Theories of Language Development

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Skinner (1957)

  • Language is acquired through imitation (repeating what they hear) and reinforcement (recieving praise from caregivers)
  • Children learn specific pronunciations by copying - important to phonological development


* Children do construct their own sentences without copying
* Can't memorise everything they hear
* Doesn't explain overgeneralisations, adults don't make these mistakes!


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