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Structure and Function of Language

Final on Theories of Language Acquisition

You are a teacher's assistant at a local university.

Prepare a review for the class using a 10- to 15-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation for the upcoming final on theories of language acquisition.

Include information about the structure and function of language.

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*Various theories of language are the driving force in explaining the ways of grammatical function. Most researchers acknowledge that both nature and nurture play a role in language acquisition; however, other theories focus on transitional language that is shaped to be learned by the next generation. The elements of a language include vocabulary, phonological components, grammatical structures, and writing systems. Researchers define language acquisition into two categories: first-language acquisition and second-language acquisition. The first language is the language an individual speaks from the origin of this native tongue. An example is Second Language acquisition involves learning another language in addition to one's own native language (e.g., English as first language; Spanish as second language or vice versa).
Research suggests that environmental and psychological barriers for persons learning English as a second language (ESL). For instance, Choi (2009) reported problems for Asian students in learning a second language that was related to their identity. He asserts that problems occur "as students move between environments, one with their native language, and one with a second language that engages their culture identity development" (p. 131). The studies show that individual differences in second language acquisition are related to language-specific phonological skills. For instance, the study suggests that children who are bilingual excel on tasks that require control attention when compared with monolingual persons (p. 3).
Other scholars argue that learning a second language extends beyond simply knowing or understanding linguistic rules, but includes knowing the learners' abilities, experiences and culture as well. Based on Whorf's (1956 as cited in Tohidian and Tabatabaie, 2011) hypothesis, all languages share a high degree of differentiation in some domain, and low degrees in others. Future research shows that while there are universal constructions in some language categories, the manner in which one perceives and remembers objects is related to the terms they use to refer to the objects. On this basis, as Tohidian and Tabatabaie, it is necessary to ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes the structures and principles of language associated with theories of language acquisition.

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