Language Acquisition Theories

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A brief summary of several Language Acquisition Theories.

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Language Acquisition Theories
1 Behaviorist theory.
1.1 B.F skinner proposed that language acquisition is learned the same way as any behavior. By positive and negative reinforcements. Children are viewed as passive recipients of language.
1.1.1 Example: Children may be given stickers or trinkets for correct language usage and are repremanded for poor language usage.
2 Psycolinguistic Model
2.1 Noam Chomsky advocates that children are born pre-wired to learn language. Children need only be exposed to learn it. Deals with Universal Grammar as mentioned before.
3 Cognitive Model
3.1 Piaget was influential in this theory. Proposes that Children talk because they have something to talk about. Children have experiences first...and then have something to talk about. Cognition occurs first, and then the appropriate language will follow
4 Social Interactions Model
4.1 Halladay and Pinet were apart of constructing this theory. Consists of different categories of language. instrumental, regulatory, personal, imaginative, interactional, heuristic language, and informative. Each of these categories are viewed as essential assets of language that all people need to communicate successfully Teachers must allow students growth in all 7 of these models.
4.1.1 Teachers should know the different categories and give focus to all 7 of them for children to acquire language successfully and fully.
5 Stephen Krashen Theory
5.1 We acquire language only 1 way. When we UNDERSTAND messages. We call this comprehensible input. When we understand WHAT people say and NOT HOW they say it. You're speaking ability would emerge gradually as you are exposed continually to a new language. When you start to speak, it is not the beginning of your language acquisition. You may listen for a very long time before you actually speak. This time is crucial to acquiring language.
5.1.1 Example: Learners should not be taught HOW to say something but understand WHAT is being said. When you understand that is when you learn
6 Noam Chovsky's Univeral grammer
6.1 Univeral Grammer refers to the essential parts of ALL languages. Specifically the nouns, verbs, and adjectives. All languages have certain things that are essential and the same across all language.
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