Theoretical Perspectives

ECE315-language development

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Theoretical Perspectives by Mind Map: Theoretical Perspectives

1. Nativist

1.1. The Nativist perspective emphasizes inborn or innate human capabilities “Nature” as being responsible for language development. Focus on syntactic aspects of knowledge language (Otto,2010).

1.2. Linguist Noam Chomsky is the major theorist associated with the nativist perspective. “Chomsky contends that all people inherently have the capacity to acquire language due to cognitive structures that process language differently from other stimuli. Chomsky proposes that this universal grammar is an innate property of the human mind. This component explains the ability of all humans to learn their culture's specific language. The ability to learn language is a quality of the human species because humans obviously are not designed to acquire one language over another”(Otto, 2010 p 28).

2. Interactionist

2.1. Major Theorists- Vygotsky, Bruner, and Halliday.

2.2. The interactionist perspective focuses on the primary role of sociocultural interaction in children's development of language knowledge. It focuses on Nurture, It focus on pragmatic aspect’s of language knowledge. “This perspective contends that children acquire language through their attempts to communicate with the world around them. This perspective contributes to our understanding of the ways in which children acquire pragmatic language knowledge. Language is acquired by individuals out of a need to function in society and an accompanying need for knowledge of how language functions in that society” (Otto, 2010 p 33).

3. Behaviorist

3.1. The behaviorist perspective emphasizes the role of “nurture” and considers learning to occur based on the stimuli, responses, and reinforcements that occur in the environment. A child is considered to be a “blank slate” and learning occurs due to associations established between stimuli, responses, and events that occur after the response behavior. Language is learned as a result of these associations. Focus on Semantic, syntactic, and morphemic aspects of language knowledge (Otto, 2010).

3.2. The major theorist is skinner. He believed that “Reinforcement often takes the form of attention, repetition, and approval. This type of conditioning (or learning) is called operant conditioning”(Otto, 2010 p31).

4. Cognitive Developmentalist

4.1. “The emphasis of this perspective is that language is acquired as maturation occurs and cognitive competencies develop. It focuses on aspects of Semantic, and morphemic language knowledge. The cognitive developmental perspective assumes that cognitive development is a “prerequisite and foundation for language learning” This perspective also proposes that a child learns language by using the same mechanisms as for other learning. Thus, there is no unique language mechanism. The close relation between cognitive development and language is based on the belief that, for language to develop, specific cognitive growth must occur first” (Otto, 2010 p 30).

4.2. The cognitive developmental perspective is based in the work of Jean Piaget