• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Briefly describe three models of human development. How well does each account for the development of language?

Extracts from this document...


Language Development Running Head; Human Development and Language Briefly describe three models of human development. How well does each account for the development of language? Student No 10390319 Thames Valley University Word Count 2208 Language Development Briefly describe three models of human development. How well does each account for the development of language? So much of human development involves interaction with others therefore the medium of language whether spoken, written or gestured, plays a central role in our lives. But what is language, how can it be defined and what are its major components? How does a human develop and acquire language. What do three of the main models in Psychology think of language acquisition? In this essay I will briefly discuss the three main models of human development and then will attempt to answer the question of how language is developed and acquired using the views of the main models and their theorists. Models within Developmental Psychology include Nativists, Empiricists, Transactionalists and Interactionists. Nativists can either be pre formationists who argue that you are born with pre set patterns and nothing can change this, or, pre determinists who do not deny the importance of environmental stimuli, but they say language acquisition cannot be accounted for on the basis of environmental factors only. Noam Chomsky is perhaps the best known and the most influential linguist of the second half of the Twentieth Century. ...read more.


Thus, the nativists claim that language acquisition is innately determined and that we are born with this built-in device, which predisposes us to acquire language. This mechanism predisposes us to a systematic perception of language around us. Eric Lenneberg (1967 cited in Hayes 2000), in his attempt to explain language development in the child, assumed that language is a species - specific behaviour and it is 'biologically determined'. Nativists do not see imitation as important as this does not explain a child saying "I brushed my tooths" as this does not appear in older companions language. Nativists also point out that parents do not sit down with their children and teach them grammar (Slobin 1975) found that parents pay little attention to the grammatical correctness of their children's language. Empiricists' account of language development and acquisition can be explained using principles as operant conditioning, classical conditioning and observational learning. Skinner argued that children learn language as parents selectively reward or punish only those behaviours which they recognise as appropriate, grammatically correct utterances. Basically saying that language learning occurred through a stimulus * response * feedback process. This model of learning supposed that imitation was a necessary precondition for language learning. Learners would receive language input through listening as stimulus, and learn through imitation of this input. Imitation, together with the effects of corrective feedback acting as reinforcement, would lead to the successful internalisation of new language items which would be added to the learner's grammar. ...read more.


1985. DeCasper and Fifer (1980) Of Human Bonding: Newborns Prefer Their Mothers' Voices. Anthony J. DeCasper and William P. Fifer, Science, Vol 208, June 6, p 1174 de Villiers, Peter A. and Jill G. de Villiers. (1972) "Early Judgments of Semantic and Syntactic Acceptability by Children," Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Vol 1. pp299-310. Harley, T, A (2001) The Psychology of Language: From Data to Theory (2nd ed), Hove and New York, Psychology Press. Hui-Chin Hsua,, Alan Fogel and Rebecca B. Cooper (2000) Infant Vocal Development during the First 6 Months : Speech Quality and Melodic Complexity. Journal of Infant and Child Development. Vol 9 pp1 - 16. Gross, R, D (1990), Psychology, The science of Mind and Behaviour, London, Hodder & Stoughton. Hayes, N (2000) Foundations of Psychology (3rd ed) London. Thomson Learning. Lee, V and Gupta, P, D. (2001). Children's Cognitive and Language Development, Open University and Blackwell Publishing. Lennenberg, G, H (1967) Biological Foundations of Language, New York, Wiley Oates, J (2000). The foundations of Child Development, Open University and Blackwell Publishing. Skinner, B, F (1957). Verbal Behaviour, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts. Slobin, D. I. (1975). On the nature of talk to children. In E. H. Lenneberg & E. Lenneberg (Eds.) Foundations of language: A multidisciplinary approach: Vol. 1 pp. 283-297 Stark R, E. 1986. Prespeech segmental feature development. In Studies in Language Acquisition, Fletcher P, Garman M (eds). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, MA; pp149-173. Vygotsky, Lev. (1978) Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press. Published originally in 1930. retrieved on 2 May 2005 from www.hcirn.com/ref/refv/vygo78.php 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Developmental Psychology essays

  1. What is human development? Discuss the roles of maturation and learning in human development.

    As a result, many psychologists interest in it. So we explain and analyze on the period of adolescence in biological development. 'Adolescence lasts almost a decade, from about age 12 or 13 until the late teens or early twenties. Neither its beginning nor its end point is clearly marked.

  2. Genes: reasons why some men are just born to cheat.

    these claims can be empirically supported by a number of studies involving neuropeptide receptor mapping for example, vasopressin is best known for its effects on water regulation, body temperature, and is known to be involved with insulin release (Mutlu & Factor, 2004), and memory (Weingartner, Gold & Ballenger, 1981).

  1. To what extent does a nativist perspective successfully explain childrens early language development?

    Phonology is the structure of speech sounds. Whereas Grammar consists; Morphology that is the structure of words and Syntax that is the structure of sentences. Children develop a mostly implicit understanding of these elements. Languages vary as to how much morphology or syntax is used to signal who did what to whom.

  2. Describe the different perspectives used to explain the process of children(TM)s development

    In both non-industrialised and in recently industrialised cultures such as China children play a vital role in the family economy and may even be perceived as being a commodity themselves. It is easy for those in the West to view child labour as an avoidable evil due to the fact

  1. Language acquisition is a considerable achievement.

    Further, nativists argue that language acquisition follows a predictable sequence of milestones throughout the world and liken it to other maturational occurrences such as walking (Lenneberg, 1967). For example, babbling occurs at around six to nine months - even in deaf children initially, which suggests that language follows a biologically-given pattern.

  2. Comparison/Contrast of L1 and L2 Acquisition.

    Language is thought to be controlled by the left side of the brain. While much could be said about where language is stored in the brain, a more important question for the researcher is when this lateralization takes place and how it affects language acquisition.

  1. Student number: 0373390

    Based on the information gathered John is at a critical age where learning and development is at it most receptive as identified by child development research. Clearly the fact that he is two years of age is significant in this case as it allows the option of entering an EI programme.

  2. Is Bowlbys (1951) theory of attachment still relevant in understanding how to support and ...

    CONCLUSION From the above review and discussion a conclusion can be drawn that distortions causing possible maladaptations of attachment theory cause serious risks both in the assessment and treatment of attachment disorders particularly with maltreated children. For instance, the strange situation procedure was designed to classify infant attachment among

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work