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IMPROVING SPEAKING SKILL USING PICTORIAL RIDDLE APPROACH : AN

ACTION RESEARCH IN SEVENT YEAR OF SMPN I PRINGKUKU PACITAN IN


2008/2009 ACADMIC YEAR
HARPNA, RETTA (2009) IMPROVING SPEAKING SKILL USING PICTORIAL RIDDLE APPROACH : AN
ACTION RESEARCH IN SEVENT YEAR OF SMPN I PRINGKUKU PACITAN IN 2008/2009 ACADMIC YEAR.
Skripsi thesis, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta.
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Abstract
The objectives of this study are 1).To know the implementation of teaching speaking using pictorial riddle
approach, 2).to know whether teaching using pictorial riddle approach cam improve the student's speaking skill,
3).to know the weaknesses and advantages of teaching speaking using pictorial riddle approach. And this
study is an action research which combines between quantitative and qualitative method to develop data being
gotten, and also to draw conclusion of it. n this research the writer uses an action research method to do her
research, in which the writer combines two kinds of, qualitative data research and quantitative data. n a
qualitative data the writer develops the data gotten from the students and teacher to make the next
implementation. And the quantitative data, using to know the students ability in speaking skill with relate it to
the score gotten from the test and teaching and learning process. The writer uses three cycles id doing the
research. This research, shows that, 1).The implementation of the pictorial riddle approach in teaching
speaking at the first year SMP N 1 Pringkuku did completely, 2). Teaching speaking skill using pictorial riddle
approach can improve the students interest and it's happened in cycles done by the teacher. 3). The
weaknesses of teaching speaking using pictorial riddle approach is the students just depended and influenced
in a picture without giving a very good idea of them. And the advantages is the students' interest can appear
and students also show some active activities in joining with speaking class. 4).the teacher's problems solving
are the teacher gives motivation and creates good relationship between the teacher and students, asks the
students to present example how to practice the presentations beside on picture result and always corrects the
mistakes of pronunciation, and grammar become concluded that English teacher method is necessary to be
improved in order to students have interest in learning English, in this case, speaking.
lM8CvlnC SLAklnC SklLL uSlnC lC1C8lAL 8luuLL
A8CACP An AC1lCn 8LSLA8CP ln 1PL SLvLn1P ?LA8
Cl SM n 1 8lnCkuku ACl1An
ln 2008/2009 ACAuLMlC ?LA8
CPA1L8 l
ln18CuuC1lCn
A 8ackground of Lhe SLudy
Language ls a parLlcularly lmporLanL parL of communlcaLlon we unreservedly accepL LhaL Lhe conLexL (
llngulsLlc and non llngulsLlc) wlLhln whlch language ls used ls cruclal for undersLandlng how language ls
belng used and whaL meanlused Lo solve Lhe problem of a socleLy lL ls common Lo call Lhls lnformal
purposlve speaklng dlscusslon Language ls Lhe sysLemaLlc convenLlonal use of sound slgns or wrlLLen
symbol ln human socleLy for communlcaLlon and self expresslon ( CrysLal1992) ln Srl[ono 200120)
Language ls one of Lhe domlnanL medla for self acLuallzaLlon consequenLly 8esldes language ls also sklll
LhaL ls noL ng ls belng expressed ( Merrlson 20034) Language lsself acLuallzaLlon consequenLly 8esldes
language ls also sklll LhaL ls noL possessed by oLher creaLures And lL ls an lnLernaLlonal language LhaL ls
used by mosL of Lhe people ln Lhe world Lngllsh ls used ln any parL of fleld such as sclence and
Lechnology ln masLerlng Lngllsh people should be able Lo know and apply four language skllls such as
llsLenlng readlng speaklng and wrlLlng because Lhey would make someone become perfecL ln uslng
language Speaklng ls one of Lhe language skllls LhaL should be masLered by language learner WlLh
speaklng people can make a good communlcaLlon Lo Lhe oLhers lor mosL people masLerlng Lhe arL of
speaklng ls Lhe mosL lmporLanL aspecL of learnlng a second or forelgn language 1he success langu age
learner ls measured by Lhelr ablllLy ln carrylng ouL conversaLlon ln dally llfe Lherefore speaklng ls a
maln parL of language because Lhe fluenL speaklng wlll be a poslLlve lmpacL for all people ln sLudylng
language Pence ln Leachlng and learnlng of language speaklng should be Lhe flrsL purpose ln
developlng language ln all levels of educaLlon wheLher elemenLary school [unlor and senlor hlg
Accordlng Lo Solahudln ( 2008 16 ) speaklng ls an ablllLy Lo speak ln sLudylng language lL wlll have Lo
learner or human belngs Lo be more fluenL ln speaklng and uslng language 1he maln polnL of speaklng ls
belng able Lo dellver some speech ln every conLexL of communlcaLlon and masLerlng speaklng ln
sLudylng language ls Lhe mosL lmporLanL parL because people can be sald of havlng a good language
when he /she ls speaklng fluenLly ln oLher words speaklng ls a real evldence Lo language learner ln
masLerlng lL h school and even ln a unlverslLy Powever Lhere are some obsLacles ln havlng a good
ablllLy ln speaklng for lnsLance Lhe use of accenL and good pronunclaLlon relaLed Lo Lhe naLlve speaker
Lhe second one ls uslng grammar and Lhe llmlLaLlon of vocabularles lL wlll lnfluence Lhe learners ln uslng
language especlally beglnner such as sLudenLs of [unlor hlgh school 1hey feel LhaL speaklng ls a dlfflculL
sub[ecL of all 8ecause Lhey should devoLe all Lhelr ldeas and felllng 1eachlng speaklng ln [unlor hlgh
school ls a blg challenge for Leachers because Lhe Leacher should grow Lhe sLudenL's lnLeresL ln order
LhaL Lhey have splrlL Lo masLer speaklng 8esldes Lhe Leacher should creaLe some lnLeresLlng ways for
Lhelr sLudenLs such as maln class and sLudy club remlndlng LexLs guesslng word dlscusslon group
debaLe explalnlng plcLures and also rlddle approach 1hose can reduce Lhe sLudenL's boredom ln
sLudylng language especlally speaklng Speaklng has Lhe maln poslLlon Lo Lhe [unlor hlgh school
sLudenLs because Lhey are sLlll Leenager ln sLudylng lL and also Lhey are supporLed by fresh mlnd and a
complex memory Speaklng has some beneflLs Lo Lhem namely as a preparaLlon Lo face Lhe global world
and masLer Lhe world easlly Powever lL has a loL of problems ln Leachlng speaklng for [unlor hlgh school
sLudenLs are belng afrald ln maklng a mlsLake because of Lhelr llmlLaLlon of grammar Lhen Lhey are also
afrald ln arranglng Lhe words lnLo a senLence 1he mlsLake of uslng grammar ls a blg problem Lo Lhe
sLudenLs Lo speak well Second Lhey do noL have parLner Lo Lhelr speaklng lL wlll be an obsLacle Lo
produce fluenL speaklng for sLudenL and Lhe llmlLaLlon of vocabularles speaklng should be supporLed
by enough vocabularles lL's lmposslble Lo use body language ln speaklng ln normal human belngs lL's
ofLen belng an obsLacle for [unlor hlgh school Lo speak fluenLly because Lhey fell confused Lo speak wlLh
llmlLed vocabularles 1he lasL problem ls bad pronunclaLlon LhaL makes Lhem ashamed ln maklng a
dlalogue or conversaLlon 1he problems above are Lhe same as phenomena happened ln SM n l
rlngkuku aclLan 8ased on Lhe wrlLer's observaLlon and lnLervlew Lo Lhe Lngllsh Leacher of Lhe school
Lhe sLudenLs always feel ashamed and afrald ln speaklng especlally speaklng ln Lngllsh 1hey sald LhaL
speaklng ls a d secLlon ln sLudylng language 1he prevlous problem faced by Lhe sLudenLs are some
borlng classroom acLlvlLles and unlnLeresLlng meLhod Lo be used as classlcal meLhod wlLh glvlng a Loplc
and asklng Lhem Lo develop lL by Lhemselves lL ofLen makes Lhe sLudenLs nervous ln sLudylng language
1herefore Lhe researcher Lrles Lo solve Lhe problem Lhrough an some lnLeresLlng meLhod ln Leachlng
speaklng for Lhem ln her research enLlLle lM8CvlnC SLAklnC SkllLL uSlnC lC1C8lAL 8luuLL
A8CACP An AC1lCn 8LSLA8CP ln SLvLn1P ?LA8 Cl SM n l
8lnCkuku ACl1An ln 2008/2009 ACAuLMlC ?LA8
8 roblem SLaLemenL
8ased on Lhe background of Lhe sLudy above Lhe wrlLer formulaLes some research problems as follows
1 Pow ls Lhe lmplemenLaLlon of Leachlng speaklng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach?
2 uoes Leachlng speaklng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach lmprove Lhe sLudenL's speaklng sklll ?
3 WhaL are Lhe weaknesses and advanLages of Leachlng speaklng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach
C Cb[ecLlve of Lhe SLudy
1he general ob[ecLlve of Lhls research ls Lo lmprove speaklng sklll uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach
1he speclflc ob[ecLlve of Lhls research are
1 Lo know how ls Lhe lmplemenLaLlon of Leachlng speaklng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach
2 Lo know wheLher Leachlng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach can lmprove Lhe sLudenLs' speaklng sklll
3 Lo know Lhe weaknesses and advanLages of Leachlng speaklng uslng plcLorlal rlddle approach u
LlmlLaLlon of Lhe SLudy
ln Lhls research Lhe wrlLer analyzes Lhe Leachlng and learnlng process and lL's resulL ln speaklng class
of seven grade aL SM n l rlngkuku uslng Lhe dlfferenL meLhod as plcLorlal rlddle approach Lo lmprove
Lhe sLudenL's speaklng sklll
L 8eneflL of Lhe SLudy
lrom Lhe research Lhe wrlLer hopes LhaL Lhls sLudy has beneflL for Lhe readers Lhus Lhe slgnlflcance of
Lhls research may lnclude
1 1heoreLlcally
1he wrlLer hopes LhaL Lhls research can glve conLrlbuLlon ln developlng knowledge especlally acLlon
research ln Leachlng and learnlng process of speaklng class uslng a speclflc meLhod
2 racLlcally
a 1eacher
1hls research can become lnformaLlon source Lo lmprove Lhe quallLy of Leacher ln Leachlng speaklng Lo
hls/her sLudenLs
b SLudenLs
1he wrlLer hopes Lhls research can glve lnformaLlon abouL some lnLeresLlng meLhods Lo lmprove and
sLudy speaklng And also lL can be used as a reference Lo do oLher researches deallng wlLh speaklng sklll
c CLher 8esearcher
1he resulL of Lhls research can be useful for oLher researcher Lo make furLher analysls from oLher polnL
of vlew
l 8esearch aper CrganlzaLlon
1he research paper ls dlvlded lnLo flve chapLers ChapLer l ls lnLroducLlon whlch conslsLs of background
of Lhe sLudy problem sLaLemenL llmlLaLlon of Lhe sLudy beneflL of Lhe sLudy and research
paper organlzaLlon
ChapLer ll ls revlew of relaLed llLeraLure whlch conslsLs of prevlous sLudy noLlon of speaklng Leachlng
speaklng acLlvlLles Lo lmprove speaklng sklll plcLorlal rlddle approach and sLudylng uslng medla
LheoreLlcal framework and worklng hypoLhesls
ChapLer lll ls research meLhod whlch conslsLs of Lype of Lhe research sub[ecL of Lhe sLudy meLh
Lechnlque for analyzlng daLa and research procedure
ChapLer lv conslsLs of research flndlng and dlscusslon
ChapLer v ls concluslon and suggesLlon od of collecLlng daLa credlblllLy of daLa
search resuIts
1. MPROVNG SPEAKING SKILL USNG PCTORAL RDDLE APPROACH :
AN ACTON ...
The objectives of this study are 1).To know the implementation of teaching speaking using
pictorial riddle approach, 2).to know whether teaching using pictorial ...
etd.eprints.ums.ac.id/6189 - Cache

Language deveIopment
lrom Wlklpedla Lhe free encyclopedla
Language development is a process starting early in human liIe, when a person begins to
acquire language by learning it as it is spoken and by mimicry. Children's language development
moves Irom simple to complex. InIants start without language. Yet by Iour months oI age, babies
can read lips and discriminate speech sounds. The language that inIants speak is called babbling.
Usually, language starts oII as recall oI simple words without associated meaning, but as children
grow, words acquire meaning, with connections between words being Iormed. As a person gets
older, new meanings and new associations are created and vocabulary increases as more words
are learned.
InIants use their bodies, vocal cries and other preverbal vocalizations to communicate their
wants, needs and dispositions. Even though most children begin to vocalize and eventually
verbalize at various ages and at diIIerent rates, they learn their Iirst language without conscious
instruction Irom parents or caretakers. In Iact research has shown that the earliest learning begins
in utero when the Ietus can recognize the sounds and speech patterns oI its mother's voice.
O
edit] TheoreticaI frameworks of Ianguage deveIopment
Molo ottlcle looqooqe ocpolsltloo
There are Iour major theories oI language development.
The behaviorist theory, proposed by B. . Skinner suggests that language is learned through
operant conditioning (reinIorcement and imitation). This perspective sides with the nurture side
oI the nature-nurture debate. This perspective has not been widely accepted in either psychology
or linguistics Ior some time, but by many accounts, is experiencing a resurgence.
|1|
Some
empiricist theory accounts today use behaviorist models.
|2|

The nativist theory, proposed by Noam Chomsky, argues that language is a unique human
accomplishment. Chomsky says that all children have what is called an LA, an innate language
acquisition device that allows children to produce consistent sentences once vocabulary is
learned. His claim is based upon the view that what children hear - their linguistic input - is
insuIIicient to explain how they come to learn language. While this view has dominated
linguistic theory Ior over IiIty years, it has recently Iallen into disrepute.
The empiricist theory suggests, contra Chomsky, that there is enough inIormation in the
linguistic input that children receive, and thereIore there is no need to assume an innate language
acquisition device (see above). This approach is characterized by the construction oI
computational models that learn aspects oI language and/or that simulate the type oI linguistic
output produced by children. The most inIluential models within this approach are statistical
learning theories such as connectionist models and chunking theories.
The last theory, the interactionist perspective, consists oI two components. This perspective is a
combination oI both the nativist and behaviorist theories. The Iirst part, the inIormation-
processing theories, tests through the connectionist model, using statistics. rom these theories,
we see that the brain is excellent at detecting patterns. The second part oI the interactionist
perspective, is the social-interactionist theories. These theories suggest that there is a native
desire to understand others as well as being understood by others.
edit] BioIogicaI preconditions
Linguists do not agree on the biological Iactors contributing to language development, however
most do agree that the ability to acquire such a complicated system is unique to the human
species. urthermore, many believe that our ability to learn spoken language may have been
developed through the evolutionary process and that the Ioundation Ior language may be passed
down genetically. The ability to speak and understand human language requires a speciIic vocal
apparatus as well as a nervous system with certain capabilities.
One hotly debated issue is whether the biological contribution includes capacities speciIic to
language acquisition, oIten reIerred to as universal grammar. or IiIty years, linguist Noam
Chomsky has argued Ior the hypothesis that children have innate, language-speciIic abilities that
Iacilitate and constrain language learning. In particular, he has proposed that humans are
biologically prewired to learn language at a certain time and in a certain way, arguing that
children are born with a Language Acquisition evice (LA).
|3|

Other researchers, who believe that words and grammars are learned (rather than innate), have
hypothesized that language learning results Irom general cognitive abilities and the interaction
between learners and their surrounding communities. It has also recently been suggested that the
relatively slow development oI the preIrontal cortex in humans may be one reason that humans
are able to learn language, whereas other species are not.
|4|

|5|

edit] EnvironmentaI InfIuences
A purely behaviorist view oI language development is no longer considered a viable explanation
oI how children acquire language, yet a great deal oI research describes ways in which a
children's environmental experiences inIluence their language skills. Michael Tomasello stresses
that young children are intensely interested in their social world and that early in their
development they can understand the intentions oI other people."
|6||7||8|

One component oI the young child's linguistic environment is (child-directed speech) also known
as baby talk or motherese, which is language spoken in a higher pitch than normal with simple
words and sentences. Although the importance oI its role in developing language has been
debated, many linguists think that it may aid in capturing the inIant's attention and maintaining
communication. Adults use strategies other than child-directed speech like recasting, expanding,
and labeling:" Recasting is rephrasing something the child has said, perhaps turning it into a
question or restating the child's immature utterance in the Iorm oI a Iully grammatical sentence.
Expanding is restating, in a linguistically sophisticated Iorm, what a child has said. Labeling is
identiIying the names oI objects
|3|

edit] SociaI preconditions
It is crucial that children are allowed to socially interact with other people who can vocalize and
respond to questions. or language acquisition to develop successIully, children must be in an
environment that allows them to communicate socially in that language.
There are a Iew diIIerent theories as to why and how children develop language. The most
popular -- and yet heavily debated-- explanation is that language is acquired through imitation.
The two most accepted theories in language development are psychological and Iunctional.
!sychological explanations Iocus on the mental processes involved in childhood language
learning. unctional explanations look at the social processes involved in learning the Iirst
language.
There are Iour main components oI language:
O hono|ogy lnvolves Lhe rules abouL Lhe sLrucLure and sequence of speech sounds
O fnt|cs conslsLs of vocabulary and how concepLs are expressed Lhrough words
O ff lnvolves Lwo parLs 1he flrsL syntf ls Lhe rules ln whlch words are arranged lnLo
senLences 1he second oho|ogy ls Lhe use of grammaLlcal markers (lndlcaLlng Lense acLlve or
passlve volce eLc)
O fgft|cs lnvolves Lhe rules for approprlaLe and effecLlve communlcaLlon ragmaLlcs lnvolves
Lhree skllls
4 uslng language for greeLlng demandlng eLc
4 changlng language for Lalklng dlfferenLly dependlng on who lL ls you are Lalklng Lo
4 followlng rules such as Lurn Laklng sLaylng on Loplc
Each component has its own appropriate developmental periods.
[edit] Pbonological development
rom shortly aIter birth to around one year, the baby starts to make speech sounds. At around
two months, the baby will engage in cooing, which mostly consists oI vowel sounds. At around
Iour months, cooing turns into babbling which is the repetitive consonant-vowel combinations.
Babies understand more than they are able to say.
rom 1-2 years, babies can recognize the correct pronunciation oI Iamiliar words. Babies will
also use phonological strategies to simpliIy word pronunciation. Some strategies include
repeating the Iirst consonant-vowel in a multisyllable word ('TV'--~ 'didi') or deleting unstressed
syllables in a multisyllable word ('banana'--~'nana'). By 3-5 years, phonological awareness
continues to improve as well as pronunciation.
By 6-10 years, children can master syllable stress patterns which helps distinguish slight
diIIerences between similar words.
[edit] Semantic development
rom birth to one year, comprehension (the language we understand) develops beIore production
(the language we use). There is about a 5 month lag in between the two. Babies have an innate
preIerence to listen to their mother's voice. Babies can recognize Iamiliar words and use
preverbal gestures.
rom 1-2 years, vocabulary grows to several hundred words. There is a vocabulary spurt
between 1824 months, which includes Iast mapping. ast mapping is the babies' ability to learn
a lot oI new things quickly. The majority oI the babies' new vocabulary consists oI object words
(nouns) and action words (verbs). By 3-5 years, children usually have diIIiculty using words
correctly. Children experience many problems such as underextensions, taking a general word
and applying it speciIically (Ior example, 'blankie') and overextensions, taking a speciIic word
and applying it too generally (example, 'car' Ior 'van'). However, children coin words to Iill in Ior
words not yet learned (Ior example, someone is a cooker rather than a cheI because a child will
not know what a cheI is). Children can also understand metaphors.
rom 6-10 years, children can understand meanings oI words based on their deIinitions. They
also are able to appreciate the multiple meanings oI words and use words precisely through
metaphors and puns. ast mapping continues.
[edit] Crammatical development
rom 1-2 years, children start using telegraphic speech, which are two word combinations, Ior
example 'wet diaper'. Brown (1973)
|9|
observed that 75 oI children's two-word utterances could
be summarised in the existence oI 11 semantic relations:
Eleven important early semantic relations and examples based on Brown 1973:
O ALLrlbuLlve blg house
O AgenLAcLlon uaddy hlL
O AcLlonCb[ecL hlL ball
O AgenLCb[ecL uaddy ball
O nomlnaLlve LhaL ball
O uemonsLraLlve Lhere ball
O 8ecurrence more ball
O nonexlsLence allgone ball
O ossesslve uaddy chalr
O LnLlLy + LocaLlve book Lable
O AcLlon + LocaLlve go sLore
At around 3 years, children engage in simple sentences, which are 3 word sentences. Simple
sentences Iollow adult rules and get reIined gradually. Grammatical morphemes get added as
these simple sentences start to emerge. By 3-5 years, children continue to add grammatical
morphemes and gradually produce complex grammatical structures. By 610 years, children
reIine the complex grammatical structures such as passive voice.
[edit] Pragmatics development
rom birth to one year, babies can engage in joint attention (sharing the attention oI something
with someone else). Babies also can engage in turn taking activities. By 1-2 years, they can
engage in conversational turn taking and topic maintenance. At ages 3-5, children can master
illocutionary intent, knowing what you meant to say even though you might not have said it and
turnabout, which is turning the conversation over to another person.
By age 6-10, shading occurs, which is changing the conversation topic gradually. Children are
able to communicate eIIectively in demanding settings, such as on the telephone



BF Skinner

Biography
Theory
ReIerenc

BF Skinner, Behavioralism, &
Language Behavior
Biography
Burrhus rederic Skinner was born and raised in Susquehanna,
!ennsylvania. He earned his BA in English and hoped to be a
writer. However, this proIession did not work out, and at the age
oI 24, he applied and was excepted to the psychology graduate
program at Harvard. Here he happened to meet William Crozier
in the physiology department. Young Skinner was taken by
Crozier, an ardent advocate Ior animal studies and behavioral
measures, and began to tailor his studies according to Crozier's
highly Iunctional, behaviorist Iramework. Working across
disciplines, he integrated methods and theories Irom psychology
and physiology and developed new ways oI recording and
analyzing data.
As he experimented with rats, Skinner noticed that the responses
he was recording were inIluenced not only by what preceded them
but also by what Iollowed them. The common behavioral
approach at the time was inIluenced by the work oI !avlov and
Watson, both oI whom Iocused on the stimulus-response
paradigm. Their Iorm oI classical conditioning Iocused on what
occurred prior to a response and how these stimuli aIIected
learning. Skinner, however, Iocused on what occurred aIter a
behavior, noting that the eIIects or repercussions oI an action
could inIluence an organism's learning. By 1931, he had his !h
in psychology and was well on his way to developing operant
conditioning, the behaviorist paradigm that ruled Ior the second
part oI the 20th century.
He continued to do research at Harvard until 1936, when he
moved to Minneapolis with his new wiIe. In 1945, he and his
Iamily moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where he served as the
chair oI the psychology department until 1948, when he was
oIIered a position at Harvard. He remained at Harvard Ior the rest
oI his intellectual career. uring the 1950s and 60s, Skinner
published and experimented extensively. Working with numerous
graduate student who themselves became eminent psychologists,
he Iormalized his theory or schedules oI reinIorcement and
operant conditioning.
In 1957, Skinner published his book Verbal Behavior, in which he
attempted to account Ior language development in humans.
uring his later years, Skinner turned his attention to the social
implications oI his theory until he oI leukemia in 1990.
& Language Learning
Core to all oI behaviorism is the assumption that human and
animal behaviors are determined by learning and reinIorcement.
Whether by classical conditioning or operatant conditioning,
species acquire new skills, deepening on the eIIects these skills
have on the specie's environment. II an action proves to have a
positive outcome (e.g., iI by pressing a button, a rat receives
Iood), the organism is more likely to continue to repeat this
behavior. However, iI the outcome is negative (e.g., iI by pressing
a button, a rat rat receives a shock), the organism is less likely to
repeat the behavior.
Skinner, and Stimulus-Response (S-R) adherents, believed that
behaviorist theory could be used to inIer a learning history. They held
that one could take an animal or person, observe its/his/her behavior,
and Iigure out what had been reinIorced previously. Behaviorist
reduced all responses to associations, to a pattern oI positive and
negative reinIorcement that establishes links between stimuli and their
environmental antecedents and consequences. Responses that were
reinIorced would be repeated, and those that were punished would not.
Thus, iI a dog brought its human a ball and the human pet it, the dog`s
behavior would be reinIorced, and it would be more apt to getting the
ball in the Iuture. Likewise, iI the dog brought its human a ball and the
human kicked it, the dog`s behavior would be punished, and it would be
less likely to do it.
These associations between stimuli, actions, and responses could explain
virtually every aspect oI human and animal behavior and interaction, but
one seemed particularly problematic Ior the behaviorist theory:
language. In 1957, Skinner published his book, Verbal Behavior, in
which he attempted to apply his Iorm oI operant conditioning to
language learning.
A basic assumption oI his was that all language, including private,
internal discourse, was a behavior that developed in the same manner as
other skills. He believed that a sentence is merely part oI 'a behavior
chain, each element oI which provides a conditional stimulus Ior the
production oI the succeeding element (odor, Bever, & Garrett, p25).
The probability oI a verbal response was contingent on Iour things:
reinIorcement, stimulus control, deprivation, and aversive stimulation.
The interaction oI these things in a child`s environment would lead to
particular associations, the basis oI all language.
Skinner proposed that language could be categorized by the way it
was reinIorced. He claimed that there were Iour general types oI
speech: echoic behavior, mand, tact, interverbals and
autoclitic.
Echoic behavior is the primary Iorm oI verbal behavior oI
language learners. These verbalizations include repeated
utterances, as in (1)
(1) !ARENT: |pointing to cookie| That`s a cookie. Can you
say cookie`?
CHIL: Cooookie
Mands (short Ior deMANS) are deIined as utterances that are
reinIorced by the elevation oI deprivation. So Ior instance, iI a
child were hungry or cold, her requests (as in (2))
(2) Cookie.
irectives such as 'Stop, 'Go, and 'Wait also count as mands.
However, in (3), the child may be simply naming the object or
stating what she likes.
(3) Cookie!
Utterances that are produced when the speaker is not deprived are
called tact (short Ior conTACT). Tacts are verbalizations that the
speaker produces to provide inIormation instead oI attending to
states oI deprivation. While on the surIace, tacts and mands may
seem similar, their underlying motivations (stimuli) and their
reinIorcements are diIIerent. When a mand is reinIorced, the
need is sated. When a tact is reinIorced, there is no need to sate.
The Iourth type oI utterance is the interverbals. These include
such things as '!lease and 'Thank you. These utterances are
not necessary to provide inIormation. Rather, they are used in
discourse situation and pertain to the interactive nature oI dialog.
So Ior example, in (4), the second utterance, the response to the
question, is an interverbal. Likewise, the associative response in
number (5) is also an interverbal.
(4) S!EAKER A: Who`s your Iavorite graduate student?
S!EAKER B: You
(5) WOR: CAT
RES!ONSE: og
With the Iinal category, autoclitics, Skinner attempted to deal with
internal speech, or thought. Autoclitics, by his account, are
subject to the same eIIects oI reinIorcement as verbalized speech
and that previously reinIorced internal, or thought behaviors, will
inIluence not only current and Iuture thought but also current and
Iuture verbal behavior.
Whether the speech was internal or dialogic, reinIorced positively
or negatively, all language can be considered behavior that is
conditioned and learned. When Skinner wrote Verbal Behaviorhe
attempted to explain the most complex human behavior:
communication. This included all Iorms oI language
comprehension, Irom dialog to thought.
Though a tribute to the behaviorist paradigm, Skinner`s book generated
more questions and concerns than it explained. AIter his book was
published and critiqued by Noam Chomsky, Skinner Iailed to respond
immediately to the issues and problems raised. His slow response
coupled with both a growing disdain Ior the behaviorist paradigm and
the inIluence oI technology, computers, and inIormation processing led
to the strengthening oI the cognitive movement in psychology and other
social sciences.
References & Resources
odor, JA; Bever, TG; & Garrett, M. (1975) The !sychology oI
Language: An Introduction to !sycholinguistics and Generative
Grammar. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lana, Robert E. The cognitive approach to language and thought.
Journal oI Mind & Behavior. Vol 23(1-2) Win-Spr 2002, 51-67.
Inst oI Mind & Behavior, US
Behaviorism Page(!art oI the History oI !sychology web site)