EXPRESSIVE EMERGENT LANGUAGE SCALE FOR KANNADA SPEAKING CHILDREN AUTHORS: MADHU K. DEEPA M. S. SUHAS K. HARSHAN KUMAR H. S. INTRODUCTION Language is a code where by the ideas about the world are represented through a conventional system of auditory signals for communication. Bloom, 1988. Speech is the oral expression of language. Hulit and Howard, 2002. Language may be expressed through writing, singing, or even gestures. Language development is a process that starts early in human life. A person begins to acquire language by listening to spoken language and by mimicry. Children’s language development moves from simple to complex. Language development Age 0 –6 months Developmental milestones 6-12 months Frequently coos, gargles, and makes pleasure sounds. Uses phonemes /b/ /p/ and /m/ in babbling. Understands no and hot. Uses characteristic gestures or vocalization to express wants. 13-18 months 19-24 months Imitates individual words. Makes requests for more desired items. Use adult like intonation. Uses words more frequently than jargon. Starts combine nouns with verbs and nouns with adjectives. Accurately names a few familiar objects. 2-3 years 3-4 years Request item by name. Ask one to two word questions. Maintains topic over several conversational turns. Follows two step commands. Understands opposites. Uses nouns and verbs most frequently. Sentence grammar improves although some errors still present. TESTS WHICH ASSESS LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN. RECEPTIVE EXPRESSIVE EMERGENT LANGUAGE SCALE (REELS) Bzoch and League (1971) SCALES OF EARLY COMMUNICATION SKILLS (SECS) Moog and Geers (1975) 3-DIMENTIONAL LANGUAGE ACQUISITION TEST (3DLAT) Geetha Harleker (1987) The Study Aimed at Standardizing and Revising REELS (Receptive Expressive Emergent Language Scale) for Kannada speaking children. METHOD A total of 720 children in the age range of 0 to 3 years from all over Karnataka were considered for the study (The study consisted of both male and female children) South region North region Coastal region Subject selection criteria Children without any prenatal, perinatal or postnatal complications. Children not having any behavioral, psychological or sensory problems. Children having Kannada (a Dravidian language) as their mother tongue. Informal Assessment All children underwent informal screening for Hearing and Vision problems. “Hearing, informal screening was done using non verbal sounds like ‘clap’, ‘bell’, ‘knock’ Verbal sounds like ‘name call’ were used. These sounds were presented at 3 feet and at 5 feet distances. Material Used Questionnaire including developmental milestones similar to Receptive Expressive Emergent Language Scales (Bzoch and League, 1971) Milestones were divided into 3 months interval From 0-3 months to 33-36 months PROCEDURE Sample size Karnataka 720 North 240 Urban 120 South 240 Rural 120 Urban 120 Costal 240 Rural 120 Urban 120 Rural 120 Subjects were taken from Hospitals Anganavadis Play homes • The questionnaire consisted a total of 172 questions. • Receptive and Expressive language skills had separate set of questions (86 each). • Questions were asked in the progressive order of the developmental milestones. When child couldn’t do a particular task, no further questions were asked. Statistical analysis Mean, Standard deviation and t-value were calculated. Results were compared with the Normative developed in the previous version of REELS (1971). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The data was arranged according to the specific age group from 0-3months to 33-36 months Graph 1: Mean difference in Receptive skills between older and present data. 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 old data new data From 6 - 36months there was a significant difference in the receptive skills. No statistically significant difference was found from 0 –6 months. A significant difference between previous and present data was seen in 1-2 years of age. The difference was comparatively less in the first year as compared to the second year and third year. This shows that the present generation acquire skills earlier between 1-2 years of age and it increases as the age progresses from 2-3years. Graph 2: Mean difference in Expressive skills between older and present data. 80 70 60 50 40 30 old data 20 new data 10 0 The differences for expressive skills was negligible in the first year of life, but as age progresses, the difference in the skills increased. There is a highly significant difference between the skills acquired at 18-21months to 3336months. From 6-9 months to 12-15months there is no significant difference between the acquisition of skills. This shows present generation children acquire expressive skills faster in 2-3 years of age. According to this study A significant difference in the acquisition of skills is seen across decades. Language is a form of learnt behavior, which is acquired as a response to the stimuli in the environment. Children’s creativity with language and level of linguistic exposure help them in learning language. Learning is a voluntary response which is strengthened /weakened depending upon positive and negative consequences. The study revealed that children achieved both expressive and receptive skills in equal amount early in life with reference of REELS I edition developed in 1971. we standardized and revised it for present generation. Standardization To standardize the test we used 80% criteria. That is if 80% of the children able to pass particular milestone that mile stone moved to lower age groups. Which not satisfied 80% criteria they kept in same age group. According to graphs I, and II it can be seen that as age progressed there was highly significant difference between previous and present data. This difference was minimal during first year of life but highly significant in second and third year of life. The revised version needs to be checked for its validity.