Conclusions about fla

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CONCLUSIONS ABOUT FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION- Based on Brown, D. 1994 and Applied Linguistics Dictionary

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BEHAVIORISTIC APPROACH:

• Language is a fundamental part of totalhuman being.

• Behaviorist theory argues that human and animal behavior can and should be studied in terms of physical processes only.

• It led to theories of learning which explained how anexternal event caused a change in the behavior of an individual, without using concepts like “mind” or any other kind of mental behavior.

• Operant conditioning: A learning theory proposed bySkinner, an American psychologist. It is a class of conditioning in which an organism(e.g., a child learning its first language) produces an action (e.g. an utterance) which achieves an outcome orpurpose for the child(e.g. to get food). This action is called the operant. If the outcome is favorable the operant is likely to occur again, and is said to be reinforced. The reinforcement can bepositive or negative.

THE NATIVIST APPROACH:

• It is theory that states that human knowledge develops form structures, processes and ideas which are in the mind at birth, rather than form theenvironment, and that these are responsible for the basic structure of language and how it is learned.

• Language Acquisition Device (LAD): Chomsky claimed that every normal human being was bornwith an LAD. It included basic knowledge about the nature and structure of human language. It was offered as an explanation of why children develop COMPETENCE in their first language in a relativelyshort time, merely by being exposed to it.

FUNCTIONAL APPROACHES:

• According to Bloom, children learn underlying structures and not superficial word order.

• According to Piaget,children learn about language determined by what they already know about the world.

• The functional approach is concerned with language as an instrument of social interaction, rather than as a...
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