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First Language Acquisition. Lecture #16. First Language Acquisition. Why do we call it language acquisition? Learning Intentional process Presupposes teaching Teacher controls pace Acquisition Unconscious process Does not presuppose teaching Child controls pace.

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first language acquisition1
First Language Acquisition
  • Why do we call it language acquisition?
    • Learning
      • Intentional process
      • Presupposes teaching
      • Teacher controls pace
    • Acquisition
      • Unconscious process
      • Does not presuppose teaching
      • Child controls pace
first language acquisition2
First Language Acquisition
  • How do nurture and nature interact in FLA?
    • Nature
      • Must have LAD—poverty of stimulus too great to learn without “language instinct”
      • All children learn a language; have language capacity
      • Overgeneralizations demonstrate child is analyzing language
    • Nurture
      • Children cannot acquire language without interaction/scaffolding
      • Children learn the language of their environment; through parents who model social interaction
      • Memorization of chunks by rote demonstrates not all info is anlayzed fully
four pillars of fla
Four Pillars of FLA
  • Ability
    • Physiological
    • Cognitive
  • Interaction
    • Scaffolding (Caretaker speech)
  • Motivation
    • Internal vs. External
    • Instrumental vs. Integrative
  • Data
    • Forms
    • Meaning
    • Function
  • Targeted/limited vocab
  • Exaggerated intonation
  • Repetition
  • Questioning
critical period hypothesis
Critical Period Hypothesis
  • There is an ideal window of opportunity within which we are primed to acquire language: birth - puberty
  • Evidence?
    • Adults struggle to learn a second language (to a greater or lesser degree)
    • The question is why?
    • We struggle with both the physiological and the cognitive ability.
stages of first language acquisition
Stages of First Language Acquisition
  • Prelinguistic Sounds
    • 0-1 mo. Sleep, eat, cry
    • 1 mo. Intonational patterns
    • 2-5 mos. Cooing stage
    • 5-12 mos. Babbling stage
  • One-word Stage (holophrastic)
    • 1 yr. emergence of first word (controversial)
    • 1 yr., 6 mos. Holophrastic stage
      • intonation layers on meaning
      • ‘fis’ phenomenon
stages of first language acquisition1
Stages of First Language Acquisition
  • Two-word Stage
    • 2 yrs. Two words, three possible interpretations
      • Subject-verb ‘Mary go.’
      • Verb-modifier ‘Push truck.’
      • Possessor-possesed ‘Mommy sock’
    • Content words, no function words
  • Telegraphic Stage
    • 2 yrs., 6 mos. telegraphic stage
      • 2-5 words with little extra morphology
      • Morphological overgeneralization
      • Easier, more productive morphemes first
stages of first language acquisition2
Stages of First Language Acquisition
  • Telegraphic Stage, cont.
    • 2-5 yrs. More elaborate syntax
      • Learning 20-30 words per day
      • Semantic overgeneralization/

undergeneralization

  • Fine-tuning
    • 5-10 yrs. Refining grammar, building vocabulary
      • How children learn vocabulary:
        • Assign word to a broad semantic category
        • Work out distinctions among words in that category
building vocabulary
Building Vocabulary
  • Traditional efforts:
    • Flash cards
    • Look it up in the dictionary—

what is the problem here?

  • Better to learn vocab in context:
    • Reading
    • Conversation
    • Language learning software

How can you help your children develop their language skills the most?