An Essay Explaining First Language Acquisition

Topics: Language acquisition, Linguistics, Noam Chomsky Pages: 2 (518 words) Published: July 6, 2011
An essay explaining First Language Acquisition

What is the most realistic theory that explains human being’s acquisition of their First Language?

Considering the varying theories and perspective on how 1st language is learned, it is evident that no single theory can fully account for the complexity of the issue: How 1st language is learned. Based on the previous discussions and scholarly readings we had however, I am beginning to develop a conviction that Innatist theory holds the most realistic and consistent explanation among theories presented on how human beings acquire their “mother tongue”.

The Innatist view also known as the Nativist pioneered by Noam Chomsky laid out an explanation that every child possesses innate knowledge of language structure (universals) to detect and reproduce his or her 1st language. (Lightbown & Spada, 2006, p. 16). According to Chomsky, we all possess Language Acquisition Device that has predestined people to use spoken language, and makes us the only beings that can use spoken language. I think this is generally true. No one can argue that human beings are the only species on earth that uses spoken language. Many researches in the past tried to incorporate and teach animals to use any kind and forms of human language but all attempts have failed.

I also have observed that the rest of the perspectives (theories) offered in the module namely; connectivist, constructivist, developmentalist and cognitivist are just “rehash” or mixtures and modified versions of behaviorist and innatist view. Thus, the only two outstanding theories and have original ideas that main served as pillars in First Language acquisition are namely behaviorism and innatism.

Although these two opposing theories offers great insights in learning L1, innatist’s perspective is much more comprehensive and consistent than that of the behaviorist. First, behaviorism is mechanical since neither conscious awareness nor intent is assumed to be...
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