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Behavioristic Theory By Skinner


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Behavioristic Theory By Skinner

  1. 1. Behavioristic theory by Skinner. The process of learning language has always been a complex phenomenon amongthe critics. It is an acknowledged fact that the lap of mother is the first educational cente4r for the child and the foundation of every human activity is laid when a child uses the lap of the mother, the only shelter of man. In this way this has always been a debatable question how for the lap of mother, the surroundings and the entire atmosphere in which a child lives, proves helpful in learning language one. In this respect, two theories have been put forward, the innate theory presented by chomeskyand the behaviouristic theory presented by skinner:- According to skinner child acquires his first speech throu a process which is called the gh operant process. Operant process means that language is an activity that a child acquires voluntarily without any external force. In this way child acquires his language one in his own free will without any sort of pressure. According to skinner the whole process is based upon four elements. 1. stimulus 2. response 3. reinforcement 4. repetition skinner has elaborated all these th ings after making experiments on animals.He illustrates the whole process as a rat is put in a box containing a bar and this rat is rewarded food only if it presses accidentally and as a result of that initially process it will be rewarded with the food, but eventually it will get the perception that it cannot get food until it presses the bar. Later the process is made a bit difficult and now it gets the food if it presses the barat certain number of time. Initially it will feel confusion but eventually it will learn the trick. After this experiment, skinner expresses the very notion that every stimulus which is followed by a response plays a vital role in learning the first language. Initially this response is given only in case of sort of punishment or reward but eventually the child becomes volunteer in this. Skinner also maintains that learning language one depends the imitation and the child imitates his nears and dears around him. First of all any thing plays a role that stimulates the child to speak. For example, when a child listens a word toffee, he tries to store this word in this mind and when he tastes a toffee and enjoys it, he tries to associate this word with actual theme (Toffee). When the child gives response to such a way by uttering the word toffee it proves no less that farrie song for his parents. So they reinforce him to utter this word again and again and the child makes repetition. This is the whole process that has been referred and presented by the behaviourists. Child enjoys a flexible mind, he is easily attracted by the atmosphere which he lives. That is why , skinner seems to be firm in his notion that language learning is mot different from learning any thing else and anything which is stuffed in the mind of the child becomes the part and parcel of his life. That is why, skinner denies that language is a preprogrammed activity. It is just the gift of society and operant condiioning of his t around. If we take up the example of fictional character Tarjen, skinner seems to be true in his notion because Tarjen was brought among the animals and according to the story tellers he spoke the language of animals. So he could not help being affected by the company in which eh lived. Skinner is not without his critics. It was chomskey who made a bitter attach on the theory presented by skinner. He considered it to be an inappropriate theory that is why, he brought his own theory named Nativistic theory or mentalistic Theory or Innate Theory.
  2. 2. Conclusion:- So to sum up the discussion we may say that although skinner’s theory was challenged by chomesky yet the paved the way for the other language scholars to test their abilities and solve the mystery of child’s first language acquisition.