Introduction

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Objectives
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1
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TOPIC
1
Some theoretical
considerations
You will probably
need about
14 hours
(including
reading time)
to complete
this topic.
Nativism
While debates on the ways in which children learn their native languages
continue to rage, there is no denying that, unless they have particular learning
difficulties or are for some reason unable to interact effectively with older
speakers (for example, because they are deaf or deprived of contact with others),
all children learn to speak remarkably quickly. This was one of the factors that
prompted American linguist Noam Chomsky in the 1950s to assert that there
was something innate about children’s language acquisition. He formulated a
theory that became known as na!i#im. He suggested that there is a linguistic
system, or, as he puts it, ‘an innate set of linguistic principles shared by all
humans’ (from Syntactic Structures, 1957), which he termed the Uni#eral
Grammar that underpins all languages. All that is required is that a child should
be able to discern how this grammar works in his or her own language. He
further speculated that newborns are pre-programmed with a neurological
mechanism called the Lang"age Acq"ii!ion De#ice (otherwise known as the
LAD) which enables them, subconsciously, to deduce the grammatical rules of
their own language, thus making sense of what is being said around them
without being explicitly taught.
While Chomsky’s ideas have been robustly criticised by some scholars (perhaps
because neurologists have yet to discover where the LAD actually is), they still
attract a great deal of support. There is no doubt that his ideas answer a number
of questions about child language acquisition, such as what he refers to as the
prod"c!i#i!% or crea!i#i!% of language at an early age. Relatively swiftly, he points
out, children not only utter sentences (even if they are fairly basic, telegraphic at
first, they nearly always have the important words in the right order) but
construct new sentences that they have never heard before. This occurs despite
what Chomsky calls the po#er!% of !he !im"l". This is the relatively inadequate
amount of linguistic experience, comprising the limited number of words and
often-fragmented syntax of ordinary conversation, to which children are
exposed before they start to speak and understand language.
In 1958, Jean Berko, a Boston University psycholinguist, tested Chomky’s
hypothesis in her famous W"g Te!. She presented both preschool children and
those in the first year of primary education (about five years old) with a drawing
of an imaginary creature and captioned it THIS IS A WUG (reading the words
aloud for those who had not yet acquired reading skills). Underneath this she
drew two more of the creatures and typed beneath them:
2
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3
Fig 1.1 Berko’s Wug Test
Most of the preschoolers and nearly all of the school-aged children confidently
made the word Wug into a plural, even though they had never heard it before as
it was an invention of Berko’s own – thereby indicating they had automatically
extracted a grammatical rule and applied it for themselves.
Nativists argue that this outcome is simply formal indication of what children
have been doing since they have first begun to speak. They also point out that
children all over the world tend to follow the same steps and make the same
sorts of errors. For example, where the rules of language are illogical (as happens
when verb inflections or spellings are irregular), children often misapply them
when they are learning to speak, read or write. This process is referred to as
o#ergeneralia!ion (where a perceived rule is applied generally even where it
should not be) and results in #ir!"o" error (mistakes which are logical ones).
Examples are the tendency of children to add the suffix ed to make the past
tense of any verb (as in I goed) or to pluralise by adding s across the board (hence
saying or writing sheeps for the plural of sheep).
NOW THERE IS ANOTHER ONE
NOW THERE ARE TWO OF THEM
THERE ARE TWO __________________ .
NOW THERE IS ANOTHER ONE
NOW THERE ARE TWO OF THEM
THERE ARE TWO __________________ .
THIS IS A WUG
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5
My three examples from the transcript that seem to confirm Chomsky’s ideas
are:
Chloe overgeneralises when she adds an s to make reindeers instead of the
irregular plural reindeer
although she uses the preposition for appropriately in her comment Ella
May’s not back for the party, Chloe uses an unacceptable preposition when
she rephrases, saying Ella May’s not back to the party. However the
preposition to is often used in this sort of context (for example Ella May is
invited to the party is good standard English), suggesting that she has
assimilated a rule here and applied it logically
although both children seem comfortable using a range of pronouns, Jack
stumbles over it’s not getting one which seems to follow the same logic as
the teacher’s comments do you want that one and his own successful I want
a big one and I want that one.
Behaviourism
Another of the key theoretical approaches that is often applied to children’s
language acquisition derives from the beha#io"ri! school of psychology and is
most linked with the psychologist B F Skinner (with whom Chomsky strongly
disagreed). Skinner believed that language was a learnt behaviour rather than an
instinct; that children copied the adults around them rather than because of an
innate grammar. Language could, he argued, largely be taught to or conditioned
in the individual by regular reinforcemen!.
In Skinner’s view, poi!i#e reinforcemen! consists of a definitely affirming
response, such as praise or a treat, made to a child who has performed well.
Nega!i#e reinforcemen! consists of the withdrawal of something unpleasant,
such as telling the child s/he can get off the ‘naughty step’, in response to a
child’s acceptable behaviour. Note that ‘negative reinforcement’ does not mean a
response to bad behaviour that encourages it to continue (such as giving a child
a lot of attention only when s/he is behaving badly), and nor does it mean
punishment as some mistakenly suppose: both sorts of reinforcement result in
the child feeling better about its performance. (Skinner also accepted that
punishment, in the conventional sense of the word, affected children’s behaviour
although reinforcement was a much more successful strategy.)
While Skinner’s theories have certainly affected the ways children have been
educated from the 1950s onwards, their relevance to language acquisition is
more debatable. While carers and educators might think that their corrections of
children are helping them to speak more fluently, general studies have shown
that children are very resistant to this sort of assistance and are more likely to
ignore it or misunderstand it than respond in the way that adults expect.
Where Skinner’s theories do seem to be more pertinent to language acquisition
is the area of pragmatics, where Chomsky’s approach, being more grammatically
based, is less secure. Children do seem to learn the pragmatic meanings of
language partly through being taught them (for example, by being encouraged
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specifically to say please and thank you where appropriate), although these usages
often take a long time to inculcate, certainly far longer than children usually take
to grasp aspects of language in use. Other pragmatic categories, such as the
underlying and ambiguous meanings in sarcastic humour or imaginative play,
seem to be more accessible to some children than to others. And while children
begin to acquire interactional conventions such as turn-taking and greeting in
their first year, the extent to which these are instinctive and the extent to which
they are imitated is not clear.
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A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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7
Here are some of my ideas, although you may have had others.
Chloe’s utterance Ella May’s not back to the party does seem to support
Skinner as she appears to be aware that the teacher is trying to correct her
and so changes her language; however the net result is that she expresses
herself ungrammatically.
Despite Skinner, Jack seems to resist the teacher’s attempts to teach and
correct him:
– he first ignores the hints (provided by the teacher in you want to
borrow the knife and that’s a knife as well) that he should use the term
knife to denote the object he has referred to as that thingy, sticking to
that one
– when the teacher clearly signals that it’s not getting one is
inappropriate, he simply repeats what he has already said
Skinner’s theory does seem to apply where Jack seems unable to engage in
the pragmatics of imaginative play, insisting that the brick cannot take on
a representational role in it can’t it can’t be a bed … because it’s a brick so that
the teacher has to explain the conventions to him in Dylan is pretending I
think.
Cognitivism
Cognitivism is a complex and varied set of theories about the ways children
learn, and has contributed some important ideas to the children’s language
acquisition debate. One of the most significant figures in this area is the Swiss
scholar Jean Piaget who described himself as a genetic epi!emologi!
(epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge). Piaget’s interest in the
way children learn was prompted by his experience as a young teacher marking
intelligence tests. He observed that children made different sorts of mistakes to
adults. Piaget’s conviction was that children needed physical experience of
objects – a process he called aimila!ion - before they could be expected to
modify their own mental processes in order to meet the demands of their
environment (for example, attaching labels to objects), a process he termed
accommoda!ion.
Piaget outlined four stages in which children learn, stipulating that at each stage
they needed to reconstruct their views of reality and redefine concepts formed
from earlier experience:
the enori-mo!or !age (from birth to age 2): in this stage children
experience the world through their five senses. In this stage children are
egocen!ric, unable to see the world from others’ perspectives. A crucial
advance in this stage (at about 8–12 months) is the grasp of objec!
permanence, which is the realisation that an object does not cease to exist
just because the child cannot see it – hence developments in the child’s
memory. Piaget claimed that the ability to think symbolically only comes
at the end of this period (18 months to 2 years)
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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the preopera!ional !age (from ages 2 to 7): in this stage children are prone
to what psychologists now call magical !hinking, where children are not
able to think logically about causes and effects. Although egocentrism
gradually diminishes during this stage, a very obvious feature is the
egocen!ric peech (talking to oneself) which many children use when
trying to make sense of their worlds, for example, providing a running
commentary on events, people and objects
the concre!e opera!ional !age (from ages 7 to 11): in this stage, although
children have begun to think logically, they tend to do so in very concrete
rather than abstract terms
the formal opera!ional !age (from ages 11 to 16 and onwards): in this
stage, abstract reasoning develops.
These stages, Piaget claimed, were clearly apparent in the ways children used
language – for instance, registering patterns and organising objects and,
eventually, ideas into categories. So, while a young child may be able accurately
to label individual pictures as cat, dog, mouse, rabbit, a higher cognitive stage
enables it to recognise that they are animals.
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I identified these points.
Dylan and Luke, whose cognitive faculties seem well developed for their
ages (Dylan is able to extend the imaginative play to specify that that igloo
is uninhabited, although there is a bed with a pillow, and Luke appears to
have created a scenario whereby a reindeer is trying to gain entrance with
hello help get in agh … help help in the door) are also the children who seem
more keen to be physically involved in the play (as in just let me and I want
to have a go in there).
To varying extents, three of the children seem able to cope with
imaginative play, even the rather diffident Wilson visualising a fire in the
igloo and suggesting that the others take notice of it (look a fire), indicating
that they have long been comfortable with concepts such as object
permanence (in that they are envisaging objects which are not present).
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A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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The more literal Jack’s cognitive strengths seem to lie spatially – he is the
one to warn that the reindeer cannot enter the igloo because it’s too small
(and he is the only child to use a qualifier to elucidate), showing the
beginnings of an ability to think logically. Dylan is unable to work out that
in order to stop the others hurting my fingers he must move them out of the
way or that when you lift that up you have to be careful you don’t squash
anybody’s fingers.
Dylan’s viewpoint appears to be firmly egocentric - his prohibitions seem
driven by a desire to keep the igloo to himself (as in get off the igloo (.) get
off). He is unable to put himself in the others’ shoes and has to be told not
to squash anybody’s fingers. Similarly Luke seems to be constructing an
imaginative world which only he is inhabiting – and which he discusses
with himself (or with the toy reindeer he is manipulating) using egocentric
speech (help help in the door) – where at least Dylan tries to explain what is
in his: that’s a bed … that’s the pillow.
Social interactionism and child–directed speech
An early and important pioneer in this field is the Russian psychologist Lev
Vygotsky whose work largely began to influence academics interested in child
development in the 1960s. Vygotsky’s ideas fell out of favour with the Soviet
establishment and he died young so many of his works were not translated until
30 years after his death. Nevertheless Vygotsky’s views – especially his emphasis
on the child as the product of its culture and on interaction as a key element of
learning - have a Marxist core to them.
Unlike Piaget, Vygotsky stressed that children from different backgrounds
learned in different ways and that a child’s cognitive development was
intimately related to its culture. From its culture a child would not only be
taught what to think (cultural knowledge) but, crucially, how to think (mental
processes, techniques and habits – what Vygotsky named the !ool of
in!ellec!"al adap!a!ion) so that cultural values and information could be
in!ernalied and used for the child’s own purposes. While Piaget argued that
language came about as a result of a child’s cognitive experience, Vygotsky
claimed that the cognitive experience itself could not be achieved without
language. He explored the role of speech in the way the child made sense of the
world around it and, ultimately, how it directed its own behaviour. For Vygotsky,
egocentric speech was the way a child thought (so a child could only really be
said to be thinking if it was ‘thinking out loud’). The egocentric speech period
was not a phase a child would grow out of, as Piaget saw it. Vygotsky considered
that egocentric speech was a form of language which would eventually be
internalised and grow more sophisticated, becoming the private and more
elliptical inner language (what we usually call ‘thought’) of the older child and
adult while social speech began to evolve separately.
While Vygotsky saw language as a cognitive tool in itself, he also highlighted its
vital role in social interaction, not for its own sake but in order to learn from and
work together with others. He was a great believer in play where, he maintained,
children rehearsed and internalised social rules and began to feel more
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11
comfortable with abstract ideas. For example, a child could differentiate between
a ‘pretend’ horse and an actual one and by starting to separate the word from the
object, ‘the child’s relation to reality [would be] radically altered’, a stage which,
Vygotsky theorised, the child would reach at about three years of age. The
interactional aspect of language was also important in Vygotsky’s educational
theories. He underlined the key part adults or older children should play in a
child’s progress by helping it to learn – or, in Vygotsky’s philosophy, solve
problems - through a series of structured tasks. For each skill a child should have
a &one of pro$imal de#elopmen! (ZPD), which Vygotsky defined as ‘the distance
between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem
solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem
solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers’ (from
Mind in Society: the development of higher psychological processes, 1978). The lower
limit of a child’s ZPD is the level of skill that it possesses when working
independently. The upper limit is the level it can reach when working with a
more skilled person. Vygotsky believed children needed a varied educational diet
within this zone.
Scaffolding
Some of Vygotsky’s ideas were paralleled by those of the American cognitive
psychologist Jerome Bruner, who coined the term caffolding as a metaphor for
the ways adults support children in their learning (by gradually withdrawing
their support as children become more competent). Bruner asserts that, to be
successful, scaffolding should include fostering a keenness to learn, structuring
knowledge so that the learner can easily understand it, presenting information
in an appropriate sequence and finding the most suitable ways of rewarding and
disciplining the learner. Since the 1950s, scaffolding has been fine-tuned in
numerous learning contexts by child developmentalists and involves a range of
strategies. This includes
encouraging children’s learning interests
simplifying learning by breaking information into small component parts
or sequenced steps and being explicit about what is expected of them
focusing children on their learning goals, extending ambitions, helping
children prioritise
providing alternative ways of doing things
soothing children’s frustration when learning is difficult or lengthy.
At the same time, effective scaffolding must always be adapted and adjusted to
the changing needs of the individual child.
Bruner suggests that scaffolding seems to occur naturally when children are
learning to talk. When children begin to talk, parents provide a variety of
structures to which infants are eager to respond, particularly when play is
involved – such as repeating favourite games or listening to favourite stories
again and again, playing their part in turn-taking, answering smiles with smiles,
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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while language grows more sophisticated. Bruner’s language learning model has,
a little mischievously, been called the LASS (Lang"age Acq"ii!ion S"ppor!
S%!em) in response to Chomsky’s LAD, about which he has reservations.
A key example of scaffolding is what is now known as child'direc!ed peech
(CDS), which is the very specific way adults speak to the children whom they
encounter or who are in their care. The most common features of CDS are
summarised in the following table.
While many of these elements - for example the use of personal names rather
than pronouns and higher pitch - are more commonly found in speech directed
at very young children, many persist well into school age (for instance simplified
lexis, frequent questions and imperatives) and have even been noted in
conversations between medical professionals and patients or in language use
with the elderly.
CDS has its critics. Some claim that diminutive expressions such as doggie,
moocow, can interfere with language development since they provide children
with inaccurate and distorted versions of normal speech (though evidence
indicates that this usage makes no difference). Moreover, in cultures where CDS
is not used, children acquire language at the same rate as in cultures where CDS
is common. Studies have shown that men in particular are often reluctant to
employ CDS, maybe because it seems ridiculous or patronising, and therefore
Le,i' 'i!$e&, &e'(&ic(ed *#cab)a&- a( chid’' ‘e*e’
a*#ida"ce #f !#difie&' a"d f)"c(i#" +#&d'
(he )'e #f $e&'#"a "a!e' ("#( $&#"#)"') a' i" M"mm%
$ill gi#e Lo!!ie a c"ddle
d-"a!ic *e&b'
di!i")(i*e f#&!' ')ch a' hore%, blank%
c#"c&e(e a"g)age &efe&&i"g (# #bjec(' i" (he chid’'
i!!edia(e e"*i&#"!e"(
G&a!!a& a"d
!#&$h##g-
'i!$e& c#"'(&)c(i#"'
f&e%)e"( )'e #f i!$e&a(i*e'
a high deg&ee #f &e$e(i(i#" (f#& e,a!$e #f "e+- ea&"ed
e,i') a"d 'e"(e"ce f&a!e' ')ch a' Tha!& a '
f&e%)e"( %)e'(i#"', (h#)gh #f(e" "#( e,$&e''ed i" a
'(a"da&d +a- (f#& e,a!$e, Lo!!ie a!e $ha!? '# (ha( (he
chid i' $&#!$(ed (# &e$- A!e bicc%). Q)e'(i#"' &e%)i&i"g
%e/no a"'+e&' ha*e $&#*ed (# be $a&(ic)a&- effec(i*e
e,$a"'i#"' a"d &eca'(i"g #f (he chid’' #+" )((e&a"ce'
a*#ida"ce #f $a'( (e"'e a"d i"fec(i#"' ')ch a' $)&a'
a"d $#''e''i*e'
Ph#"##g- '#+e&, cea&e& $&#")"cia(i#"
!#&e $a)'e', e'$ecia- be(+ee" $h&a'e' a"d 'e"(e"ce'
highe& $i(ch
e,agge&a(ed i"(#"a(i#" a"d '(&e''
)$bea( (#"e
12
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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13
cannot speak naturally to children when using it. They are certainly more likely
to use more direct questions and a more challenging variety of lexis.
Socialisation no doubt has a part to play here since, culturally, women have a
host of role models with whom to identify when it comes to addressing infants.
However CDS has many features which make it an ideal element of scaffolding.
For instance, understanding of word meanings is facilitated when adults focus
children’s attention on an object (supporting Piaget’s philosophy). Higher pitch
and exaggerated intonation hooks and sustains a child’s attention (so can help
implement Bruner’s directive of encouraging a child to learn). A frequent use of
questions improves children’s grasp of auxiliary verbs (since questions use them
more) and the inversions needed in questioning. Asking questions and pausing
for a reply (which carers tend to do even when children are too young to
respond) helps to introduce turntaking and other rules of conversation. CDS
tends to aid child-carer bonding and gives the child added reasons to formulate
something to say since, in Skinner’s terms, it is given positive feedback.
Bruner shares Vygotsky’s belief that language is a vital tool for organising all
sorts of learning though he also, with Piaget, contends that some learning uses
non-verbal cognitive skills. Like Piaget, Bruner is a stage theorist, his
developmental categories being the enac!i#e or action-based stage (where the
child learns about its environment by seeing, touching, moving): this extends to
about three years; followed by the iconic or image-based stage, up to about eight
years, where the child begins to imagine events and actions and where visual
memory is formed; and lastly the %mbolic or language based stage, at which
point the child’s language is capable of representing and organising what has
been learnt and of dealing with abstract concepts.
Bruner’s conviction that language is acquired through scaffolded social
interaction, is a view which is confirmed by studies of feral or grossly neglected
children and, to an extent, deaf children (though these children can progress
communicatively by using sign language) and children of non-speaking parents
(though these usually have experience of interactions with other adults or older
siblings who can speak). While all children seem to embark on initial pre-speech
sounds, children who do not experience spoken interaction with others stop
speaking altogether, perhaps because their communicative efforts seem to be
getting them nowhere. It is generally held by scholars that there is a critical
period (somewhere between seven and thirteen years old) after which non-
speaking children may never acquire language successfully, although the few
children who have been subjects of studies have generally been psychologically
damaged by being abused or isolated and this may account in part for their
muteness.
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
@ N%8-32%0 E<8)27-32 C300)+)
Activit! 4
(120 1-298)7)
L33/ %+%-2 %8 8,) *-678 )<86%'8 *631 8,) 40%=+6394 86%27'6-487 ;,-', =39 ,%:) &))2 789(=-2+ %2(
;6-8) (3;2 )-+,8 )<%140)7 3* 7'%**30(-2+, -2'09(-2+ ',-0(?(-6)'8)( 74))',, 1%/-2+ 8;3 43-287 %&398
;,%8 8,) 8)%',)6 -7 (3-2+ -2 )%', -278%2').
T)%',)6: ;,%8 %6) =39 1%/-2+
C,03): 6)-2())67
T)%',)6: 1%/) 731) *36 1) 8,)2
C,03): #shakes head$ I>:) +38 83 6300 -8 (3.0) I I '%2 1%/) 8;3
T)%',)6: I>00 6300 8,-7 &-8 398
C,03): E00% (.) E00% M%=>7 238 &%'/ *36 8,) 4%68=
T)%',)6: 4%6(32
C,03): E00% M%=>7 238 &%'/ 83 8,) 4%68=
T)%',)6: -72>8 7,) ,)6) 83(%=
C,03): #shakes head$ 7,)>00 1-77 8,) 4%68=
T)%',)6: 7,) ;-00
J%'/: '%2 I ,%:) 8,%8 %*8)6 =39
C,03): 8,)= %6) 1= 6)-2())67
T)%',)6: ,3; %&398 =39 ,%:) 32) )%',
C,03): 8,)6)>7 % 6)-2())6
T)%',)6: (3 =39 ;%28 8,%8 32)
J%'/: I ;%28 % &-+ 32)
T)%',)6: ,3; %&398 =39 ,%:) % &-+ 32) %2( % 0-880) 32) %2( 0)8 J%'/ ,%:) %
&-+ 32)
J%'/: '%2 I ,%:) 8,%8 8,-2+=
T)%',)6: =39 ;%28 83 &3663; 8,) /2-*) #to Chloe$ %6) =39 78-00 97-2+ 8,) /2-*)
C,03): #nods head$
T)%',)6: ,3; %&398 8,-7 (.) 8,%8>7 % /2-*) %7 ;)00
J%'/: I ;%28 8,%8 32)
T)%',)6: 3/%= (.) ;)00 ;,)2 =39>6) *-2-7,)( =39 '%2 +-:) -8 83 J%'/ (.) =)7
J%'/: -8>7 238 +)88-2+ 32)
T)%',)6: 4%6(32
J%'/: -8>7 238 +)88-2+ 32)
C,03): (3 =39 ;%28 83 1%/) % 2)'/0%')
T)%',)6: =)7
C,03): '31) %2( 1%/) 32)
T)%',)6: =)7
14
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
@ N%8-32%0 E<8)27-32 C300)+)
15
Here are a few suggestions.
cont.
Utterance Eample of scaffolding/child"directed speech
$ha! are %o" making He&e (he (eache& )'e' (he %)e'(i#"i"g fea()&e #f
chid/di&ec(ed '$eech (# $&#!$( Ch#e (# &e$-, (h)'
de*e#$i"g (he ea&"i"g #f ()&"/(aki"g a"d e"c#)&agi"g he& (#
e"gage +i(h he& $a-.
The )'e #f (he a),iia&- *e&b are a"d (he i"*e&'i#" #f (he *e&b
a'# he$ (he chid ea&" h#+ (# f#&! %)e'(i#"'.
make ome for me !hen The (eache& )'e' i!$e&a(i*e' #& i!$ied i!$e&a(i*e' (a' i"
ho$ abo"! %o" ha#e a big one and a li!!le one and le! Jack
ha#e a big one) a ")!be& #f (i!e'. The i!$e&a(i*e i' a"#(he&
fea()&e #f CDS a"d he&e 'ee!' (# be e!$#-ed i" #&de& (#
di&ec( Ch#e cea&-.
The addi(i#" #f for me e"c#)&age' Ch#e i" he& ac(i*i(- b-
!aki"g (he &e%)e'( 'ee! ike a $e&'#"a fa*#)& (for me) +hich
Ch#e +i be kee" (# g&a"(.
I’ll roll !hi bi! o"! The (eache& &eai'e' (ha( (he &#i"g $&#ce'' !a- be a bi( #f a
ch#&e f#& Ch#e '# #ffe&' (# j#i" i" (he ac(i*i(-.
The (eache& &eck#"' (ha( (hi' ac(i*i(- i' +i(hi" Ch#e’' .#"e #f
$&#,i!a de*e#$!e"( b)( (ha( 'he !a- "eed (# ha*e (he
ac(i*i(- !#deed f#& he& '# (ha( (he (+# #f (he! a&e +#&ki"g
a#"g'ide each #(he&.
Pardon The (eache& )'e' (hi' (e&! (+ice (# c#a, (he chid&e" (# &e$ai&
(hei& #+" )((e&a"ce' &a(he& (ha" c#&&ec(i"g (he chid&e"
#)(&igh( / agai" +#&ki"g +i(hi" (hei& ZPD' (# $)'h (he! a i((e
f)&(he& (# (hi"k f#& (he!'e*e'.
The (eache& i' a'# !#dei"g (he $#i(e +#&d c#"*e"(i#"a-
)'ed i" #)& c)()&e (# a'k $e#$e (# &e$ea( (he!'e*e'.
he $ill He&e (he (eache& )'e' $#'i(i*e &ei"f#&ce!e"( b- ag&eei"g +i(h
Ch#e (ha( Ea Ma- +i !i'' (he $a&(- '# (ha( Ch#e +i fee
c#"fide"( ab#)( e,$&e''i"g he& $e&ce$(i#"' i" f)()&e.
The a),iia&- *e&b i' )'ed ei$(ica- (#!i((i"g mi !he par!%)
he&e (# he$ Ch#e )"de&'(a"d h#+ (he'e *e&b' f)"c(i#" i"
i"f#&!a '$eech.
ho$ abo"! %o" ha#e
one each ' ho$ abo"!
%o" ha#e a big one and
a li!!le one and le! Jack
ha#e a big one
He&e (he (eache& $&#!$(' (he chid&e" (# 'ha&e (#-' b-
$&e'e"(i"g i!$ied c#!!a"d' i" (he f#&! #f i"(e&&#ga(i*e' i"
#&de& (# gi*e (he! a 'e"'e #f ch#ice. Thi' +i e"c#)&age
(he! (# (hi"k ab#)( (hei& beha*i#)&.
The (eache& a'# b&eak' d#+" he& &e%)e'( i"(# c#!$#"e"(
$a&(' f#& Ch#e '# (ha( 'he ca" 'ee h#+ (he 'ha&i"g +i +#&k
#)( f#& b#(h he&'ef a"d f#& Jack.
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
@ N%8-32%0 E<8)27-32 C300)+)
Self check
1 R)%( 8,) *3003;-2+ 86%27'6-48 ;,-', ()8%-07 -28)6%'8-327 &)8;))2 S9), %
',-0(1-2()6, %2( ,)6 8;3 ',%6+)7 J37, (4 =)%67 2 1328,7) %2( F6%2/-
(3 =)%67 4 1328,7) %*8)6 7,) ,%7 .978 4-'/)( 8,) ',-0(6)2 94 *631 8,)-6
2967)6= 7',330 %2( &639+,8 8,)1 ,31) *36 092',.
S9): ;,%8 %6) =39 +3-2+ 83 (3 23; (.) %6) =39 +3-2+ 83 40%= *36 % &-8 (.) -8>7 238
59-8) 092',8-1) =)8 (1.0) ;) '%2 ,%:) % 0-880) 40%= *-678
J37,: -8>7 1362-2+ 8-1) %8 7',330 (1.0) -8>7 )61 (2.0) ;) +3-2+ )6 ,%:-2+ ;)
,%:-2+ % 4-'2-'
F6%2/-: 3/%=
J37,: ;) 2))( 8,)7) 32)7
S9): 498 =396 7,3)7 %2( =396 '3%8 %;%= 2-')0= 8,%2/ =39 (4.0)
F6%2/-: 238 +3-2+ 32
J37,: 8,)6) =39 +3 F6%2/-
S9): 6-+,8 (.) ,3; %6) =39 (3-2+ F6%2/- (.) ,%:) =39 +38 =396 7,3)7 3** =)8
F6%2/-: I '%2>8 (3 8,%8 32)
S9): 8,)6) ;) +3 (4.0) ;,%8 ,%:) =39 &))2 94 83 83(%= (6.0) =39 (32>8 /23;
(7.0) F6%2/- '%2 2):)6 6)1)1&)6 ;,%8 7,)>7 &))2 (3-2+ %8 7',330 '%2
7,) J37,
F6%2/-: (6-2/
S9): 4%6(32 (.) ;390( =39 0-/) % (6-2/ (2.0)
F6%2/-: 40)%7)
S9): 40)%7) 8,%8>7 % +33( +-60 ;)00 (32) (1.0) (3 =39 ;%28 83 +)8 ',%2+)( 36
%6) =39 +3-2+ 83 7834 -2 =396 7',330 92-*361 (4.0)
F6%2/-: 7834 -2 8,-7
cont.
Utterance Eample of scaffolding/child"directed speech
%o" $an! !o borro$ !he
knife [!o Chloe] are %o"
!ill "ing !he knife '
oka% (.) $ell $hen
%o"’re finihed %o" can
gi#e i! !o Jack
The (eache& )(ii'e' a c#!!#" CDS (ech"i%)e b- &e$ea(i"g
(he +#&d knife he&e i" (he h#$e' (ha( Jack +i ea&" (he
c#&&ec( (e&! f#& (he !hing% (a' he ha' $)( i().
The (eache& a'# he$' (he chid&e" (# g&a'$ !#&e #f (he
!echa"ic' #f 'ha&i"g, i!$-i"g (# Jack (ha( he !)'( +ai( )"(i
Ch#e ha' fi"i'hed bef#&e he ca" )'e (he k"ife a"d hi"(i"g (#
Ch#e (ha( 'he !)'( "#( ha"g #" (# (he i!$e!e"( +he" 'he
"# #"ge& ha' "eed #f i(.
ho$ abo"! !hi (.) !ha!’
a knife a $ell
He&e (he (eache& e,(e"d' Jack’' #$(i#"' ((h#)gh "#( *e&-
')cce''f)- 'i"ce he c#)"(e&' I $an! !ha! one) '# (ha( he ca"
c#"'ide& a(e&"a(i*e' (# hi' #&igi"a $a".
The (eache& a'# e,(e"d' hi' )"de&'(a"di"g #f +ha( (he abe
knife c#*e&'.
16
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
@ N%8-32%0 E<8)27-32 C300)+)
17
Self check cont.
S9): ;,%8 (-( =39 +)8 =396 78-'/)6 *36 (7.0)
F6%2/-: )6 (5.0)
S9): ;)6) =39 % +33( +-60
F6%2/-: =)%,
S9): 3, :)6= +33( (2.0) 73 (1.0) 6-+,8 I>1 .978 +3-2+ 83 498 8,%8 8,)6) &98 (32>8
839', -8 40)%7) (5.0) 6-+,8 ,%:) =39 +38 % (6-2/ J37,
J37,: 11
S9): 4%6(32 (2.0)
J37,: =)%,
S9): =)7 8,%2/ =39 (2.0) =)7 8,%2/ =39
J37,: =)7 8,%2/ =39
S9): 6-+,8 3/%= (2.0) 6-+,8 =39 '%2 ,%:) % 40%= *36 % &-8 %2( 8,)2 ;)>00 ,%:)
731) 092',
U7-2+ 8,) -()%7 *631 0%2+9%+) 789(= ;,-', =39 ,%:) .978 0)%62)( %2(
+)2)6%0 46%+1%8-' %;%6)2)77, 1%/) *-:) 43-287 %&398 8,) ;%=7 S9) -7
86=-2+ 83 8)%', 8,) ',-0(6)2 %&398 %446346-%8) &),%:-396. (60 1-298)7)
2 M%/) *396 43-287 %&398 8,) ;%=7 8,) 8,)36-)7 =39 ,%:) 0)%62)( -2 8,-7
834-' '%2 '3140)1)28 )%', 38,)6 ;,)2 =39 %6) )<4036-2+ %74)'87 3*
',-0( 0%2+9%+) %'59-7-8-32. (60 1-298)7)
You will find the feedback to self checks at the end of this unit.
Summary
Now that you have completed this topic you should:
have considered whether language acquisition is principally innate or
learned behaviour
have deliberated the extent to which children acquire language because of
their relationship with their environment and because of their social
interaction with others
begun to explore how the work of specific theorists can be used to account
for child language acquisition.
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
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18
A2 English Language I Unit 3 I Section A I Topic 1 Some theoretical considerations
@ N%8-32%0 E<8)27-32 C300)+)