DOC

L-U10-E2-G6 Q1,2,3

By Timothy Evans,2014-06-27 23:22
5 views 0
L-U10-E2-G6 Q1,2,3

    Chapter 10 Language Acquisition

    Question 1, 2, 3

    1. Try to explain the following terms:

    (1) Language Acquisition: It refers to the child’s acquisition of his

    mother tongue, i.e. how the child comes to understand and speak the

    language of his community.

    (2) Language Acquisition Device (LAD): The LAD was described as

    an imaginary black box existing somewhere in the human brain.

    The “black box” is said to contain principles that are universal to all

    human languages. Children need to access to the samples of a

    natural language to activate the LAD, which enables them to

    discover his language’s structure by matching the innate knowledge

    of basic grammatical system to that particular language. (3) Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH): The CPH refers to the specific

    and limited time period for language acquisition. There are two

    versions of the CPH. While the strong one suggests that children

    must acquire their first language by puberty or they will never be

    able to learn from subsequent exposure, the weak one holds that

    language learning will be more difficult and incomplete after

    puberty.

    2. Among the language acquisition theories mentioned in this

    chapter, which one do you think is more reasonable and

    convincing? Explain why.

    (1) Behaviorist view---language is behavior, language learning is simply a matter of imitation and habit formation. In this theory, imitation and practice are preliminary, discrimination and generalization are key to

    language development.

    ;2An innatist view----In the human brain, there is an imaginary “black box” called Language acquisition device which is said to contain principles that are universal to all language. Children need access to the samples of a natural language to activate the LAD, which enables them to discover his language’s structure by matching the innate knowledge of basic grammatical system to that particular language. Later Chomsky prefer this innate endowment as UG and hold that if children are pre-equipped with UG, then what they have to learn is the ways in which their own language make use of these principles and the variations in those principles which may exist in the particular language they are learning.

    (3) An interactionist view----language develops as a result of the complex interplay, between the human characteristics of the child and the environment in which child develops.

    (4) In a word, Behaviorists view sounds reasonable in explaining the routine aspects, the innatist accounts most reasonable in explaining

    children’s acquiring complex system, and the interactionist description convincing in understanding how children learn and use the language appropriately from their environment.

    3. Which of the following statements are true and which are false? Why?

    a. All normal children have equal ability in learning their first language.

    ---True.

    Reason: Because of Language Acquisition Device (LAD). Children

    need access to the samples of a natural language to activate the LAD, which enables them to discover his language’s structure by matching the

    innate knowledge of basic grammatical system to that particular language. And children who have hearing impairment, mental retardation, autism,

    and stuttering, aphasia, dyslexia, dysgraphia cannot have the equal ability

    in learning their first language.

b. It is easy for parents to teach their children grammar.

    ---False.

    Reason: Because childrens grammatical development is gradual and

    some subtle grammatical distinctions may not be mastered much before the age of ten.

    c. The young child is not taught to speak, or to understand his language. There is formal learning of grammar or pronunciation practice.

    ---True.

    Reason: Because the young childs language acquisition of his mother

    tongue, i.e. how the child comes to understand and speak the language of his community.

d. At first children do not inflect nouns or verbs.

    ---True.

    Reason: Because at the beginning, childrens language is totally about

    content.

    e. Children learn their native language well whenever they start and whatever kinds of language samples they receive.

    ---False.

    Reason: Because of Critical Period Hypothesis. While the strong one suggests that children must acquire their first language by puberty or they will never be able to learn from subsequent exposure, the weak one holds that language learning will be more difficult and incomplete after puberty.

    f. For a child to acquire his mother tongue the most basic requirement is that he hears people speaking this language. He will then begin to learn

the language.

    ---True.

     Reason: Because of the effect of different factors, such as motivation, personality, etc.

    g. Phonology and grammar are finite, tightly structured systems; the child must master them before puberty in order to be a native speaker of the language.

    ---True.

    Reason: Because when a child acquires his native language he needs language environment. Language environment is essential in providing input for language acquisition, without which language acquisition seems impossible.

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com