, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, and genetic syndromes.

Ms. Carter, a second grade teacher, has contacted Marcus because of a concern that a student might have some learning problems. The student is a 7-year-old boy named Alejandro, whose parents emigrated from Nicaragua. A meeting was arranged with the parents, teacher, consultant, and school psychologist because Alejandro was making errors in reading and having some comprehension problems. The psychologist and consultant asked questions such as: How long has the family lived in the United States? How long has Alejandro been exposed to English? Did he babble at the age of four months?

Based on your analysis of the scenario, respond to the following:

  • Why do the professionals need to know the history of Alejandro’s language development?
  • How might learning two languages affect Alejandro’s current learning?
  • What language milestones are of interest? Would Marcus have expected Alejandro to progress through the same language milestones as he was learning Spanish as a child who grew up learning English?

Review the following additional information on the case:

Alejandro’s parents indicated that he had only been exposed to English for one year and his early language development progressed normally. Ms. Carter reported that Alejandro typically uses speech such as, “I put table” or “I go bathroom” rather than “I put my paper on the table” or “May I go to the bathroom, please?” However, his parents reported that Alejandro’s Spanish seemed normal for his age and that he did not have difficulty in tasks not involving language, such as simple math.

Based on your analysis of this additional information, respond to the following, pulling on the research you are learning in your book and course readings:

  • What stage of speech is the teacher describing?
  • Given the history reported, should there be cause for concern regarding Alejandro’s speech or learning ability at this point?
  • Explain the interactionist perspective of language development and what advice would be given to Ms. Carter to help Alejandro from this perspective.

Submission Details

  • By the due date assigned, post your 200- to 300-word response to the Discussion Area.
  • Through the end of the module, review and respond to the questions submitted by at least two of your classmates. Participate in the discussion by asking questions, providing or asking for statements of clarification, and drawing conclusions. Offer your own assessments insights and issues mentioned by your classmates.
  • Support your statements with reasons and reference to readings and research.
  • All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources. Use this APA Citation Helper as a convenient reference for properly citing resources.

Grading CriteriaMaximum PointsQuality of initial posting, including fulfillment of assignment instructions16Quality of responses to classmates12Frequency of responses to classmates4Reference to supporting readings and other materials4Language and grammar4Total:40

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