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Which is more important for learning language: nature (i.e. biology), nurture (i.e....

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natralee | Student, Graduate | Salutatorian

Posted November 28, 2012 at 1:21 PM via web

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Which is more important for learning language: nature (i.e. biology), nurture (i.e. environment and experience), or both? Why?

Language development proposed by Noam Chomsky

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM (Answer #1)

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A combination of both innate capability and environment is necessary for language acquisition. The vast majority of humans have the innate capability to acquire language, unless they incur some form of damage to the language centers of the brain. On the other hand, those who have not been exposed to any language at all when young, at a time the brain is still plastic, are unlikely to be able to acquire language at a later time. People raised in a linguistically enriched childhood environment are likely to be more skilled at language use than those for whom this is not the case. Finally, those who learn second  languages as adults are less likely to acquire near-native speaker fluency (especially accents) than those who learned those languages as children.

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hishamnajam | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM (Answer #2)

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I think the Environment and Experience (nurture) matters the most. If we talk about learning a foreign language then the most practiced way is Kinesthetic Intelligence. Students are requested to perform some physical activity to aid the language learning process. In the reference link below you will find a research finding by a teacher of foreign language using Physical Activities to help students learn a foreign language.

Sources:

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