Is language，like food，a basic human need?Judging from the result of the violent experiment by a German King，Frederick II，in the 13th century，it may be. Hoping to discover what language a child would speak if he heard no mother tongue，he told the nurses to keep silent.
All the infants died before the first year. But clearly there was more than language deprivation here. What was missing was good mothering. Without good mothering，in the first year of life especially，the capacity to survive is seriously affected.
Today no much violent deprivation exists as that by Frederick II. Nevertheless，some children are still backward in speaking. Most often the reason for this is that the mother is insensitive to the signals of the infant，whose brain is programmed to map up language rapidly. There are critical times，it seems，when children learn more readily. If these sensitive periods are neglected，the ideal time for acquiring language skills passes and they might never be learned so easily again.
Linguists(語言學家)suggest that speech stages are reached in a fixed sequence and at a constant age，but there are cases where speech has started late in a child who eventually turns out to be of high IQ.
Recent evidence suggests that an infant is born with the capacity to speak. What is special about Man's brain compared with that of the monkey，is the complex system which enables a child to connect the sight and feel of ，say，a teddy-bear(玩具熊)with the sound pattern “teddy-bear”。
But speech has to be stimulated，and this depends on interaction between the mother and the child，where the mother recognizes the signals in the child's babbling(牙牙學語)，grasping，crying，smiling，and responds to them. Insensitivity of the mother to these signals dulls the interaction because the child gets discouraged and sends out only the obvious signals. Sensitivity to the child's non-verbal signals is essential to the growth and development language.
1. FrederickII's experiment was violent because_________.
A)he wanted to prove children are born with ability to speak
B)he ignored the importance of mothering to the infant
C)he was unkind to the nurse
D)he wanted his nurses to say no mother tongue
2. The reason some children are backward in speaking today that_________.
A)their mothers do not respond to their attempts to speak
B)their mothers are not intelligent enough to help them
C)they do not listen carefully to their mothers
D)their brains have to absorb too much language at once.
3. By “critical times” in Paragraph 3 the author means__________.
A)difficult periods in the child's life
B)moments when the child becomes critical to its mother
C)important stages in the child's development
D)times when mothers often neglect their children
4. Which of the following in NOT implied in the passage?
A)Ability to learn to speak a language is inborn in man
B)Children do not need to be encouraged to learn to speak
C)Early language starters are not necessarily highly intelligent
D)Most children learn their language in definite stages
5. If the mother does not respond to her child's signals_________.
A)the child will never be able to speak properly
B)the child will stop giving out signals
C)the child will invent a language of his own
D)the child will make little effort to speak