BEHAVIORIST THEORY ON LANGUAGE LEARNING AND ACQUISITION Introduction
There are some basic theories advanced to describe how language is acquired, learnt and taught. The behaviorist theory, Mentalist theory (Innatism), Rationalist theory (otherwise called Cognitive theory), and Interactionism are some of these theories. Of these, behaviorist theory and mentalist theory are mainly applicable to the acquisition of languages while the rest can account for foreign language acquisition. Yet, these four theories of language acquisition cannot be totally divorced from each other, for "the objectives of second language learning are not necessarily entirely determined by native…show more content… Each stimulus is thus thc caser of a response, and each response becomes the initiator of a stimulus, and this process goes on and on in this way.
4) All learning is the establishment of habits as the result of rein¬forcement and reward. Positive reinforcement is reward while negative reinforcement is punishment. In a stimulus situation, a response is exer¬ted, and if the response is positively augmented by a reward, then the association between the stimulus and response is itself reinforced and thus the response will very likely be manipulated by every appearance of stimulus. The result will yield conditioning. When responses to stimuli are coherently reinforced, then habit formation is established. It is be¬cause of this fact that this theory is termed habit-formation-by-reinfor¬cement theory.
5) The learning, due to its socially-conditioned nature, can be the same for each individual. In other words, each person can learn equally if the conditions in which the learning takes place are the same for each person. The behaviorist theory believes that “infants learn oral language from other human role models through a process involving imitation, rewards, and practice. Human role models in an infant’s environment provide the stimuli and rewards,” (Cooter & Reutzel, 2004). When a child attempts oral language or imitates the sounds or speech patterns they are usually praised and given