English Teaching Methodology “Theories”. August, 2012. Behaviorism. An approach that dominated during the first half of the XX century (40s & 50s). Most influential proponent, the American Psychologist B. F. Skinner (1957). Behavior can be researched scientifically.
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The theory is based on the premise that effective language behavior consists of producing responses to the correct stimuli. The link between stimuli and responses becomes habitual.
The hypotheses are checked in the child’s own language production. They are also regularly checked against the further data or input that his/her exposure to the language provides. As he/she finds that his/her hypotheses, do not account for all the data he/she modifies the hypothesis and checks them again.
Through the process of checking and rechecking hypothesis, the child broadens his/her range of hypotheses and forms an initial grammar of the language. The grammar goes through successive modifications and resembles the adult grammar by employing his/her linguistic competence, the child can generate innumerable grammatically correct sentences and rejects ungrammatical ones.