Theorists (Child Language Acquisition)

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  • Created on: 31-12-12 17:51
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Child Language Acquisition
Social Interactionalist (Bruner)
Stress role of interaction by others and their input.
Routine/Rituals teach children about spoken discourse structure.
Learning politeness strategies/pragmatics.
Halliday's pragmatic studies.
Jim (Bard and Sachs), was born with deaf parents and was `taught' to speak by
watching television, however his speech was stunted and limited. He did not begin to
speak coherently until he had private speech tutoring.
Children from cultures that do not promote interaction can still become articulate and
fluent language users.
Imitation (Skinner)
A theory that focuses on conditioning and reinforcement.
When a child imitates language, and receives approach, this motivates the child to
repeat the behaviour.
Development of regional accents/dialect.
All children pass through the same stages of language development regardless of
reinforcement given. If LA was dependant on reinforcement there would be much more
Children learn grammar rules e.g. wented. Clearly not imitating what they have learnt
nor have they been encouraged to do so.
Ability to produce original sentences.
Ability to hear ungrammatical language and still learn correctly.
Aren't always corrected by parents.
o The `fis' phenomenon. Understand but cannot yet produce.
Cognitive Theories (Piaget)
Stages in language acquisition are said to be linked to stages in cognitive development.
Object permenance: Not complete until 18 months, after this there is a strong increae
in language.
o Once children have realised that objects have an independent existence, the
next step is to learn the names of those objects.
Ability to arrange different size sticks, children who could complete the task used
comparative terms to describe them.
Can't grasp aspects of language until they are ready.
Children with cognitive difficulties can still speak fluently.

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Child Language Acquisition
Children acquire language without having an understanding of it, especially in early
`fis' phenomenon suggests children's cognitive understanding can be present but their
physically development sill impacts their ability to use language.
Innateness (Chomsky)
Children have an inborn ability to extract the rules underlying language from the words they hear
being spoken. He called this the `language acquisition device' (LAD).
Explains speed in which children learn to speak.…read more



Great resource - just so you're aware, it's 'interactionist', not 'interactionalist'

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