Plan Definition Historical Background Types of Feral children Defining Characteristics Real cases Genie ( Background, Tests and results) Nature Vs NurtureCritical Period Hypothesis Interests in Feral children Conclusion
Feral Children Also known as wild children (or sometimes wolf children) Have grown up with minimal/no human contact Often they have been raised by animals Sometimes they have been confined and denied any interaction with people
Definition= Wild, undomesticated Feral ( Latin: Fera= wild animal ) Feral children Human children who, from a very young age, have lived in isolation from human contact and have remained unaware of social behavior and unexposed to human language. Cases of feral children are thankfully rare, but areof immense interest from a scientific and educationalpoint of view
Historical background Myths, legends, and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves and bears. There so many famous examples such as Romulus and Remus ; Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. They were abandoned by their parents as babies and put into a basket that was then placed into the River Tiber. The basket ran aground and the twins were discovered by a female wolf.
There were also some references, in the beginning of the 14 century , the 19 and also in the 20 century of course , such as the case of Amala and Kamala ,who were two "feral girls" from India who were alleged to have been raised by a wolf family.
Some cases of Feral Children Feral Children can be subdivided into 3 classes Isolated Children Confined Children Children isolated by animals
Defining Characteristics: Crawling on all Fours Mute Hairy Wild
Real cases Wild Peter 1725 _1785 Germany Kaspar Hauser 1812_ 1833 Germany Kamala and Amala died on 1921 & 1929 India Genie 1957 (age 54) United States
Genie A study of a young girl who was deprived of language in her early years BACKGROUND Her parents had abused her and kept her locked up for most of her 13 years until she was discovered. She had been kept in a small room tied to her potty chair. She was not allowed to speak or make sounds. She was only given baby food and cereal to eat. She had been to the doctor one time in her childhood and there was no sign or retardation in her first 3 years of life. When she was admitted to the hospital in November of 1970, she was 54 inches tall (1.37 m) and weighed only 62 pounds (28 kg). She could not stand, chew solid food, and couldnt make sounds.
CONCLUSIONS BASED ON TESTS RUN The inability to learn was due to the fact that she had missed her critical period (From two years of age to puberty) . In adverse childhood circumstances, language seems more vulnerable than other cognitive faculties. In cases of deprivation, speech appears to be more retarted than comprehension. It develops more slowly after discovery. Interpersonal contact makes an important contribution to the speed and success of late language development
RESULTS OF TESTS ON GENIE At first, Genie was unwilling to cooperate. Researchers had to wait 11 months to run tests therefore making it hard to truly assess Genies linguistic capabilities. At first, it was clear Genie could understand more than she was able to speak. Slowly, over 2 years, she began to understand more and more. She finally picked up the difference between singular and plural nouns, negative and positive sentence distinctions, possessive constructions, a few prepositions, and some modifications.
Nature vs Nurture The study of feral children has focused on some of the central philosophical and scientific controversies about human nature. Researchers have engaged in debates about nature vs. nurture, which human activities require social instruction, whether there is a critical period for language acquisition, and to what extent education can compensate for delayed development and limited intelligence.
The Critical Period Hypothesis Lenneberg 1967 Before age 2 language acquisition is not possibe because the human brain is not sufficiently mature. After puberty the natural language acquisition is not obtainable because the brain is physiologically mature. So, In order to acquire language there are two necessary requirements. A human brain Sufficient exposure to language during this critical period between the age of two and puberty.
The Interest in Feral Children We can learn things that we couldn’t ethically learn from experiments Origins of language and other human attributes How close is human nature to animal nature? What aspects of human nature are genetic, and what aspects are learned? Could we learn how to speak to animals, or could we teach animals to speak to humans?
Conclusion stories of feral children have intrigued many people - especially scientists and educators - for possible clues as to the effect of socialization on language and communication skills, learned aspects of human behavior and development and the true nature of humans. Studies of feral children have led to new methods for teaching children with learning disabilities, and indirectly to the development of Braille and sign language