Language acquisition has been defined as the process through which learners, and more so infants, acquire the ability to speak in a new language. The seemingly effortless ability of children to acquire the ability to speak a language without formally attending any language classes has always been a matter of intrigue, thereby making language acquisition one of the most researched and most controversial topics of cognitive science (Pinker, language acquisition)…
Several theories have been put forward that try and explain this process (Pinker, language acquisition).
Some theorists believe that the acquisition of language is a natural and intrinsic part of the child growth process and down play the importance of parental feedback while others believe that it is the result of their surrounding environment and how they interact with others, thereby according significance to adult- child interaction. This paper seeks to analyze the different theories that have been put forward to explain language acquisition evaluating how they all explore the importance of parental feedback in the development of linguistic skills.
Nativist theorists believe that a child is born with an intrinsic ability to learn a language which makes it relatively easy for them to learn a new language as opposed to adults who wish to learn a second language. In this sense, language is viewed as part of the human genetic make up; a natural trait similar to birds learning how to fly and fish learning how to swim (Macwinney, 1998).
As Macwinney (1998) points out, several researchers believe that since the acquisition of language seems to be unique only to humans and it must be...
Theories have been put forward to support this infant innate grammar module. Children seem to exhibit an uncanny ability to respect syntax in their early speech. This lends credence to the belief that the ability to learn language is genetically wired in the brain. However, the nativist theories have been criticized for failing to properly and accurately account for their claims on acquisition of the language, causing researchers to look for other explanations to the inherent human capacity to learn language (Macwinney, 1998).
Parental feedback in the Nativism theory
Parental feedback is not perceived to be of any significance to a child's acquisition of language. Nativism theorists point out that children do most of the language acquisition by themselves, as illustrated when a family migrates to a foreign country. The parents seem to struggle with the new language and may not master it completely but children will always adapt faster and speak the language more richly and fluently than their parents. This by itself negates any role of parental feedback in the acquisition of language as the children are able to adapt better than the parents.
This is a branch of nativist theory approach but differs from nativism in that it views the acquisition of language as an outcome not just of the intrinsic biology of human cognition, but also as a result of social patterns of interaction and input. Emergentism views children as learning language through means of a self organizing map with auditory, concept and articulatory as the pillars. A child learns language almost independently by associating different elements to these pillars (Macwinney, 1998).
Macwinney (1998) points out that there are neural networks in the brain that will influence the ...
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“Language Acquisition Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/education/302722-language-acquisition.
It functions automatically. In contrast, the learned system is built via formal instruction, and involves conscious knowledge for the grammar rules. According to Krashen, these two systems operate independently, thus knowledge from one system cannot cross-over to the other.
This change in terminology represents a more accurate reflection of the process of language acquisition. The article 'The effectiveness of Instructional Issues, Theories, Models and Strategies for Mainstreamed English Language Student' by Judy S Richardson (2005) addresses important theories for second language acquisition, issues that arise out of theories and how these issues influence or should influence effective instructions.
His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." Concerned, James asked: "What happened to the flea'"
Much as parents, teachers and other adults would enjoy children's innocent witticisms, psychologists and linguists study its form and meaning to contribute to the widening interest in language development research.
It also plays crucial role in promoting or enhancing the efficacy of teaching programmmes. Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. Real language acquisition develops slowly, and speaking skills emerge significantly later than listening skills.
The researches and scientific studies had probed dimensions of learning a second language and its effectiveness. It also has been an interesting field to explore for linguists.
Many people contend with the stand that for the learning to be consummate, it had to be instructed the natural way; others dispute that the instruction of traditional methods in the classroom will provide a deeper understanding and comprehension of the language.
the reference of the concept as Second Language Acquisition, this concept does not necessarily mean the process of acquiring a second language only, but also the process of acquiring a third, fourth, fifth or other subsequent languages. The common argument has been that the
According to the report psycholinguist and developmental psychologist studies the acquisition of native languages. Although, there is no clear explanation of how infants learn to speak. Most explanation is based on the inference that infants have a natural tendency of understanding grammar and observation that infants simulate what they hear and learn from others.
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