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Language Aquisition Notes

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Theorists * Cognitive - Jean Piaget - can only understand lang when you understand concept (e.g. can talk in past tense when you know about time) * Behaviourist - Skinner learn through imitation - doesn't explain where new sentences come from * Nativist - Chomsky - Language Acquisition Device (LAD) - works out what is/isn't acceptable lang use using innate programmed patterns (which are general). exact rules learnt through trial and error. His theory supports the fact that children around the world seem to develop at a similar pace, irrespective of race/culture/mother tongue. (This also 'defies' Skinner's model) Also, the fact that there is a universal grammar amongst all languages of the world. & the fact that children consistently create new forms of language that they would not have heard before. * Conversely, John Macnamara - said that rather than having an in-built language device, children have an innate capacity to read meaning into social situations. It is this capacity that makes them capable of understanding and learning language, not the LAD. * Interactive - caretaker, motherese etc - slower pace than adult convo, simplified, repetition, short sentences, often caretaker asking 'where is___?', 'that's a___', tag questions to involve child ('isn't it?') * Example for importance of social interaction: Bard and Sachs. Studied a boy called 'Jim', who was son of two deaf parents. Although he was exposed to TV and radio, his speech development was severely retarded until he attended sessions with a speech therapist --> hence implying that human interaction is necessary, as Jim was obviously ready to talk, but without the social interaction with his therapist, he was unable to do so. * Katherine Nelson - found that 60% of children's early word phrases contained nouns, then verbs, pre-mods and phatic and she also said that the nouns were more commonly things that surrounded the children i.e ball, mum, cat. ...read more.

Middle

spoken and written English * The socio-cultural causes and consequences of language change in English over time * The relationship between dialectical variation and temporal change. Stronger answers * addressed the question relevantly; * engaged with the data in detail and with attention to its context; * identified patterns and examples across the data set; * expressed ideas clearly and accurately with appropriate terminology; * identified language features accurately including grammatical and pragmatic aspects; * showed informed insight into the data set whilst being cautious of its limitations; * reflected an open-minded and tentative approach to the issues raised; * showed assured conceptualised knowledge of language theories and studies; * demonstrated strengths in quality of explanation and accuracy of expression. Weaker answers * gave little or narrow relevant coverage of the question or the data; * engaged with the data descriptively or by content summary; * used language imprecisely with limited terminology; * asserted ideas with underdeveloped explanations; * showed limited knowledge and understanding of the issues; * made no references to research ideas or few and simplistic references; * treated the dataset as uncomplicatedly representative of the given situation; * listed examples without observing underlying patterns; * made sweeping statements on the basis of limited evidence; * gave narrow or partial coverage of the issues. Remember: the examiner is more interested in your observations of the data than chunks of generic essay about theorists, etc. Attitudes to language change * Standard English - right and wrong (National Curriculum, for example). Should it remain constant or should it change? People start making judgements about language change. * Prescriptive - laying down rules which are very exact, for example, compu'er (the 't' must be added). In other words, what English language SHOULD be like. * Descriptive - language change is inevitable, for example, Sainsbury's (some add the apostrophe, others do not). In other words, what English language IS like. ...read more.

Conclusion

* The L.A.D tells us if we are using a past tense and that it needs to be changed. + Suggests why children learn to speak so quickly. - No one has ever known where the L.A.D is placed. Theory 3: COGNITION THEORY: * A child must understand the word the words they use before choosing to use them. * Suggesting children only learn words if the intellectually understand. * E.g. anger - is an emotion which you can't see so when child uses the word anger they learn it as an emotion and are able to understand it. Theory 4: INPUT THEORY: * This theory focuses on the language used by the parents. * Motherese, parentese, caretaker language. * The theory stresses that it is important to focus on the person who helps teach the children to speak. * Features of parent speech: - Parents talk slower to a child - Use a high pitched tone - Parent encourages speech through the use of questions - Parent frames sentences in order to help the child. - Parents interaction with child helps them to understand the concepts of turn taking, question and answer sequences etc. Basic summary of the features a parent uses when talking to their child: Phonology: - Slower, clearer pronunciation - More pauses, especially between phrases and sentences. - help introduce the child to the rules of conversation. - Higher pitch. - Makes a child pay attention and listen carefully. - Exaggerated intonation and stress. ^^^ Lexis: - Simpler, more restricted vocabulary. - makes language more accessible for child - Diminutive forms used (e.g. doggie) - Concrete language, referring to objects in the child's environment Grammar: - Simpler constructions. - Frequent use of imperatives. - High degree of repetition. - Child is able to understand the meaning of words as parents make the child pay attention to the object by repeating the word. - Frequent use of questions. - Increases the child's understanding of auxiliary verbs - Use of personal names instead of pronouns (e.g 'mummy will take you shopping' instead of 'I will take you shopping'. ...read more.

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These are are well written, logically ordered and intelligently structured revision notes.
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Generally gives examples to help understanding but in places more are needed. Includes areas for further exploration and also gives tips on what to avoid so helping students when assessing their own essays.
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Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 05/07/2013

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