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Theories of Language Acquisition
Behaviorist
Theory
Behaviorist
Theory
B.F. Skinner
Behaviorist
Theory
Languageis acquired
throughprinciples of
conditioning, including
association, imitation, and
reinforcement.
Behaviorist
Theory
According to this view,
children learn words by
associating sounds with
objects, actions, and
events.
Behaviorist
Theory
The theory can be
summed up as: LISTEN,
IMITATE, RECEIVE A
REWARD, REPEAT FOR
RECALL.
Behaviorist
Theory
Criticisms:
• Learningcannot
account forthe rapid
rate at whichchildren
acquire language.
Behaviorist
Theory
Criticisms:
There can be an infinite
number of sentences in a
language. All these
sentences cannot be learned
by imitation.
Behaviorist
Theory
Criticisms:
Children make
errors, such as
overregularizing verbs.
Behaviorist
Theory
Criticisms:
Children acquire language
skills even though adults
do notconsistently correct
their syntax.
Behaviorist
Theory
The theory can be
summed up as: LISTEN,
IMITATE, RECEIVE A
REWARD, REPEAT FOR
RECALL.
Nativist
Theory
Noam Chomsky
Nativist
Theory
Chomsky suggests
that language is an
innate faculty.
Nativist
Theory
Chomsky claims that language
acquisitionis greatlydependentupon a
linguisticfaculty whichhe terms
LanguageAcquisitionDevice(LAD),
an innatemechanism or process that
allowschildrento developlanguage
skillsor Universal Grammar, around
which alllanguagesare built.
Nativist
Theory
Basedon the
assumption,there are
“core” and “language
specific” rules in all
languages.
Nativist
Theory
Whena learner comes across
“languagespecific”he will tend to refer
to his first language(L1). Thus, if a
learner discovers that a second
language (L2) rule is not inaccordance
with the universal rule, he willattempt
to interpret that ruleby means of the
equivalentrule inhis L1.
Interactionist
Theory
Interactionists argue
that language
development is both
biological and social.
Interactionist
Theory
They also argue that
language learning is
influenced by the desire
of children to
communicate with others.
Interactionist
Theory
Theybelievethat "childrenareborn
with a powerful brain thatmatures
slowlyand predisposesthem to
acquirenew
understandingsthatthey are
motivatedto share with others"
(Bates,1993;Tomasello,1995, as cited in shaffer,et
al.,2002,p.362).
Interactionist
Theory
They also argue that
language learning is
influenced by the desire
of children to
communicate with others.
Theories of Language Acquisition
Theories of Language Acquisition
Theories of Language Acquisition
Theories of Language Acquisition

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Theories of Language Acquisition

Editor's Notes

  1. For example, a child may say Billy hitted me, incorrectly adding the usual past tense suffix -ed to hit. Errors like these can’t result from imitation, since adults generally use correct verb forms.
  2. we are born with a set of rules about language in our heads which he refers to as the 'Universal Grammar'.
  3. The core rules are those which are present in all natural languages. The language specific rules may be found in only one or two languages. A second language learner learns “core” rules with ease while the “language specific” ones appears to be much harder to master.
  4. The main theorist associated with interactionist theory is Lev Vygotsky.Interactionists focus on Vygotsky's model of collaborative learning ( Shaffer,et al.,2002). Collaborative learning is the idea that conversations with older people  can helpchildren both cognitively and linguistically ( Shaffer,et.al,2002).