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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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