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Compare different theoretical positions on first, second and bilingual language acquisition Analyse language data to describe aspects of preschool and school-age language development Explain and illustrate concepts and issues in the interaction between languages and society Use the concepts to explain the role of the home, school and society in the acquisition of English by Singapore children Apply knowledge and skills acquired in the course to make connections with classroom teaching in Singapore primary and secondary schools © DNA, 2011
AAE 203 LANGUAGE ACQUISITION & DEVELOPMENT
Lecture 1 - An Introduction
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Please download all materials from Blackboard Tutorials begin next week Tutors:
Dr Norhaida Aman (Course Chair) Dr Rita E. Silver Dr Nguyen Thi Thuy Minh
Language Acquisition & Development
• By what age would children have acquired the main elements of the language in their environment?
No G h N TG changes, please l Assessment: 50% assignment (9 Mar); 50% exam (18 Apr) Compulsory course book:
Goh, C. C. M. & Silver R. E. (2006) Language Learning: Home, School and Society. Singapore: Pearson Longman. DNA, 2011 ©
• The development process continues throughout our lives.
© DNA, 2011
During h i fi D i their first months. Metalinguistic awareness: they think about their own language. By the 11th month – understand ~50 common words.5/1/2012 Language Development: An Overview Communicative Development in Infancy Babies hear in utero. © DNA. h infants acquire communication skills. here-and-now School years: phonemes. 2011 Phonological Development Learning sounds and sound patterns Cries Cooing Babbling Words Semantic Development The ways in which speakers relate words to their referents and their meanings Early vocabulary: Reflect their daily lives Context-bound. 2011 2 . word stress. © DNA. understand what words are.000 words. rhythm and intonation Anglin (1993) : when children begin school they know about 10. 2011 © DNA. and are able to define them. 2011 Semantic Development Learning the Phonological meaning of Development words d Learning Sounds Communicative Development in Infancy Morphology & Syntax Putting words together Language in Social Contexts © DNA. By the 6th month .babies have categorised the sounds of their language.
foots One word >> 2-word utterances ‘Mommy drink’ >> telegraphic speech ‘Mommy put book table’ Begin to learn rules to combine words into phrases and sentences © DNA.g. 2011 Language in Social Contexts When children have acquired the phonology. colour lexical set: blue. male girl human (superordinate) h synonymy antonymy hyponymy h Sense relations Syntagmatic & Paradigmatic relations Semantic fields/lexical sets E. red. green © DNA. associative (connotative) meaning Example: cow Syntagmatic The brilliant boy passed with flying colours. 2011 3 . syntax morphology syntax.5/1/2012 Conceptual (denotative) vs. 2011 Morphology & Syntax Morphology B i to recognise patterns of word f Begin i f d formations: i Overgeneralisation book – books *foot . morphology. 2011 Paradigmatic © DNA. and semantics of a language Linguistic competence Syntax When they acquire the ability to use language appropriately in a variety of situations Social competence © DNA.
and vice versa? Language learning and cognition are strongly related to each another Language is contingent on cognitive development When language acquisition is delayed. 2011 The Aspects of the Language FORM • Phonology p gy • Morphology • Syntax The Role of the Child Active participants or passive recipients? Is linguistic knowledge innate? How does cognitive development influence language development. What issues must we consider when discussing language acquisition and development? Speech acts Getting thing done with words Direct vs. 2011 © DNA. 2011 4 . 2011 © DNA.5/1/2012 So… Pragmatics The Th use and interpretation of language in context di i fl i The system of rules that dictates the way language is used to reach social ends. LANGUAGE MEANING • Semantics USE • Pragmatics © DNA. Indirect Role of the environment Nature of language Role of the child © DNA. it may affect the ability to learn concepts and develop spatial skills etc.
© DNA. on output Social environment The child’s life experiences The type of interaction/conversation Parenting style Social experience – little opportunity to interact with other children/adults. output.5/1/2012 The Role of the Environment Linguistic environment Use of a distinctive register LANGUAGE Psycholinguistic Aspects The language used .input received output feedback received. 2011 LEARN USE 1st language 2nd language Bilingualism LANGUAGE LANGUAGE Descriptive Aspects e LEARN Language form USE LEARN USE Semantic development Pragmatic d l development Metalinguistic development School-age learning Interaction Language socialisation l Societal multilingualism Language variation Sociolinguistic Aspects 5 . anxieties Family’s social class Etc.
2011 Behaviourism According to this theory. © DNA. 2011 6 . obser ed/st died According to Skinner (1957). learning takes place when there is a stimulus. children imitate & practise adults teach/correct them Language = Verbal behaviour The mind cannot be observed/studied. children learn language the same way they learn maths & music wa the m sic adults model.18. and the social interactionist approaches contribute to our understanding of language acquisition? g g g q Theoretical Approaches Behaviourism: B h i i Say what I say Innatism: I i It’s all in your mind Interactionism: What are the limitations of these theoretical approaches? Pg. the innatist. reinforcement and feedback.5/1/2012 Questions to think about… What issues must we consider when discussing the first lang age acq isition? language acquisition? How do the behaviourist. 2011 Only behaviours are y observable. © DNA. Goh & Silver (2006) Learning from inside & out © DNA.
5/1/2012 Role of adults Language learning Imitation (word-forword p ) repetition) Practice (repetitive manipulation ) of form) Feedback (positive reinforcement) Habit formation © DNA. Overgeneralisation: break . 2011 2. Randall (36 months): Why? So he can doc my little bump? © DNA. However. 7 .broked Mother: Maybe we need to take you to the doctor. It I is true that they may copy and imitate both verbal h h d b h b l and non-verbal behaviours. Language is learnt through imitation. Role of an adult Provide li it d d l ith degenerate i t P id limited models with d t input. this theory cannot explain how children can produce and comprehend utterances they have never heard before. 2011 Limitations 1. 2011 © DNA. 2011 © DNA.
2011 8 . in much the same way humans are predisposed to walk and stand upright. Eve : "Mama isn't boy. Child : Nobody don't like me. and not the grammatical structure that is corrected by the adult. don‘t me (Data from McNeill. it is likely that the content. That s right. Child : Oh nobody don t likes me." © DNA. don't me Parent : No. say 'nobody likes me'. he a girl.5/1/2012 Adults Ad lt are expected to correct ‘mistakes’. processed through complicated cognitive processes and mechanisms. 1966) © DNA. Child : Nobody don t like me. Oh. say 'nobody likes me'.“ Adam : "And Walt Disney come on Tuesday. the desired outcome may not always result result: © DNA. © DNA. even with explicit correction. t dt t‘ it k ’ Even if this is done. 2011 Sometimes. 2011 Innatism For example." Mother: "That's right." Mother: "No.’ Humans are innately predisposed to acquire language. (Repeated 8 times) Parent : Now listen carefully. he doesn't. 2011 Chomsky (1957): ‘Language is rule-based and generative in nature.
© DNA. 2011 Critical Period hypothesis ~Lennenberg (1967) “. performance Chomsky’s arguments are primarily based on competence instead of performance. l iii Focus on syntactic model © DNA.the assumption that language is innately determined that its acquisition determined..5/1/2012 Children are biologically programmed for language – language acquisition device The environment makes only a basic contribution. serving as a trigger to ‘activate’ the LAD. is dependent upon both necessary neurological events and some unspecified minimal exposure to language. but not enough on the developmental aspects of language acquisition.e. Children have the innate ability to discover for themselves the underlying rules of a language system on the basis of the samples of a natural language they are exposed to. 2011 Limitations 1. Competence vs. 2011 Acts as a trigger gg Innate mental capacity for language LAD (Universal Grammar) Critical period yp hypothesis + Some exposure to language X Language X © DNA. 2011 9 . the linguistic competence of adult native speakers). or lateralized specialization of the language faculty…” © DNA. Too much emphasis on the “final state” (i. and after puberty because of loss of "cerebral plasticity" caused by the completion of the development of cerebral dominance. … this critical period lasts from about 2 to puberty: language acquisition is impossible before two due to maturational factors.
g. Conversational give-and-take © DNA. simpler sentence p patterns. 2011 Vygotsky © DNA. etc. higher pitch. the ‘here and now’ and topics related to the child’s experiences. 2011 10 . and paraphrase.. 2011 Interactions Routines: Help children develop ‘scripts’ about how events typically i ll unfold Provide input Provide opportunities for children to use l language © DNA. Role of environment Adult language input and socialisation processes oversimplified. 2011 Child-directed Speech (modified language interaction): Phonological modification: a slower rate of delivery. frequent repetition. Motherese/ Child-directed speech © DNA. Concerned with social and psychological aspects of lang age learning language Focus on: the role of the linguistic environment in interaction with the child’s innate capacities how language and cognitive developments take place within key contexts of interaction: Care-giving Play Reading sessions. . more varied intonation Syntactical modification: shorter.5/1/2012 Interactionism 2. q p . p p Limited conversation topics: e.
© DNA. Child A ‘clean’ slate clean Environment It is a source of language models and provides selective reinforcements.5/1/2012 Limitation The interactionists recognize: the contributions of the innate structures of the human mind the environment which provides the language samples Language acquisition 1. 2011 © DNA. The input from the environment is ‘degenerate’ but necessary for ‘triggering’ innate knowledge. 2011 Summary Behaviourism Language is a subset of learned behaviours through L i b fl db h i h h conditioning and habit formation. Language has social and communicative purposes. © DNA. © DNA. Innatism Language is processed through biologically programmed and psychological means. Interactionism I i i Language is learnt through interaction in meaningful communicative contexts. Inn natist Interactionist Uses contextual clues from The environment provides interaction to process meaning contexts for language language input and language use.Inadequate account of the cognitive processes that children engage in Difference between interactionism and innatism? Effect of child’s personality and learning strategies? = Acquisition of other skills LA is similar to and influenced by the acquisition of other kinds of skill and knowledge instead of being independent of the child’s experience and cognitive development. Theoretical Models. 2011 All languages have Born with syntactic grammatical knowledge for analysing structures that are linguistic input universal. 2011 11 .A Comparison Language Behaviouris st It is a subset of all learned behaviours.
Language Learning: Home Learning Home. School and Society. Goh & Silver (2006). 2011 12 . & Ratner (2009). 7th edition. Singapore Society Singapore: Pearson Longman. © DNA. Chapters 1& 7. Pearson Ed. The Development of Language.5/1/2012 References Chapters 1 & 2. Gleason.
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