Throughout the twentieth century many theories attempting to explain the process undertaken by children learning their first language, with the theory of imitation, theory of child-directed speech, and theory of reinforcement being only some of the theories proposed. However, each of these theories fails to explain all the complex factors involved in language learning, which is why theory of Universal Grammar is the most accepted hypothesis around the world today (Fomkin et al. 2014, pp.229-304). The theory of Universal Grammar argues that the understanding and knowledge of a language is not entirely learned after birth, but that rather there is a degree of innateness as language is a part of the genetic framework. This theory goes on to explain that the developmental stages of learning a language are universal to all humans and that the amount grammar people gain knowledge of is mostly undetermined by linguistic life experience. These hypotheses that the theory of Universal Grammar make are proven...
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...rst language as a child and a second, third, or fourth language as an adult, it is clear that the processes are not essentially the same, despite there being some similarities. This is because in first language acquisition the process occurs alongside the development of the brain and relies on innateness found in early childhood for language attainment. However, in second language acquisition as an adult, the process of learning relies largely on the transferring of knowledge from the first language to the second, with only a small amount of innateness remaining. These fundamental differences mean that the overall process of learning a language for the first time as a child and for subsequent times as an adult is different. This indicates to the necessity of further research on second language acquisition, in order for adults to be as proficient as possible.
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The Theory Of Learning About Language Acquisition And How Children Acquire Their First Or Second Language
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