The Relationship between Brain Development and Language

26 June 2013 09:08:16 Dibaca : 1065

Language is the symbol of communication. Language also is the system of communication in speech and writing that is used by people for expressing ideas and feelings with using movement, symbols and sounds. There are two processes of communication, verbal and nonverbal. These processes are related to mind set.


Neurolinguistic is study of the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the brain responsible for language processing and formulation in communication. The human nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and sense organs. The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). The neuron is the basic unit of nervous system. Approximately, there are twelve billion neurons in the human nervous system.

Survey had shown that, three basic brain functions are regulation, processing and formulation. The regulation function is responsible for the energy level and overall tone of the cortex. The processing function is controls information analysis, coding and storage. Finally, the formulation function is responsible for intention and programs for behavior.


Generally, there are 5 stages of a child growth following the Development of Brain and Language.

1. The Newborn: Age Birth to One Month

Percentage of newborn brain in this stage is 25% with 335 grams. The head is a third of a total body length. His torso is smaller than his head. In general, his breathes is quicker than an adult and his hearts beats at 120 times per minute. He is unable to control motor behavior yet. His motors are makes reflexive movement and smile. Newborn produced a lot of reflexive sounds, such as fussing and crying. Vegetative sounds also, such as coughing, belching, sneezing, burping and swallowing. He learns to distinguish some people and objects. In fact, the newborn attends to interest object. Especially, the object has colorful. His communication is cries.

2. The Examiner: Age One to Six Month

In this stage, percentage of child brain is 50% with 660 grams. He is able to grasp anything at 2 months but cannot control his reach. Toy is one of object plays that his like to grasp. Most objects are brought to the mouth. His balance is well. He can hold a bottle, easily to stand. He can choose a syllable (consonant-vowel), smile at person speaking to him, imitates some sounds and respond to name in communication. He is able to imitate a few general sounds usually vowel, such as /i/, /e/, and /F/.

Babbling is random sounds. During the babbling period, the baby making experiments with sound production. Survey had shown that the reduplication of a later babbling (ma-ma-ma-ma) usually continue to early word (mama). Within 6 months, he able to remember familiar persons and objects. He is very social and will respond with his smile to everyone who speaking to him.

3. The Experimenter: Age 7 to 12 Months

In this stage, percentage of child brain is 70% with 925 grams. The child can manipulate the objects, stand alone, removes and replaces bottle, hold and drink from a cup, sits from standing position, climb up and down stairs, and he has complete thumb, such as uses spoon, cup, bottle and crayon. In communication, he can produce several sounds in one breath, listen to vocalization, use social gestures, obeys someone commands, imitate facial expressions, recognize own name and speaks one or more words.

While sitting, the child is free to try and manipulated objects with his hand. He also found out the ability to search a missing object. At around eight months, he has many changes in speech and interaction. These include gestures and jargon. He will also imitate syllables of words. For example, he may repeat “na-na” when his mother says “banana”. By nine to twelve months, children “understand” some word based on combination of sounds. At around the first birthday, the child produces his first words. Even though, he has produced it before. Generally, the first words are name of favorite toys or foods, members of family, and pets.

4. The Explorer: Age 12 to 24 Months

Percentage of his brain is 80% with 1065 grams. In this stage, he will change from a dependent child to independent toddler. The toddler tries for perfecting his walking. By 15 months, he makes experiment between running and dawdling. The favorite games in this period are hiding and insect hunter. By 18 months, he recognize situation of pictures. He can also make circles, vertical and horizontal lines by using crayon. He enjoys about his activities, such as feeding, changing and eating. That’s why he is able to predict the activities and location of familiar objects. In this period he becomes very possessive of his toys, using words such as mine.

By 22 months, the toddler may become more verbal of his possession, even though others may disagree about his thinks. Language development grows also. Many children say “Wassat?”. It is name of game in which the toddler touches something’s or object, questioner “Wassat?” awaits a reply from other friends. Actually, “Wassat” is “What is that?”. In communication, the toddler can use jargon and words in conversation, point the clothes, person, toys and animals named. He likes rhyming games. He understands some personal pronouns, uses I and mine, uses some preposition (in, on) and pronoun (I, me, you) but not always correctly, uses some regular verb endings (-s, -ed, -ing) and plural s. He also has 200-300 words vocabulary, such as names and everyday objects.

5. The Exhibitor: Age 3 to 5 Years

Percentage of child brain is 90% with 1180 grams. By age 3, the child has perfected walking. He can run well, climb stairs and stand on one foot. Drawing is his new hobby. He calls his mother with “mommy”. In this period likely to play in groups to share toys or pictures with other friends. The language of the three-year-old consists of simple sentences. By age 4, the child can remind the past and remember short stories. This memory and recall are helped him in language skills. This period is full of questions. In general, four-year-old is the best time who has the linguistic skills and short-term memory to be good. By age 5, the child of five is able to organize games with the simple rules. He has good temporal sense and understands words, such as yesterday, today and tomorrow. He got 900-1.000 words vocabulary in three-year-old, 1.500-1600 in four-year-old and 2.100-2.200 in five-year-old. He also has 50% sounds of English acquisition and 90% grammar acquisition.

6. The Expert: School-Age Years

Percentage of child brain is 100% with 1320 grams. He has nearly mature size brain and eyes. He knows left and right of others. The six-year-old is better coordination and balance, he learns to ride a bicycle and to throw and catch a ball. Until twelve-year-old, the child has a good comprehension about part of speech, sound of English, grammar, comparative relationship. He has 50.000 words vocabulary. That’s why he spends lots of time for talking with his parents, teachers, and friends. The school-age child also increases understanding and use of figurative language. Figurative language consists of idiom, metaphors, similes and proverb (literature concepts). That’s amazing, within 12 years, the child develops from a dependent newborn to an adolescent in development of language an





Owens, R. E. (1992). Language Development. Child Development, 3, 70-106.

Owens, R. E. (1992). Neurolinguistics. Central Nervous System: Brain Maturation, 4, 109-117.

Material of Neurolinguistic by Mr. Novriyanto Napu, M.App.Ling.

Pembelajaran berbahasa: Suatu Tinjauan Neurolinguistik oleh dr. Muhammad Isman Jusuf Sp.S.


  • Masih Kosong


  • Masih Kosong