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Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development by Mind Map: Theoretical Perspectives of Language
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Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development


Theorist: Noam Chomsky

Language Acquisition Device


The nativist perspective on language development is the belief that innate human capabilities are the responsible for language development, (Otto, 2010, p 27).

Focus is on Syntactic Speech


Theorist: B.F. Skinner


Behaviorists and interactionists emphasize the role of nurture in language acquisition, (Otto, 2010, p 31). Behaviorists believe that language knowledge comes from outside stimuli that link events, responses and behavior, as well as through imitation, (Otto, 2010, p 31). This is referred to as operant conditioning. Imitative speech serves as reinforcement on language development, (Otto, 2010, p 32).

Focus is on Semantic, Syntactic and Morphemic Speech

Cognitive Developmentalist

Theorist: Jean Piaget

Object Permanence

Preoperational Stage


Language is acquired as a child matures, and cognitive competences develop, (Otto, 2010, p 30).

Focus is on Semantic and Morphemic Speech


Theorist: Lev Vygotsky


The interactionist provides for a theory that further supports the nurture perspective. The theory is that language acquisition “is a process, rather than a product of development,” and is due to the child seeking out interaction in their environment, (Otto, 2010, p 33). The interactionist refers to support from the environment (in conversation; listening, responding, clarifying, repeating, asking questions) as the learning acquisition support system (LASS, (Otto, 2010, p 35).

Focus is on Pragmatic Speech