Being Rased In A Silent Childhood

1109 words - 4 pages

A Silent Childhood, Childhood is such a precious, yet trenchant part of life. We all have memories of our days as children along with stories of lessons learned. Childhood is reflected by most as being a time of bliss and enlightenment. As I recall my childhood an avalanche of mixed feelings suffocates me. Would I be able to interpret these feelings if I had not learned language? More importantly, is it possible to teach language after the critical period has been extinguished? This is the prominent question that arose in my mind as I read A Silent Childhood. The researchers' goal was to establish if Genie was capable of language after eleven years of isolation. Also, how much of language, if any is innate, and how much is learned? Genie? First of all, that name bothers me. Why in the world would someone name the child Genie? Granted, it was during the seventies when these events occurred, however, that is the best name they could conjure up? Webster's dictionary defines a genie as a supernatural spirit that often takes human form. Were the researchers inferring that they did not view this poor child as human? Why not name her something ladylike and promising like Hope or Heaven. With a child like Genie who was deprived of any sort of nurturing and positive reinforcement, I would think the name would be the first place to start in reconciling the child with a positive outlook upon herself and the world. A name like Genie gives me the impression that it is going to take magic to repair all the damage that has been done. The article later stated that Genie liked when she was described as pretty. Wouldn't it have been great if her name made her feel pretty? Since a name is something one hears hundreds time a day, the repetition of a beautiful name would redirect the negative thoughts that were pounded in her head for so many years. Speaking of years, Genie was thirteen when her mother stumbled into the social welfare office. Scientists don't agree how language is acquired, but they do agree that the first years of life a critical for language. Some scientists even believe that language is almost impossible to learn after the age of seven, six years before Genie was brought in for help. Behaviorists like B.F. Skinner believed language is learned through imitation, association of sights and sounds of words, and reinforcement. Genie was not exposed to any of this. Linguist Noam Chomsky believes that when a child is given the adequate nurture, language just happens to the child. Genie was not given the adequate nurture either. Because of this and the terrible condition she was in, I would have taken care of her emotional and physical needs first. Putting her in the hospital was the right idea, but that particular hospital was not the best place. Even though the hospital was well known, it was perhaps too well known. There was a tremendous amount of commotion and this is exactly what Genie didn't need. I would have put her hospital that was smaller and...

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