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Theory Assignment #2: How Do Humans Learn Language?

Julia Gleason_______
Child Development 210 Sister Eagar

Using Chapter 6 in the Berger Text, compare the three theories on how infants learn language. Bullet point each language
acquisition theory including research evidence. Use high level thinking to fit this language theory into a broader theoretical
perspective. A broad designation for language theories is not found in your book. Finally, justify why you believe that this
language theory fits under a larger theoretical umbrella in the table below. Add any outside references at the bottom.
Page 179

Language Infants Teach Themselves Infants Need to be Taught Social Impulses Foster
Learning Infant Language Learning
 Language learning is  Parent are important  Named “social-pragmatic”
Summary genetically programmed to teachers for the baby  Communication directly impacts
of begin at a certain age  The more repetition, the language acquisition
Language  Adults don’t need to teach better  Humans are social creature
Acquisition it  The better the children are  We learn to talk to become more
Theory  Its also not a by-product taught, the better they will social and to survive
of social interaction speak in the future  Babies want to join everyone in
 It comes from a universal  It is important to respond to communication
genetic impulse to imitate the sounds the baby makes  Children respond better to being
 Infants and toddlers  Use child-directed speech taught in person rather than on
observe what they see and  Parents should talk to screen
then apply it according to babies often
their own concepts and
 The language is too
complex to be mastered
merely through step-by-
 Universal grammar- all
young children master
basic language at about
the same time.

 Maternal responsiveness  Children that were taught on a

Evidence from  Infants babble, no shows a very likely screen did not improve their
your text to reinforcement is needed, correlation with infant’s language acquisition as much as
Support all a baby needs is time language acquisition those in person
this Theory  It is universal, all infants
learn language at about the
same time

Broader (Nativism) Evolutionary Theory- Behaviorism-B.F. Skinner Sociocultural Theory- Lev Vygotsky
Theoretical Noam Chomsky

Justify why this  We have cognitive  Parents have the  When we understand why a human
language theory capacity for language responsibility to nurture does something, we know have to
fits into a larger learning that is unique to and teach their children encourage more growth
perspective. out species  The more we talk to  We can teach children in person
 Language is innate children, the better they and give them plenty of quality
 We are born with the tools will be at language in life time and affirmation
needed to learn language
at universally similar time
Reference if N/A N/A N/A
outside of text