FIRST language acquisition – BROWN
I. THEORIES OF FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
• B.F. Skinner
• language is a fundamental part of total human behaviour
• language is a set of habits that can be acquired by a process of conditioning
• focus on the immediately perceptible aspects of linguistic behaviour (the publicly observable responses) and the relationships between these responses
• according to behaviourism, the effective language behaviour is the production of correct responses to stimuli
• if a response is reinforced, it then become habitual or conditioned
NATIVISM (nativist approach)
• N. Chomsky
• the term “nativist” is derived from the belief that language acquisition is innately determined – that a child is born with an innate knowledge of or predisposition toward language and that this innate property (the LAD) is universal in all human beings
• Language Acquisition Device (LAD) – consists of 4 features:
o the ability to distinguish speech sounds from other sounds in the environment
o the ability to organize linguistic data into various classes that can later be refined [udoskonalić]
... to rely on general intellectual growth. Theories of language acquisition The Behaviorist Interpretation Stimulus -> Response (S -> R) view of all behavior ... tasks by encouraging habit-forming. Researchers rewarded desirable behaviour. This was known as positive reinforcement. Undesirable behaviour was punished or simply not rewarded ...
o knowledge that only a certain kind of linguistic system is possible and that other kinds are not
o the ability to engage in constant evaluation of the developing linguistic system so as to construct the simplest possible system out of the available linguistic input
UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR (UG)
• researchers expanded the LAD notion into a system of universal linguistic rules that went well beyond what was originally proposed for the LAD
• attempts to discover what it is that all children, regardless of their environmental stimuli (the language[s] they hear around them) bring to the language acquisition process
• such studies have looked at various grammatical phenomena, e.g.:
o question formation
o word order
o subject deletion
The child’s language at any stage is systematic – the child is constantly forming hypotheses on the basis of the input received and then testing those hypotheses in speech and comprehension. As the child’s language develops, those hypotheses are continually revised, reshaped or sometimes abandoned.
• focus on the deeper functional levels of meaning constructed from social interaction
Functions – the meaningful, interactive purposes within a social context that we accomplish with the forms
• J. Piaget:
o described overall development as the result of children’s interaction with their environment
o what children learn about language is determined by what they already know about the world
II. COMPETENCE AND PERFORMANCE
Competence – refers to one’s underlying knowledge of a system, event or a fact. It is the non-observable ability to do something or to perform something.
Performance – the overtly observable and concrete realization of competence. It is the actual doing of something: walking, singing, dancing, speaking.
Language competence – one’s underlying knowledge of the system of a language – its rules of grammar, its vocabulary, all the pieces of a language and how those pieces fit together.
Language performance – actual production (speaking, writing) or the comprehension (listening, reading) of linguistic events.
... and Affective Aspects of Early Language Development Child Development, Dec71, Vol. 42 Issue 6, ... early communicative and linguistic development.. Child: Care, Health & Development, Nov2005, Vol. 31 ... communicate and also demonstrate increasing competence in intentionally conveying meanings to ... to language, a symbolic system of communication. During the toddler years, language development is ...
Heterogeneous competence – abilities that are in the process of being formed. All of child’s (or adult’s) slips and hesitations and self-corrections are connoted with it.
III. COMPREHENSION AND PRODUCTION
• they can be aspects of both performance and competence
• the general superiority of comprehension over production – children (and even adults) understand more than they can actually produce
IV. NATURE AND NURTURE
[tu jest to chujowo opisane wiec zajrzyjcie sobie do mojego opracowania FLA z Ellis bo tam to jest opisane]
V. PIAGET AND VYGOTSKY
• described overall development as the result of children’s interaction with their environment
• what children learn about language is determined by what they already know about the world
• claimed that cognitive [poznawczy] development is at the very centre of the human organism and that language is dependent upon and springs from cognitive development.
• differed from Piaget
• claimed that social interaction, through language, is a prerequisite [wymóg, warunek wstępny] to cognitive development
• Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development – the distance between a child’s actual cognitive [poznawczy] capacity and the level of potential development
• one of the important strategies a child uses in the acquisition of language
• children are good imitators
• echoing – a particularly salient [istotny] strategy in early language learning and an important aspect of early phonological acquisition
• 2 types of imitation:
o surface-structure imitation – a person repeats or mimic the surface strings [ciąg] and doesn’t pay attention to the meaning. The earliest stages of child language acquisition may manifest a good deal of surface imitation
Child language acquisition: nature or nurture? (final version) Introduction The study of language development, one of the most fascinating human achievements, has a long ... Rodman & Hyams, 2003). Do children learn language through imitation? Imitation is involved to some extent, of course, but the early words and sentences that ...
Example: rote pattern drills in the classroom – a repetition of sounds by the student without the vaguest [mglisty, niewyraźny] understanding of what the sounds might possibly mean
o deep-structure imitation – attending more to [zająć się] meaning than form
• very important
• a child “practises” language constantly, especially in the early stages of single-word and two-word utterances
• children’s practice seems to be a key to language acquisition
• its role in the child’s acquisition of language is crucial
• the speech that young children hear is primarily parental speech or the speech of older siblings
• adult input seems to shape the child’s acquisition and the interaction between child and parent change according to the increasing language skill of the child
• conversations can be examined in terms of initiations and responses – the child learns not only how to initiate a conversation but how to respond to another’s initiating utterance
• children learn that utterances have both a literal and an intended or functional meaning
Example: in the case of the question “Can you go to the movies tonight?”, the response “I’m busy” is understood correctly as a negative response (“I can’t go to the movies”)