Language Acquisition

Topics: Constructivism, Noam Chomsky, Nature versus nurture Pages: 3 (1707 words) Published: April 22, 2015
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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