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SUB TOPIC: STAGES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT Child development is a process every child goes through, this process involves children mastering skills such as crawling, walking or talking. There are many changes that happen as the child grows; most changes can be visibly seen while some are not. A child can surprise their parent by doing something the parent knew they could not do. This is called development. I am going to discuss three stages, but I will dwell a bit more on the first stage. The stages are cognitive development, social and emotional stage and speech and language development. 1. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT This stage deals with the learning mechanism, that is the child`s ability to learn and solve problems. It affects how the child think and learn. According to Piaget (1999) there are four stages of cognitive development. He suggests that children move through four different stages of mental development. I will briefly explain these stages: Sensorimotor- a stage from birth to 2 years In this stage, we learn that babies acquire knowledge though sensory experience, they touch, smell and taste things to know what that thing is. They make new discoveries about the world as they engage their senses. Children learn how to talk from people they interact with. In this stage children like to emulate other people. That is how they learn. Preoperational stage- 2 year to 7 years Children see things in their own perception, they struggle to accept other people thoughts and ideas. In this stage, language gets better and thinking level improves. Children are easily distracted in this stage they fail to stick to one task, I can say most of them are hyperactive. Concrete operational stage- 7 years to 11 yeas The thinking of children in this stage is organized than in the former stage, remember on the second stage I indicated that children see things from their own perception, but in this stage, they become more accommodating to other people ideas and feelings. Formal operational stage- 12 years- up Children begin to think about abstract things, they think about what is socially, morally and politically acceptable. There is increase in judgement, they come up with multiple solutions to a problem, and they are at a stage where they can solve problems on their own. 2. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT The child’s ability to interact with others, including helping themselves and self-control. Emotional development involves the development of feelings even feelings towards other people while Social development is the growth of a child’s relationship with other people, we can call it socialization; that is the process of learning the skills and attitudes that enable the child to live easily with other members of the community (Meggitt 2006). Socialisation can also be simplified as behaving in a way that is acceptable or tolerated by the society at large. 3. SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT This is the child`s ability to understand and use language. Speech is the aide used to communicate with others. These skills are formed at the early years of life, by the age 6 most children learn the basics. Speech is making sounds that eventually becomes words while on the other hand language is our structure of using words to communicate. When it comes to speech there are also stages a child has to go through according to their age and IQ level. In normal cases we do not expect a 1 year child be eloquent as a 6 year old. Even though speech and language begins at a tender age in children, at early stages it does not make sense but it then improves as the baby grows, until they can construct meaningful sentences. I also realized that children learn from their surroundings, they copy what other people say, it may not sound right when they do it for the first time but the more they repeat it and hear it more, the more they perfect it and make sense. We can also take for example TEFL lesson, if students are not familiar with English, they will copy what the teacher says until they get it right. In conclusion, I realized that the different stages of development are interrelated, what children learn at each stage influences their development. What they learn now is a buildup of what they learned before. One of the facts about life is that children pass through the same stages of development, but we have to know that each child is unique. Some take long in one stage while some skip stages or do not take long in one stage. References (2020, january 06). Retrieved from www.lowkidsdevelop.com/developskills.html Meggitt, C. (2006). Child`s development on illustrated guide. Heineman. Piaget, J. (1999). The construction of reality in the child. Taylor and Francis Group.