Language Acquisition Essay

Language Acquisition Essay

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What is language? Language is a set of arbitrary symbols that enables every individual in the community to communicate and interact. These symbols contain acceptable meanings by the society and culture. Possessing a language is essential in all human; every normal human speaks but nonhuman does not. Acquisition, on the other hand, means learning or getting. Therefore, language acquisition basically means the learning or the gaining of a language. Language acquisition is normally viewed as a part of cognitive science. Many psychologists like Pavlov, Skinner, Jean Piaget, Vygotsky and Chomsky had done researches on this particular field. Language acquisition is an interesting subject to study and discuss on. Every normal child acquires his or first language – usually the mother tongue successfully in their first few years. The matter that most psychologists concern on is the critical age in first language acquisition. Is there a limit in the aspect of age for first language acquisition? Is it true that once a child passes the critical age, he will not be able to learn a language properly?
Noam Chomsky proposed that language learning is innate. This simply means that human are born with wired-in capability of acquiring language. All children are able to discover the structures and rules of their native languages themselves. He claimed that children need not be taught formally to acquire language; input does not play an important role. Unlike what Behaviorists had proposed earlier that learning is an imitation, Chomsky stated that language acquisition involves very minimum imitation. Even though language is a complex system, children are able to acquire it without much effort and in a short period of time. Chomsky had also claimed t...


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... on Language and Deaf Education. Washington: Gallaudet University Press.
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7. http://www.tsuyama-ct.ac.jp/kats/papers/kn7/kn7.htm Retrieved on March 5, 2010
8. http://www.timothyjpmason.com/WebPages/LangTeach/Licence/CM/OldLectures/L3_ExtremeCircs.htm Retrieved on March 5, 2010
9. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Critical_period_-_Linguistics/id/4954851 Retrieved on March 5, 2010
10. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Language_acquisition_-_The_Critical_Period_Hypothesis/id/5222171 Retrieved on March 5, 2010
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