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Influence of Culture in Language Development

Influence of Culture in Language Development

Language development begins in childhood when children acquire language by listening to and imitating what adults say while interacting. In cultures where adults rarely speak to children, language development may be slower because children in such environments acquire language at a later stage. However, in all environments, the grammatical complexity of what a child hears, the amount of speech they listen to, the informativeness of the context in which new vocabulary is introduced, and the number of new words introduced in speech influence language development (Andersen, 2006). Therefore, culture affects language by giving rise to words, influencing how the words are used, and providing context. Accents are the main culturally-based aspect of language because they differ in each country and region within a country. This is evident in the British, American, and Mexican accents that are hard to miss, particularly when native speakers speak. For instance, people from Texas have a twang, and those from the Northeast region speak faster than those from the South. According to Pungello et al. (2009), children raised with more positive and sensitive parenting styles instead of intrusive and damaging parenting styles have a higher rate of language development. The authors argue that positive parenting styles are characterized by more communication between the child and the parent hence enabling the child to learn words faster. Parenting styles also affect the choice of words a child learns. For instance, a household where curse words are prohibited encourages proper language development, and the child is less likely to learn inappropriate words. Culture also affects language development based on the language a child learns first. For instance, a child raised in a culture where adults speak their native language will first learn the native language before learning other languages. For example, a child brought up in households where adults speak Spanish will develop Spanish as his or her first language and will then learn English and speak with a Mexican accent because that will be his or her second language.


Andersen, H. L. (2006). Culture in language learning. ISD LLC.

Pungello, E. P., Iruka, I. U., Dotterer, A. M., Mills-Koonce, R., & Reznick, J. S. (2009). The effects of socioeconomic status, race, and parenting on language development in early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 544-557.


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In one paragraph, describe why culture has an influence in language development.

Influence of Culture in Language Development

Influence of Culture in Language Development

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