The Nature-Nurture Controversy

Topics: Psychological nativism, Nature versus nurture, Linguistics Pages: 1 (307 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Nature vs. Nurture
The nature-nurture controversy has been a constant argument between scientists for centuries and still neither side has won. What most agree on is that we do get our looks and physical attributes from our genes. On the other hand scientists can’t agree on whether or not we get our intelligence, personalities, and attitudes from our genes or are they simply learned. This introduction brings us to the main question: “Do children acquire language because they are genetically predisposed to do so or because parents intensively teach them from an early age”? I believe that language is acquired through nurturing. “By nurture, we mean the complex forces of the physical and social world that influence our biological makeup and psychological experiences before and after birth”(Berk 8).

Language has to be learned! We have to learn how to properly speak it, how to use it, and how to apply it. When we are born into this world we depend on our parents to help guide us and teach us the things we need to know. “Adults play an important role in language acquisition by speaking to children—often in a slow, grammatical and repetitious way. In turn, children discern patterns in the language and experiment with speech gradually—uttering single words at first and eventually stringing them together to construct abstract expressions”(Language 1).

In conclusion, it is my belief that children acquire language through nurturing. I don’t think it is necessary for parents to intensively teach children from an early age, but I do believe that children do acquire language from their parents and surroundings.

Works Cited
Berk, Laura E. Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Pearson Education Inc. 2008, 2005, 2002, 1999, 1996, 1994.
Mahoney, Nichole. Language and Linguistics: Language Learning. National Science Foundation. 12 July 2008. Web. 26 August 2010.
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