Critical Period Hypothesis

Decent Essays

Lenneberg formed the Critical Period Hypothesis theory which contends that language is innate but has to be attained before the age of puberty or else the ability to learn language ebbs (as a result of the lateralization of the brain). 1 At present, the Critical Period Hypothesis theory is widely accepted by numerous linguists. Evidence has been presented that there is a limited time when the brain is malleable (in terms of language). Studies such as, linguistically isolated children (a.k.a. feral children) support Lenneberg 's theory of the critical period because they are unable to fully acquire language. 2 Moreover, there is a non-uniform success rate in adults who try to attain a second language yet children can obtain a new language a …show more content…

Other cases of feral children include: Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron (who was found at age 11) and Kamala of Midnapore (who was found at age 8), both never learned language correctly either.11 Therefore, although Lenneberg 's hypothesis is not proven, feral children forcefully support it. The Critical Period Hypothesis is further supported by experiments about second language acquisition. Lenneberg believed that "the language acquisition device, like other

Get Access