Strengths And Weaknesses Of Language Development

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There are three main theoretical explanations of the course of language development which differ considerably. These are the Learning Perspective, Nativist (biological) Perspective and Interactionist Perspective. The Learning Perspective was devised by B.F. Skinner, who argues language is learned through imitation and reinforcement. This theory is based upon the idea that behaviours that are reinforced will generally continue whereas behaviours that are punished will cease. According to Skinner, no complicated innate or mental mechanisms are needed. All that is necessary is the systematic observation of the events in the external world which prompt the speaker to utter sounds. Skinner’s claim to understand language was based on his work with…show more content…
Strengths include the knowledge that children worldwide reach language milestones at about the same time developmentally. Children also progress through similar stages in the acquisition of language. As only humans develop language this suggests that language is guided by species-specific biological mechanism. Also observations of individuals with brain damage indicates that particular regions of the brain are predisposed to be used for language. Weaknesses include there is no clear explanation of how the language acquisition device operates, Chomsky provides a description of language development rather than a true explanation. There is also difficulty in specifying the universal grammar that underlies the widely varying grammatical systems of universal grammar. The role of social influences on a child’s capacity to learn language is ignored in the Nativist…show more content…
During the child’s early year’s parents support their development of language with several strategies. Parents monitor their child’s apparent intentions closely, and try to correct or elaborate their child’s behaviour. The language acquisition support system is considered by parents as natural efforts to carry on conversation with their children rather than deliberate teaching techniques. Parents and caregivers facilitate language acquisition using several strategies which include playing non-verbal games, using simplified speech or elaborating and rewording children’s utterances. Children whose parents undertake the following behaviours are providing valuable, if unintentional benefits for child’s language development, the use of a special register called child directed speech (CDS), when talking to children - adults simplify and clarify their speech, by paying attention to what their children are trying to say, expanding or recasting their child’s utterances to correct grammatical errors, reading and speaking to them, labelling things in the environment and encouraging children to watch programs with an emphasis on learning new words. Children acquire language in stimulating and interesting

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