Society classifies individuals who speak the same language in a single group. In light of this, it is critical for one to understand the acquisition process and the relevance of the critical period in language acquisition.
There are major theories of language acquisition exist in the development, which include linguistic nativism, behaviorism, and social interactionism. Linguistic nativism infers that language acquisition is a predetermined process. Nativists hypothesize that children are innately able in acquiring language. Supporters of behaviorism inferred that nurture played a main role in children’s acquisition of language. According to them, the environment through different agents such as parents modeled or taught children how to comprehend and speak a specific language. The focus of these theorists was on two major processes, operant and classical conditioning.
The social-interactionism perspective asserts that both innate biological and social factors predispose children’s acquisition of language. According to them innate/biological factors such as a slowly maturing brain capable of assimilating new information and social factors such as parents, teachers influence language development in children. These theorists acknowledge the role of adults in supporting children’s language acquisition through child-directed speech. In addition, they acknowledge children’s personal intentional participation in language acquisition through their reliance on their innate nature.
Before learning the rules that govern language, children communicate through crying and non-verbal communication (gestures). Later, interaction with parents enables them to develop oral language specific to their society and prepares them for the acquisition of other literacy skills. This shows that literacy development is a systematic gradual process. Children move from first stage of communicating (crying and non-verbal communication) to an intermediary stage (oral