Role of External and Internal Factors of First Language Acquisition

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When a child is first born, they are catapulted into a world of language. They are exposed to varying vocabulary, grammar and intonation and depending on where they live in the world, they will acquire the language of their care givers. The world around them is an external factor that carves First Language Acquisition into a child so young. Language is thought to be “the central factor in the social life of infants”. (Eve V. Clark, 2009) Language is how we, as human beings, communicate. It is vital to our survival. It expresses when we are exhilarated or exhausted, furious or frustrated, anxious or audacious. Without this, we are mute. Therefore, acquiring language once born, is paramount to our existence. According to Noam Chomsky, The human capacity for language is a device that resides in us all. This means we take in information from our environment (an external factor) and we process this as an output and thus have the ability to speak and understand a language. This idea is called Language Acquisition Device (LAD). (Hoff, 2009) The role of external and internal factors in first language acquisition is crucial. They play a major part in the critical period of learning in the child. External factors can be broken down into social external and individual external factors. The social factors include; socio-economic status (Hoff-Ginsberg, 1998) and birth order (Coates & Messer, 1996), it has also been argued that gender may have a part to play in first language acquisition. From studies on boys and girls under L1 learning, “girls acquire vocabulary at a slightly faster rate than boys”. (Singleton and Ryan, Language Acquisition: The age factor 2004). The individual external factors include the child’s environment and social i... ... middle of paper ... their child to measure input. The book used was a book called “Baby Faces” (1998) was used by both mothers and fathers. This study found that father education and vocabulary use with their six month old child during the picture book session were significantly related to child communication development at fifteen months and later child development at thirty-six months. The study showed that when fathers used more varying vocabulary with their child, the child had a more advanced communication skill at 15 months and more advanced expressive language development at thirty-six months. Works Cited FLP; Vernon-Feagans et al., 2008 Barnes et al., 1983 Lightbown, Spada, 2006 Fromkin et al. 1974 Emmorey, 2002 Chapman, 1995 Singleton, D. and Ryan, L. 2004) Lenneberg 1967:155 Hoff, 209; Mowder, 1997; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000 Dill, 1990

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