Most of the child language acquisition theories all have the same
general idea, that language is acquired through repetition and
The behaviourist approach states ‘that children learn to speak by
imitating the language structures they hear’. Covering both aspects of
the statement at the beginning which is ‘hearing English and trying to
speak it yourself are the only tools’.
The interactive approach states ‘recent studies have shown the
importance of interaction’ which again is the tools of listening and
speaking in order to acquire the language.
All of these approaches support the statement at hand. However some
approaches disagree with it all together.
The cognitive approach believes ‘language acquisition is directly
linked to intellectual development’ in other words that as the child
matures so does the language somehow.
At the extreme end of the scale we have the nativists. The nativists
believe that ‘children are born with an innate capacity for language
development’. Meaning that children are though to be born already with
the capacity to learn language. But this approach does not cover all
the aspects of humans such as deaf people.
So how does language acquisition work in the first place?
First language acquisition is remarkable for the speed at which it
takes place. All normal children, regardless of culture Develop
language at roughly the same time, along much the same schedule.
However there are some general ‘basic requirements’ such as the first
two or three years are vital and require the interaction between the
child and other language users to help with t...
... middle of paper ...
a book.’ This is called a holophrase. If a baby wants a bottle and
is just beginning to learn to use language to manipulate, he may point
to his bottle, say (or scream) ‘ba’ or ‘baba,’ which obviously means,
‘give me my bottle, now!’ Of course this becomes problematic when a
child yells ‘BA!’ and the parent do not know whether he wants a bottle
or a ball or a book, or if he just feels like yelling.
So in conclusion, I believe that the opening statement ‘Hearing
English and trying to speak it yourself are the only tools you have at
your disposal when you are learning your native language.’ Is a true
statement. This is because of all of the theories and known facts
about child language acquisition all say basically that hearing and
speaking English is all that a child will use in order to acquire that
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