review on FLA and SLA

Topics: Linguistics, Language acquisition, Second language acquisition Pages: 11 (2886 words) Published: October 23, 2013
What enables the child to acquire his first language?
Each of the theories may help to explain a different aspect of children’s language development. And the nature of language acquisition is still an open question. 1. Behaviorism explains the acquisition of simple grammar.

2. Innatism seems plausible in explaining the acquisition of complex grammar. 3. Interactionism explains how children learn to use language.

Behavioristic Approaches:
1.The role of environment is emphasized.
2. Human learning is equated with animal learning.
3. Language is learned in the same way as other knowledge and skills are learned. 4. Learning is habit formation.

The Nativist Approach
1.Language learning is species specific.
2.Language learning is determined by LAD.
3.Language learning is internalization of linguistic rules.
4.The rule of environment is not significant.

Functional Approaches
1.Interpersonal interaction is emphasized.
2.Language functions rather linguistic form are emphasized.
3.Language learning is viewed as a socialization process.

L1A vs FLL
1) physiological aspect 2) cognitive aspect 3) affective aspect 4) sociocultural aspect 5) learning condition

Additional comparisons between L1A and FLL:
Manner subconsciously/consciously
Focus meaning/structure
Environment natural/formal
Learning speed
Achievement universal success/ universal failure

    ① follow the same route ② similar learning strategies

Stages of first language acquisition
Every normal child can become a competent speaker of his native language in the first five years of life. From observable facts, we can see that a normal child may go through four stages in first language acquisition. The Babbling Stage

In the first few months, by about 6 to 7 months, infants begins to babble by repeating a consonant-vowel sequence, like babababa. Besides the stimulus-controlled cries and gurgles, the sounds produced in this period seem to include the sounds of human languages. By 10 to 12 months, infants begin to use sentence-like intonational contours. It is in this babbling stage that infants learn how to distinguish between the sounds of their language and the sounds which are not part of the language. The one-word stage is also called the holophrastic stage.

The child tends to use single words to express large chunks of meaning that would be conveyed in a phrase or sentence by a mature speaker. After one year, the child has learned that sounds are related to meanings and begin to use the same string of sounds repeatedly to mean the same thing. The child becomes able to use certain single words as labels for regular features of the immediate, concrete environment, such as toys, members of the family and so on. At the end of the one-word stage, usually at the age of 2 or so, the child starts to put single words into sentences such as "Big house", "Baby cry", "Hit ball". Most of these sentences consist of two words, each word with its own single-pitch contour. Most of the words are contents words, like nouns, verbs and adjectives. The Telegraph to Infinity Stage

It refers to the time when child begins to produce sentences longer than two words. This stage is characterized by the omission of the small function works such as to, the, can, is, and so on. Their sentences sound as if they were telegraphs. For example, "No sit here", "John build house". They also become more complex in terms of the number of meaning relations they express and the grammatical structures they use.

Behaviorist learning theory (popular in the 1950s and 60s)
 Viewpoint: Language learning is a kind of behavior similar to other human behaviors. Language is learnt in much the same way as anything else is learnt. stimulus → organism → response
There is nothing linguistic in the mind of the newborn baby. Language learning is the result of imitation, practice, feedback on success, and...
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