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Chapter 2 First Language Acquisition. Preliminaries: Do children learn their L1 only through imitation? Give examples to support your point. Why a young child is more sensitive for words like ‘apple, dog, doll’ than words like ‘atomic bomb, clone, embassy’?. (1)  Theories in L1A

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slide2
Preliminaries:

Do children learn their L1 only through imitation? Give examples to support your point.

Why a young child is more sensitive for words like ‘apple, dog, doll’ than words like ‘atomic bomb, clone, embassy’?

slide3
(1)  Theories in L1A

1.  behaviorist learning theory

(popular in the 1950s and 60s)

2. the nativist approach

3. the cognitive approach

4. the functional approach

slide4
1)behaviorist learning theory (popular in the 1950s and 60s)

1.  B.F. Skinner

2. Viewpoint: LL is a kind of behavior similar to other human behavior. Language is learnt in much the same way as anything else is learnt. 都是经过刺激一反应而逐渐形成习惯的结果

stimulus → organism → response

↓ ↓ ↓

lg input the learner imitation

e.g. ‘This is a pencil → ‘This is a pencil’.

slide5
3.  four steps for a child to acquire his/her L1:

imitation→reinforcement→repetition→habituation

模仿 强化 重复 成形

positive negative good habit bad habit

positive reinforcement: praise or reward

negative reinforcement: corrections

good habit: correct performance

bad habit: errors

slide6
4.criticisms of behaviorist learning theory

①overemphasize the external factors

②ignore the internal factor, i.e. the role of learner himself

③overemphasize the role of imitation

case study:

5.relations with FLT (Audiolingual Method)

pattern drills

slide7
2)The nativist approach

1.viewpoint:

Children’s ability to learn a language is innate.

2. innate hypothesis: ↑

3. Language Acquisition Device (LAD)

characteristics of LAD:

Universal grammar (UG):

Chomsky’s term for the abstract principles that comprise a child’s innate knowledge of language and that guide LA

slide8
5. Behaviorist learning theory (A)

vs.

The nativist approach (B)

①A holds the view that LL is similar to the learning of other things;

B holds the view that LL is different from the learning of other things; We’re born with a kind of faculty which is unique to LL.

②A attaches great importance to the role of language input;

B holds that input is needed, but only to ‘trigger’ the operation of the LAD

slide9
6.Weakness of the nativist approach:

·hard to find out the nature of LAD

·difficult to observe LAD

7.Contributions of the nativist approach:

It regards children’s language as a reasonable system rather than something full of errors.

slide10
3) The cognitive approach

1.viewpoint:

Children’s language development relies on their understanding of the world or cognition.

2.its difference from the nativist approach

3.  Case study

slide11
4) The functional approach

1. to probe LA not from the angle of language structure, but from the angle of language communication.

2. viewpoint:

Children can learn a language successfully for the reason that they realize language could help do things.

case study:

slide12
3. seven language functions (by Halliday)

a. instrumental function

b. regulatory function

c. interactional function

d. personal function

e. heuristic function

f. imaginative function

g. representative function

4. Communicative approach in LT

slide13
(2)L1A vs FLL

1) physiological aspect

2) cognitive aspect

3)affective aspect

4)sociocultural aspect

5)learning condition

slide14
additional comparisons between L1A and FLL:

differences:

subconsciously

  ① manner

consciously

meaning

② focus

structure

slide15
natural

③ envi..

formal

④ learning speed

universal success

⑤ achievement

universal failure

slide16
similarities:

①follow the same route

②similar learning strategies

e.g. overgeneralization ( *goed; *comed; *foots; *sheeps)

Assignment:

Ques. 3, 6, 7, 8