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Describe Behaviorist Theories

The behaviorist approach to language was first outlined by B. F. Skinner in his book
Verbal Behavior (1957). He argued that children learn language the same way they learn everything else: through imitation, reinforcement, and other established principles of conditioning.


Describe Nativist Theory

An alternative theory favored by Chomsky (1975, 1986, 2006) is that humans have
an inborn, or “native,” propensity to develop language. Nativist theory proposes that humans are equipped with a language acquisition device (LAD)—an innate mechanism or process that facilitates the learning of language.


What is language acquisition device? (LAD)

an innate mechanism
or process that facilitates the learning of language.


Describe the interactionist view of language development. 

The interactionist view is that nature and nurture are both important to language acquisition. Maturation is thought to drive language development directly and to influence it indirectly by fostering cognitive development. Meanwhile, verbal exchanges with parents and others are also thought to play a critical role in molding language skills. The complex bidirectional relations depicted here shed some light on why there is room for extensive debate about the crucial factors in language acquisition.


What is bilingualism

Bilingualism is the acquisition of two languages that use different speech
sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical rules.


Does Learning Two Languages in Childhood Slow Down Language Development?

There is little empirical support for the belief that bilingualism has serious negative effects on language development


Describe the cognitive benefits of bilingualism.

A  metaanalysis (Adesope et al., 2010) of research on the cognitive correlates of bilingualism uncovered some interesting benefits associated with bilingualism. The data shown here are mean effect sizes for five cognitive variables. An effect size is an estimate of the magnitude of one variable’s effects on another. An effect size from .20 to .50 is considered meaningful but small, from .50 to .80 is characterized as moderate, and above .80 is regarded as large. Obviously, the effects sizes vary, but the data suggest that bilingualism enhances, rather than undermines, cognitive development.


What is linguistic relativity?

linguistic relativity, the hypothesis that one’s language determines the nature of one’s thought.