Theorists Of Language Acquisition

In this document it contains notes on theorists such as; B.F. Skinner, Jean Piaget, Michael Halliday, Chall's stages of Reading Devlopment and also the skills required for proficient reading.

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
Theorists of Language Acquisition...
B.F. Skinner (Burrhus Frederic Skinner).
Radical behaviourism seeks to understand as a function of environmental
histories of reinforcing consequences.
Reinforcement processes were emphasized by Skinner, and were seen as
primary in the shaping of behaviour.
A common misconception is that negative reinforcement is some form of
punishment.
This misconception is rather pervasive, and is commonly found in every
scholarly accounts of Skinner and his contributions. To be clear, while
positive reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the application
of some event (e.g., praise after some behavior is performed), negative
reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the removal or avoidance
of some aversive event (e.g., opening and raising an umbrella over your
head on a rainy day is reinforced by the cessation of rain falling on you).
Both types of reinforcement strengthen behavior, or increase the
probability of a behavior reoccurring; the difference is in whether the
reinforcing event is something applied (positive reinforcement) or
something removed or avoided (negative reinforcement). Punishment and
extinction have the effect of weakening behavior, or decreasing the
probability of a behavior reoccurring, by the application of an aversive
event (punishment) or the removal of a rewarding event (extinction).
Skinner suggested that a child imitates the language of its parents or carers.
Successful attempts are rewarded because an adult who recognises a word
spoken by a child will praise the child and/or give it what it is asking for.
Successful utterances are therefore reinforced while unsuccessful ones are
forgotten.

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
Jean Piaget
The four development stages are described in Piaget's theory as:
Sensorimotor Stage: from birth to age 2. Children experience the world
through movement and senses (use five senses to explore the world).
During the sensorimotor stage children are extremely egocentric, meaning
they cannot perceive the world from others' viewpoints. The sensorimotor
stage is divided into six sub stages:
(1) Simple reflexes;
Simple reflexes are from birth to 1 month old.…read more

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
They also understand object permanence during this stage. That is, they
understand that objects continue to exist even when they can't see them.
(5) Tertiary circular reactions, novelty, and curiosity;
The fifth stage occurs from 12 months old to 18 months old. During this
stage infants explore new possibilities of objects; they try different things
to get different results.
(6) Internalization of schemes.
During the last stage they are 18 to 24 months old.…read more

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
Pragmatic Theorist...
Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday:
Halliday (1975) identifies seven functions that language has for children in their
early years. Children are motivated to acquire language because it serves
certain purposes or functions for them.
The first four functions help the child to satisfy physical, emotional and social
needs.
Halliday calls them instrumental, regulatory, interactional, and personal
functions.
(1) Instrumental: This is when the child uses language to express their
needs (e.g.…read more

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
(1) Stage 0: Prereading: The learner gains familiarity with the language and its
sounds. A person in this stage becomes aware of sound similarities between
words, learns to predict the next part in a familiar story, and may start to
recognize a few familiar written words. Chall's Stage 0 is considered
comparable to what is often called "reading readiness." Typically
developing readers achieve this stage about the age of 6.…read more

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Shikisha Mabbott 13EMRChild Language Acquisition January 12, 2010
(5) Stage 4: Multiple viewpoints: The reader at this stage begins to be able to
analyze what they read, understand different points of view, and react
critically to what they read. Typical readers are developing this skill set
during the high school years, around ages 14 to 19.…read more

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