Day 2–Cementing the Learning

27 Sep

I actually wrote that last post yesterday.  And you can see there’s a lot less red (things I got wrong or couldn’t remember).

Also, as a side-note, it really bothers me that whoever it is, doesn’t use the terminology genetic and environmental influence, which I find more technical and accurate.  Plus nature and nurture are pretty similar words–both starting with n and containing two syllables, and could create confusion.  Not to mention being sort of watered down in meaning. . .

Anyhow, back to it:

Nurture (Enviro)

1.  Behaviorist Theory-

Language is not innate or special, it’s just another behavior.

Operant conditioning- Reinforced behaviors are strengthened, punished behaviors are REPRESSED.

Exp:  Swearing.

2.  Social-Interactionist Theory-

Language is learned through SOCIAL INTERACTION with a more capable person.  Then, it’s internalized to a psychological plane.

ZONE of Proximal Development (ZPD)-The difference between the child’s actual ability (as evidenced by individual problem solving) and their potential development (found through collaborative effort with someone more capable).

Exp:  Scaffolding rhymes.

3.  Intenistist Theory-

Child drives own language learning.  The tension between wanting to communicate own intentions to other people, and the ability for communicating drives the child to learn language.

Exp:  “Zip me up!”

4.  Cognitive Theory

Cognitive development must precede language learning.

Evidenced by monlogues (egocentric speech) turning into dialogues.  Draws on theory of mind where the child understands other people have different ideas, feelings, and thoughts AND can put themself in someone else’s perspective.

Exp:  The phoneme acquisition order follows general development stages.

5.  Competition Theory

Different forms of language compete, until a reliably heard (correctversion is strengthened.

Evidenced by over-generalization-applying the rule too much.

Exp:  Preschool positive language learning environment vs. neglect situation.

6.  Usage-Based Theory

Children attend to and understand other people’s intentions, and mimic communication actions in order to learn language.

Exp:  A baby laughs when the adults laugh during an adult conversation.

Nature (genetic):

1.  Modularity Theory-

Language is innate and localized in highly specific structures/modules of the brain.

Exp:  Children with one area of impaired language can excel in a different language area.

2.  Universal Grammar Theory-

All children are born with knowledge of grammar and language catagories common to all language in general.  Input shows children parameters of language rules specific to their own language community.

Exp:  Children’s language acquisition vs. Alex the talking bird’s.

3.  Semantic Bootstrapping-

Figuring out an unknown word using other words in the context.

4.  Syntactic Bootstrapping-

Ascertaining the part of speech from place in the sentence an unknown word is located, and using grammatical context to learn the word.


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