Critically Assess The View Put Forward By Linguist Noam Chomsky That Children Are "Predisposed", To Learn Language With Ease Because Their Brains Contain "Language Acquisition Devices".

1433 words - 6 pages

The ability to use language as a mean to interpret the world; to express ourselves; and to communicate with other members in the society is one of fundamental aspect that made human being a distinctive species of living organism. Some psychologists regard it as a “unique human activity” that gives us a tremendous advantage over all other animals (Miller 1981 cited by Kagan & Segal). Acquiring a mother tongue seems come naturally to each individual, regardless of culture and nationality. Comparing to other knowledge, it requires much lesser effort of learning. People may be illiterate but his ability to converse with the others will remain rather unaffected. What this phenomenon is telling us? Is the ability to learn a language innate as suggested by Chomsky? Or people are learning language through observation as suggested by Albert Bandura? And could Skinner’s view towards language development and learning explain it? Which one of them gives us a better explanation of why children develop language in the way they do?Language here, we are referring to the mother tongue of human beings. A baby will try out his vocal organ by making some basic sounds, known as phonemes. And then, he will combine the phonemes to form prefix or suffix that are known as morphemes. With these basic units, language development will go onto the using of words, utterance, speech act and so on. What rule or theory is governing this development?The linguist, Noam Chomsky (1957) believed that all language are grammatically and linguistic universals though they are spoken and written differently. He suggested a hypothetical model: the Language Acquisition Device (LAD), which attempts to explain language development by inferring what must be going on in the child’s brain, but without bring able to observe it directly. The LAD is a device that individuals are born with and because of it individuals are having the ability to formulate and understand all types of sentences even though they have never heard them before (Gross 1992, p.785). Since we cannot observe what is going on in people’s brain, what supporting evidence does Chomsky has for his theory?Most of these supporting evidences are of the biological aspect: (Gross 1992, p.787)1/ Our vocal organs, breathing apparatus, auditory systems and brain are all highly specialized for spoken communication. No other animal can learn to speak as human does. Although there are attempts to teach animals such as chimpanzee to speak, all of them fail except for using some simple sign language.2/ All language are linguistic universals with important common features such as syntactic and grammatical rules, regardless of culture and race. Moreover, since all babies can learn their native tongue with equal ease, it may imply that the universality of language structures is matched with the brain structure that had been programmed from birth in certain way for acquiring language.3/ Different stages of language...

Find Another Essay On Critically assess the view put forward by linguist Noam Chomsky that children are "predisposed", to learn language with ease because their brains contain "language acquisition devices".

How Children Learn Language: Neurobiological Insights Into Language Acquisition During Childhood.

2829 words - 11 pages concerned with this aspect of learning acquisition in children. One of the leading ideas based on behaviour was conveyed by Burrhus Frederic Skinner (Pinker). Skinner believed that Children learned from imitation from people around them, such as their parents and caretakers. His verbal behaviour was based on the idea that the mind consisted to sensory motor abilities including simple law of language that brought gradual changes to an organism’s

Language Acquisition Essay

1779 words - 7 pages . Cognition is also thought to be associated with language. It is seen as a way of positioning our thoughts in a way that is communicable. Many Psychologists are concerned with this aspect of learning acquisition in children. One of the leading ideas based on behaviour was conveyed by Jean Piaget (Vygotsky). Piaget believed that Children learned from imitation from people around them, such as their parents and caretakers

Language Acquisition

3241 words - 13 pages “Debbie wants a cookie”. This demonstrates that children have the desire to speak correctly and have self-motivating traits to communicate. This supports the theory of Noam Chomsky (1972)-that children are able to learn grammar of a particular language because all intelligible languages are founded on a deep structure of universal grammatical rules that corresponds to an innate capacity of the human brain. Adults learning a second language pass

Improving Language Acquisition in Bilingual Children

3205 words - 13 pages the prime time to develop these language processes begins to decline significantly. Another theory researched and investigated is by Teresa Kennedy, a leading neurolinguistic psychologist, who focuses on the relationship of study of the brain to language learning. She suggests that children who learn a language aside from their native language are able to store this information in one sector of the brain, while adult language learners store new

Language Learning vs Language Acquisition

799 words - 3 pages with schools adopting immersion programs to becoming bilingual. (Spanish and English) According to the Honduran Ministry of Education, there are 824 registered schools as “Bilingual” Schools across our country. While the accurateness of bilingual is not verified by the Ministry, the Association of Bilingual Schools in Honduras considers an admissible curriculum that one which has at least 70% of weekly instruction delivered in English. This

The Importance of Language Acquisition

2042 words - 8 pages various languages, it is uncertain that any one language will ever be adopted universally." English and French are difficult to learn and are too closely identified with particular national groups. Basic English, proposed in 1932, was an attempt to remedy the first impediment by reducing the vocabulary to a core of 850 words. For example, enter is replaced by go into, and precede by go in front of (Artificial Language 2). But of all the

Theories of Language Acquisition

966 words - 4 pages basis for a child’s knowledge of language (classical conditioning). Before criticising this view, it should be pointed out that language acquisition must involve a lot of memorising. Clearly, children must hear the words of their language in order to go about storing it in their brains and clearly English children learn English because they are receiving English input. So despite the fact that imitation is necessary for

Which Factors Determine the Differences between Adults' and Children' s Ability to Learn a Second Language?

2244 words - 9 pages conditions setting differently in adults and children have different impacts on their second language capacity. The unequal degree of brain and neural plasticity, of cognition maturity as well as of motivation irrefutably favor adults in some first lapses of the second language acquisition process, with their concession to children in the long run to achieve native-like proficiency. However, be that as it may, it is quite obvious that the younger are

Second Language Acquisition.

3332 words - 13 pages progress by adults than children, as adults use their monitor when producing statements in the target language before having acquired the ability for natural performance, and adults will input more into conversations earlier than children. The Input Hypothesis states that only understandable input will produce acquisition of the target language. It is implied that learners must be exposed to input that is higher than their actual level of

Language Acquisition Principles

1029 words - 4 pages the actual communication that is taking place. When this method is used, the teacher is able to gradually pass more independence on to the student, resulting in growth in language acquisition. This is done by the teacher modeling and describing what is being said which guides the student. Through the built-in routines of response and feedback, with corresponding revision and editing, students are scaffolded to a much higher level of performance

language acquisition process

833 words - 4 pages and the methods they use to teach, as well as provide them with the means by which to accurately assess where a child is at and what their needs for language development are (Campbell & Baker, 2006). Furthermore, they will be best positioned to actually provide for those needs. The context-text model tells us that language and context are systematically and directly linked (Ewing, 2001). Young children tend only to learn language functions

Similar Essays

The Influence Of Noam Chomsky In Child Language Acquisition

2599 words - 10 pages in the innate capacity of children for learning language. As Harris (1990:76) explains, "Chomsky suggested that infants are born with innate knowledge of the properties of language." Further elaborating on Chomskys's belief, Sampson (1997:23) says "Chomsky claims that this process of first language acquisition must be determined in most respects by a genetic programme, so that the development of language in an individuals mind is akin to the

The Question Of Language Acquisition (Lenneberg Vs. Chomsky)

867 words - 3 pages such as, linguistically isolated children (a.k.a. feral children) support Lenneberg's theory of the critical period because they are unable to fully acquire language. 2 Moreover, there is a non-uniform success rate in adults who try to attain a second language yet children can obtain a new language a lot more quickly and sufficiently than adults. 3 It is thought by many that a critical period for acquisition of a language does exist.The most common

Language Acquisition In Children Essay

1607 words - 6 pages implied, children’s complex and creative utterances cannot be explained by a passive response to the language of the environment. In addition, imitation cannot account for common child language mistakes, which are highly unlikely to be failed imitations of what adults would say (Cattell, 2000). Do children learn language through reinforcement? Another proposal is that children learn to produce correct (grammatical) sentences because they are

Children Language Acquisition Essay

844 words - 3 pages language acquisition suggests that children learn to produce "correct" sentence because they are constantly positively reinforced by saying something is right and negatively reinforced by saying something is wrong. In fact, children do not aware what they are doing and are unable to make correction even when others pointed out. Even if syntactic correction occurred more often, it would not explain how or what children learn from such or how