ASSESSMENT OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION OF CHILDREN IN MOTHERLESS BABIES HOMES IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
Motherless babies homes are places where children at different stages of language acquisition/development are taken care of. This research, aims at x-raying the linguistic development of these deprived children. The study explored the linguistic development of children in motherless baby homes. Specifically, this study sought to: assess the level of language acquisition of children in the motherless baby homes, identify the environmental factors that aid language acquisition that may be lacking in motherless babies homes, determine the extent to which children in the motherless babies homes negotiate and attach meaning to utterances, find out if the attention given by the workers in the motherless babies homes and visitors are capable of aiding the children’s language acquisition, ascertain the extent to which inputs from organizations aid the language acquisition of the children, find out the effect of the language acquired in the motherless babies homes on the children and determine if the prevailing language environment in the motherless babies homes is capable of impairing the language acquisition of children in the motherless baby homes. In this study, the descriptive survey research method was adopted. Based on the nature of the research and target population, only purposive sampling technique was used. Three major instruments of data collection were used. These include; participant observation, interview (oral) and the questionnaire. The result of the study shows that the level of language acquisition by children in the motherless babies homes was low. Also the result of the study indicates that different organizations have been assisting these motherless babies homes, however their support were mainly in the area of helping the workers perform some domestic chores, as they were not very much interested in their language development. The result also shows that the children do not have enough materials and people to play with, and as a result of that, their language development were seriously delayed and or impaired. The study therefore concludes that the language environment of the motherless babies homes were defective in terms of providing favourable environment that aid the children’s language acquisition as most of the human and material resources in normal homes were not readily available in the motherless baby homes.