The Importance Of Language Acquisition

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Throughout history, many schools of thought have examined humans’ ability to understand and utilize language. Ancient philosophers, like Plato, used their observations to pose notions of language acquisition and early Indian scholars began the first debates between nativists and behaviorists (Stanford Encyclopedia). These early thinkers only touched upon this human process, as our modern day tests have shown that there are specific stages to acquiring language, varying ideas on whether language is innate or learned, and a definitive, but rarely studied, window for any human to acquire language. Communication through language is a trait specific to only humans. In K.L. Sakai 's "Language Acquisition and Brain Development", Language Acquisition is described as "the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language, as well as to produce and use words and sentences". As mentioned earlier, there are different ideas on whether language is innate or learned. The main ideas surrounding…show more content…
Shattuck writes about one of the most famous feral child cases in his book The Forbidden Experiment: The Story of the Wild Boy of Aveyron, which delves into the discovery of a prepubescent boy, Victor, with habits more animalistic than human and no language skills. Jean Itard, a medical student, studied Victor’s educational progress to collect evidence on what distinguishes humans from animals. Though Victor never acquired anything more than what Itard described as a ‘primitive form of unspoken communication’, he did show progress in his human interactions and use of empathy. Shattuck believes that Victor experience a mental or psychological disturbance before being abandoned, which may explain why Victor was able to adapt his interactions under Itard’s

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