Homework Help

what are the theories of child language acquisition?no thanks

user profile pic

tuhinzia | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted July 18, 2012 at 6:34 AM via web

dislike 0 like

what are the theories of child language acquisition?

no thanks

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

cgrant2 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 18, 2012 at 10:44 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

There are a couple of theories related to child language acquisition. I am mentioning three of the most important theories: 

Nativist Theory 

The nativist theory states that children had an LAD, or innate language acquistion device that allows them to learn vocabulary words and form sentences using the vocabulary they have already learned. Vocabulary is acquired through listening to others. This indicated that children learn vocabulary through listening to the people around them. 

Behaviorist Theory 

The behaviorist theory operate on operant conditioning, which was proposed by B.F. Skinner. Operant conditioning operates based on rewards. When someone does something good, then they get rewarded. If they don't, they don't get rewarded. In terms of language acquisition of children, parent reward their children when they form vocabulary words. When a child babbles, the parent does not reward the child. When the child learns a new word, the child get rewarded. The reward must be something that the child values in order for this type of conditioning to work properly. Also the reward must be given everytime the child forms a word so that the child can see the benefit of learning new words.  

Empiricial Theory

The empiricial theory goes against the behaviorist theory by saying that there is no need for the LAD model. Children have enough ability to form language with the LAD model. This theory support of the use of technology. Scientists use a pattern of sounds and use data to try different mechanisms to learn speech. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes