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Genie "Wild Child" and Language Acquisition

What does Genie's case tell us about the nature vs nurture debate regarding language acquisition?

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The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the most enduring in the field of psychology. In the nature vs. nurture debate, "nature" refers to the things a child is born with. DNA, genes, physical appearance, personality, disposition, and heredity are all part of nature. "Nurture" refers to how the child was raised. Things like environment, routines, expectations of family members and friends, and diet are all part of nurture. Today, it is commonly accepted that most aspects of a child's development are a combination of both nurture and nature.

The story of Genie is hauntingly sad, but it also can teach us about the effects of nature and nurture on a child. When Genie was first discovered by ...

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The documentary "Secret of the Wild Child" introduces us to a girl named Genie who was raised with virtually no human contact. In this article, I look at the transcripts of the documentary and discuss how Genie's situation may have affected her ability to acquire language.