Language Acquisition Essay
Language is everywhere and all around us. Although we don’t think much on it, language is actually really complex and fascinating. Language development is what children go through from the moment they are born, but it never really stops as humans are constantly learning. It is the development of understanding and communication of language that children go through. There are many theories related to how people speak and learn language and with these theories, there is also a constant debate, to which each theory has a place, on whether people’s brains are either born blank or with no prior knowledge, or their brains have inbuilt systems that help them to learn. This debate is coined the ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ debate. Out of these theories, there are three main theories which group theorists together; Nativism; Behaviourism; and Social constructivism (Encyclopaedia of Children’s Health. (2014), Pinker, S. (1994)). Nativist theorists hypothesize that people are born with the innate ability to learn language, that it is part of their genetic makeup and that “language acquisition occurs as a natural part of the human experience.”(Litchfield, Kyle. A., Lambert, Matthew. C. (2014)). Behaviourism is the theory of
‘tabula rasa’ or ‘blank slate’ in english. Behaviourists believe that people are born without anything in their minds, it is the environment, and everyone else around them, that determines who they are, how they behave and the things they learn. Social Constructivism is in between the other theories as it is a theory with views from both ends of the spectrum, that people cannot learn only on the basis that they are empty and everyone else fills the void nor can they learn everything themselves (Class Notes. (2013), University of California Berkeley. (2014)). Noam ...
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