Summary Of Lightbrown & Spada 's Text And Coelho Chapter Eight Essay

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1. Languages are learned mainly through imitation and practice.
I agreed with this statement before reading Lightbrown & Spada’s text and Coelho Chapter eight because I have been around many children and I always see a child doing what I thought was imitating what they see their parents doing or talking like their parents. Behaviorism was a theory of learning that was very influential in the 1940’s and 1950’s, in the United States. B. F. Skinner believed that through behaviorism language is learned through imitation and repetition. According to Lightbrown and Spada’s reading “Traditional behaviorists hypothesized that when children imitated the language produced by those around them, their attempts to reproduce what they heard received ‘positive reinforcement’. This could take the form of praise or just successful communication” (L&S, 10). The problem with behaviorism is that imitation and practice alone cannot explain some of the forms created by children. Children are actively figuring out the rules of their languages and most language learning comes from receiving auditory or written comprehensible input. Reading Chapter eight in Coelho, she states that “Children are born with the physical ability to produce the sounds of any language, as their early babbling shows. At this stage, babies around the world sound alike. By the time they are a year old, however, infants have begun to restrict their language production to the sounds they hear around them. They imitate the

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