Language Acquisition : An Essential Tool For Humans

2214 Words Oct 28th, 2016 9 Pages
Language acquisition is one of the main characteristics of human development; it is an essential tool for humans to communicate with one another. First Language (L1) acquisition refers to person’s natural acquisition of their mother tongue. Second language (L2) acquisition is learning another language after a first language is already been learnt. Through research it has been found that children acquiring their first language will initially listen to language they are exposed to, further develop the skills through discovery then implement it in their daily interaction with others.

Behaviourism Theory
Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B.F. Skinner supported the theory of behaviourism, which states that the environment has an impact on human behaviour (stimulus) and so does reinforcement (response). One of the earliest explanations of language acquisition was provided by Skinner. He believed that language acquisition was influenced by the environment and that learning occurs due to external stimulus, responses and positive reinforcements. Skinner emphasised the importance of reinforcing stimulus on behaviour to increase the probability of the same behaviour reoccurring. Therefore, immediate reactions to familiar stimulus should be acknowledged and positively reinforced. This also applies to language; when it is learnt with meaning and the effort is rewarded, the process would then enforce the value of the words and phrases learnt. An example of positive reinforcement in the…
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