How is language learned according to Behaviorist theory of language acquisition?    

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Language acquisition according to behaviorists depends on human role models, imitation, rewards and practice. Behaviorist theory of language acquisition (Skinner) is one of four dominant language acquisition theories. The other three are innatist (Chomsky); cognitive (Piaget); and social interactionist (Vygotsky).

Behaviorist theory of language acquisition asserts that stimuli for language learning comes from the presence of humans. The rewards also come from the presence of humans. Humans who are present are imitated. Practice is with humans. Rewards are enhanced when humans, called role models, respond to language learning and acquisition attempts with praise and affection.

[For expanded discussion, see Language & Literacy Development, Mrs. Meadows, Crescent Elementary School.]

 

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