The Third Stage in Learning to Communicate
Language is traditionally viewed as the system of rules that govern humans' use of symbols to represent their experiences. Language is often studied and taught in terms of one speaker alone. In Communicating Partners we view language as an interactive system of exchanging meanings between at least two persons. We do not want children only to “have” language; more importantly, we want them to “use” it in their social life. Consequently they need to learn language in real world situations in real relationships. Learning language has just as much to do with the language of a child's life partners as with the child's own language. In this chapter we explore how late-talking children learn social uses of language in their daily relationships.