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Approaches to Language Acquisition

Please explain and analyze the approaches to language acquisition .

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(1) Explain and analyze the approaches to language acquisition.

1. Chomsky: Language Acquisition Device

There were earlier theories, but is is often wise to begin with Chomsky's theory that posited that humans are born with a special biological brain mechanism, called a Language Acquisition Device (LAD). His theory is described as Nativist. This theory is based on the assumptions that that the ability to learn language is inborn, that nature is more important than nurture and that experience using language is only necessary in order to activate the LAD. Chomsky has a background is in linguistics, and today, psycholinguists continue to contribute much to our understanding of languages and how children acquire them. The main contribution of his work has been to show that children's language development is much more complex than the Behaviourists ('Show the way', Nursery World, 18 March 2004), suggest who propose that children learn language merely by being rewarded for imitating others.

One criticism of Chomsky's theory is that it does not take enough account of the influence that thought (cognition) and language have on development. (cited in ...

Solution Summary

Explains and analyzes the approaches to language acquisition. References are provided.