English Language A2 Language Acquisition and Change

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  • Created on: 28-05-13 10:12
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Language Acquisition (Speaking)
Nativist perspective argues that humans are biologically programmed to gain knowledge.
o Language Acquisition Device (LAD) children have a built in special place in
the brain where language is genetically programmed
Behaviourists argue that language is learnt interaction and operant/classical conditioning. The
main theorist is Skinner
o States that all behaviour is conditioned e.g. punished or rewarded until it
becomes natural and automatic
o Cannot explain why children are able to make up phrases that they have
never heard before
o Language is acquired through imitation and reinforcement. Children repeat
language heard around them
o Opposes Chomsky's theory
Interactionists argue that language development is both biological and social and that
language learning is influenced by the desire of children to communicate with others
Vygotsky (Social Development):
o Sociocultural theory ­ Zone of proximal development (ZPD): Emphasises
the idea of adult carers providing children with a 'model' for language use in
everyday situations
o The model for language use provided intentionally by adults is referred to as
o Language Acquisition Support System (LASS)
LASS, is the idea that caregivers support their children's linguistic
development in social situations, by interacting and encouraging the
child to respond (by pointing, asking questions).
Feral children support this as they haven't experienced interaction
and there for cant talk

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Cognitive theories go hand in hand with Social Interactionist theories as they see how adult
input helps children's understanding:
o Development Stages Of Children's Linguistic Development
Sensorimotor (Up To 2):
Child Experiences The Physical World
Object Permanence Develops ­ The Concept That Objects
Exist When Out Of Sight
PreOperational (27):
Language And Motor Skills Develop And Become More
Language Is Egocentric
Concrete Operational (711):
Children Begin Thinking Logically About Concrete Events
Formal Operational (11+):
Abstract reasoning skills develop
Critical Period:
The critical…read more

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It tested the ­s plural to see if children could form the plural `wugs'
o ¾ of the 45 year olds formed the regular plural `wugs'
o Length of utterance theory considered to be the most effective way of
measuring a child length of utterance
Burko and Brown:
o Child saying `fis' rather than `fish'
o Labelling: simply naming or identifying a person, object or experience
o Repeating: echoing something spoken by an adult speaker
o Answering: giving a direct response to…read more

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o Analogical
o Mismatch statements
Sociodramatic play:
o Involves both social and dramatic skill with rules and real life behaviour
o Children can practise social interactions and negotiation skills
Over generalisations/ virtuous errors:
o `I runned' grammatical mistakes
Positive and Negative Reinforcement:
o Positive:
When behaviour is rewarded including verbal praise
o Negative:
When undesirable behaviour is unrewarded with the intention that it
won't be repeated
Stages of Language Development:
o Holophrastic
1218 months
o Two words
1824 months
o Telegraphic
2436…read more

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Consonant Cluster Reduction:
o Reducing words down to smaller units
`pider' for `spider'
Deletion of Unstressed Syllables:
o Omitting opening syllable
`nana' for `banana'
Word Classes:
Nouns and Pronouns:
Nouns ­ names of objects, feelings, attitudes, people or places
o Abstract ­ refers to feelings, something you cant touch
o Concrete ­ objects with physical existence
o Proper ­ names of people or places `London, Paris'
Noun phrases ­ short sentences with the main focus being a noun
o `The times, the noisy party'
Modifier…read more

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Ouch! wow! yuck! oh!'
o `What a flop that's amazing'
Sentence Types:
Minor doesn't include the necessary subject or verb
Simple ­ only has one main clause
Compound sentences ­ two or more main clause
Complex ­ sentence has a subordinate clause which doesn't make sense on its own
Declarative ­ stating something
Interrogative ­ asking questions
Imperative ­ expresses commands or invites
Exclamation ­outburst of a comment
Doing and being words
Infinitive ­ word with `to' in front if it
o To be…read more

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Post telegraphic
(Link to context)
Section 1: Identify CDS
CDS strategies:
Talk slower
Longer gaps between sentences
Simple sentences
One word utterances
Absence of pronouns
Absence of past tenses
Questions and commands
Fewer verbs, modifiers, adjectives
Use of concrete nouns
Use of recasting ­ where the child's vocabulary is put into a new utterance
o Theorists:
Skinner ­ positive and negative reinforcement
Nelson ­ expand on the child's utterance
Clark and Clark ­ children benefit and progress more if
exposed to CDS…read more

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o Language Acquisition Support System (LASS)
o Parentchild interactions with books
Gaining attention: getting the babies attention on a picture
Query: asking the baby what the object in the picture is
Label: telling the baby what the object in the picture is
Feedback: responding to the babies utterance
The `Look and Say' Approach
o Children learn the shape of words, not breaking them down phonologically.
With the `look and say' method, children learn to recognise whole words or
sentences rather than individual phonemes.…read more

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Approaches to Learning to Read:
The two main approaches to teaching phonics are analytic and synthetic:
Analytic phonics Synthetic phonics
Children learn: Children learn:
to break down whole words into to remember up to 44 phonemes and their
phonemes and graphemes, looking for related graphemes (one phoneme can be
phonetic or orthographic patterns represented by different graphemes, for
to decode words by separating them into example `ough', `ow' and `oa'
smaller units: to recognise each grapheme, sound out
onset (the vowel or syllable at the…read more


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