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Gender Differences in Language Development - Essay Example

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Their natural born, biological attributes may more important to their acquisition of language than the way they are nurtured. Chomsky believes that children have an innate ability to learn language and that this ability only needs to be triggered by verbal input from their environment. (Chomsky, 1972) Two other prevalent theories on language development in children are Piaget's idea of cognitive constructivism and Vygotsky's concept of social constructivism and language. Piaget suggests that language is simply one of the ways children represent the world with which they are familiar. It reflects but does not contribute to the development of thinking. Piaget believed that cognitive development precedes the development of language. (1955) Vygotsky believed that language impacts such that language is a form of social communication that gradually promotes both language itself and cognition. (1978, 1985) In general, these theories recognize that children are co-constructors in their world and that their development of language is a part of their holistic development that emerges from their cognitive, social and emotional interactions.
We are now well aware that male and female brains are different. ...
(Becker, J. B. et al. 2005) This is equally as true in studies of gender differences in language acquisition as elsewhere. Although much of the work on gender differences in language acquisition is speculative, some information is known. We realize that there are differences between the male brain and the female brain although the reasons for those differences are not clearly understood. We are also aware of genetic differences involved with the acquisition of speech.
Although science has uncovered numerous sex differences in the brain over the past few decades, we are still at a loss to explain the functional significance of most of them. We generally assume that the chemical and anatomical sex differences observed in the brain result from or in some behavioral differences, but so far we have been unable to connect any of the observed differences with any behavioral differences even in situations where such differences are known to exist. De Vries recently suggested that sex differences in brain structure may prevent overt differences in function and behavior by compensating for physiological sex differences. (De Vries, G. J. 2004) Their study looked at transient sex differences in gene expression in developing brains. We know that genetic factors play a role in language development, and that at least some of this involves sexual differences in language development. We know that hormones like estrogen have an effect on learning strategies even when it does not affect the rate of learning, to my knowledge, there hasn't been an application of this finding to human language acquisition in children. Studies in rats show that sex hormones affect the learning strategies in rats. These studies demonstrate ...Show more


A great deal of attention and study has been given to the development of language in children. Language skills may begin before birth. Children are exposed and learn to recognize speech patterns, tunes and the tones of languages during fetal development…
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Gender Differences in Language Development essay example
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