Example : Parent shows the child an apple and says, “Apple.” The child responds, attempting to say apple. The parent praises the child and gives the child the apple.
Children often make grammatical mistakes that they couldn't possibly have heard: Cookies are gooder than bread. Bill taked the toy. We goed to the store, Don't giggle me
Linguistic oriented theories(pinker)
Linguistic-oriented theories of First languagelearning/acquisition
In a broader sense, various theories and approacheshave been emerged over the years to study andanalyze the process of language acquisition. Threemain schools of thought, which provide theoreticalparadigms in guiding the course of languageacquisition are: Behaviorist Theory Innatist Theory Cognitivist theory
Theory Central idea linguistBehaviorist Children imitate adults. Their correct Skinner utterances are reinforced when they get what they want or are praised.Innate Language is an innate capacity. A childs brain Chomsky contains special language-learning mechanisms at birth.Cognitive Lang. is just one aspect of a child‟s overall Piaget intellectual developmentCognitive Language is a symbolic representation which Lev allow the children to abstract the world. Vygotsky
Behaviorism• Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20,1904-August 18,1990)• An American Psychologist• Proposed operant conditioning as compared to classical conditioning of Pavlov.• According to Skinner, learning a language operates on the same principles that a rat will use to learn a maze or to learn to press a button.
Behaviorism…• B.F Skinner proposed this theory as an explanation for Language acquisition in human.• All behavior is learned and that humans enter the world with no innate abilities. He famously said, "Give me a child, and Ill shape him into anything.”• B. F SKINNER‟S entire system is based on operant conditioning (learnings a function of change in overt behavior)• The organism, in everyday activities, is in the process of “operating” on the environment.
Behaviorists views:• Behaviorists view the process of language acquisition as a building process that results from interaction with the environment.• It is also called imitation theory which is based on an empirical or behavioral approach.• Children start out as clean slates and language learning is a process of getting linguistic habits printed on these slates.• Language is a „conditioned behavior‟: the stimulus response process• Stimulus Response Feedback Reinforcement
Principles • People‟s behaviors are directly observable, rather than the mental systems underlying these behaviors. • Children are born with a mind that is like a blank state. This state is called Tabula Rasa • Language is a verbal observable behavior . • Chunking theory: Language is learned in parts, then linked together • 1st words 2nd phrases 3rd sentences • Reinforcement will generalize similar stimulus generalizations
Children learn language step by step• Imitation Repetition Memorization controlled drilling ReinforcementReinforcement can either be positive or negative
• Children imitate sounds and practice what they hear. Correct structures are positively reinforced.• Language acquisition is, thus, a process of habit formation.• Factors in Language acquisition: – Association – Reinforcement – shaping – repetition – Corrections – imitation
Positives• Imitation is important in phonological development.• Children develop regional accents suggesting they imitate the sounds from people around them.Negatives• Children don‟t pick up grammatical structures immediately as some children show an incorrect use of grammar. For example they may say „wented‟ instead of went. Showing they have not imitated this of others.• Kids normally only use the words they understand so if they imitate of others they would copy all words spoken by another person.• If the kid is deaf, it cannot copy another person therefore uses sign language suggesting this theory does not provide an account for all kids.
Innateness TheoryBy Noam Chomsky (born 1928---Present)
Innatism• Limitations of Behaviorist view of language acquisition led in 1960‟s to the alternative „generative‟ account of language.• Main Argument: Children must be born with an innate capacity for language development.• Main Figure: Noam Chomsky• Children are born with an innate propensity for language acquisition, and that this ability makes the task of learning a first language easier than it would otherwise be.
Innatism: LAD & UG• Chomsky theorized that children were born with a hard-wired language acquisition device (LAD) in their brains.• LAD is a set of language learning tools, intuitive at birth in all children.• He later expanded this idea into that of universal grammar, a set of innate principles and adjustable parameters that are common to all human languages.• The child exploits its LAD to make sense of the utterances heard around it, deriving from this „primary linguistic data‟ – the grammar of the language
THE “LAD” (Chomsky, 1965)• The language acquisition Device (LAD) is a postulated organ of the brain that is supposed to function as a congenital device for learning symbolic language (i.e., language acquisition).
LAD (Language acquisition Device)• The L.A.D is a pre programmed box.• L.A.D is a function of the brain that is specifically for learning language. It is an innate biological function of human beings just like learning to walk.• LAD explain human acquisition of the syntactic structure of language.• It encodes the major principles of a language and its grammatical structures into the child‟s brain.• It enables the children to analyze language and extract the basic rules.
Mechanism of Innate Theory• According to Noam Chomsky, the mechanism of language acquisition formulates from innate processes.
Innatism: Universal grammar or generative grammar.• we are born with set of rules about language in our brains.• “Children are equipped with an innate template or blueprint for language and this blueprint aids the child in the task of constructing a grammar for their language.” (Chomsky 1965)• This is known as “Innateness Hypothesis.”
Universal grammar…Chomsky says:• The UG does not have the actual rules of each language but it has PRINCIPLES & PARAMETERS.• The rules of language are derived from the Principles & parameters.
Principles & Parameters:Principles: are the universal basic features of Grammar e.g.. Nouns, Verbs & Structure Dependency etc.Parameters: are the variation across language that determines one or more aspects of Grammar e.g. Pro, Drop and Head Direction.The Parameters are set during Language Acquisition.
Critical Age Hypothesis• Chomsky posited that there is a critical age for learning a language as is true for the overall development of the human body.• The input of Language is needed at the critical period, to learn the lexicon and to set the parameters. – Note: linguist Lenneberg suggested that the crucial period of language acquisition ends around 4-5 years
All children share the same innateness• Chomsky thus proposes that "all children share the same internal constraints which characterize narrowly the grammar they are going to construct." (Chomsky, 1977, p.98)
Communicative competence• “Language learning is not really something that the child does; it is something that happens to the child placed in an appropriate environment much as the child‟s body grows and matures in a predetermined way when provided with appropriate nutrition and environmental stimulation.” -Noam Chomsky
Theories of L1 Acquisition • Behaviorism – “Say what I say” • Innatism – “It’s all in your mind”