Cognitive Development and Language Skills Development

Cognitive Development and Language Skills Development

“Cognitive development underpins all the other aspects of development
as children start to explore and make sense of the world around them.
It is closely linked to the development of language and communication
skills as children interact with the people around them.”

There are many theories written on the subjects of cognitive
development and language and communication. These theories vary in
several ways, but they all seem to make the link between the too
subjects. Childcare settings put these theories into practise in a lot
of ways, sometimes without even realising it, just through

Cognitive development

Piaget’s theories of cognitive development are that children learn
through exploration of their environment. An adult’s role in this is
to provide children with appropriate experiences.

He said that cognitive development happens in four stages.

1. Sensory – motor

· Babies and young children learn through their senses, activity and
interaction with their environment.

· They understand the world in terms of actions.

2. Pre – operations

· Young children learn through their experiences with real objects in
their immediate environment.

· They use symbols e.g. words and images to make sense of their world.

3. Concrete operations

· Children continue to learn through their experiences with real

· They access information (using language) to make sense of their
immediate and wider environment.

4. Formal operations

· Children and adults learn to make use of abstract thinking.

Piaget also believed that children would only learn when they are
ready. Children's use of language represents their stage in cognitive
development, but he didn’t see language as a ‘central’ to children's
development, as cognitive development begins at birth and is required
for language development.

He also states that children are...