Language Acquisition Theories

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Being the highest creatures on earth, human beings are endowed with the power of language to verbally communicate with each other. It is a facility that enables each individual to bring out inner workings of his mind for others to respond to.
JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story.


A great deal of a child's acquisition of linguistic structure occurs during the first five years of life. This is the period when he is most active in discerning a set of underlying organizational principles of language from the expression that surrounds him. It is amazing how at a very young age, he is capable of abstracting meaning from direct experience with other language users depending on his own context.
Lindfors (1987) notes that the child's language environment includes a set of specific sentences, however, it is not this set of sentences that he acquires, but deduces from these an underlying set of organizational principles and sound-meaning relationships. To illustrate, children as young as two do not talk by simply using the specific sentences they hear, but rather, they construct sentences according to their own early version of organized principles underlying the specific sentences they have heard. Perhaps due also limited language and motor skills, the child's early linguistic system is different from the adult's and results in telegraphic and grammatically erratic sentences like "He no want to sit me.", "I not like it", and "He gived it to me."
Over time, his language system will be revised in many different situations, and his sentences will become more adult ...
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