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Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition 1 Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition Robert Perkovich Western Governors University
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Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition 2 INTRODUCTION This paper will concentrate on the theories of language learning and development for first and second languages. Discussed will be the theories of leading experts in the field ranging from Chomsky to O’Malley. This paper will also examine the connection of how a student’s first language can impact second language learning and teaching strategies that can be useful in helping students achieve target language goals. THEORISTS AND THEORIES Noam Chomsky theorized that all people are born with the ability to learn language, even if they are born without the ability to hear language. His theory is based on the belief that all children are born with a special brain mechanism referred to as the Language Acquisition Device (LAD) used to discover language use and rules [HowLang]. Based on the belief of the LAD, Chomsky developed the idea of Universal Grammars, or the belief that all people have the ability to learn language because there are certain grammars that are present in all languages [Fro11]. These Universal Grammars are virtually impossible to completely identify because of the massive diversity in the worlds languages. Universal Grammars allow children to discover the rules of their primary language and, if introduced early enough, the rules of second (third, fourth) languages. There is disagreement on this theory as others would say Universal Grammars aid in the development of primary languages, but there needs to be some other aspect that assists in the acquisition of additional language [HowLang]. Stephen Krashen has five different hypotheses to acquisition of language, Language Acquisition vs Language Linguistic, Natural Order, Monitor Hypothesis, Comprehensible Input, and Affective Filter hypotheses [Bik11].
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Language Production, Theory, and Acquisition 3 The first of Krashen’s hypotheses, Language Acquisition vs Language Linguistic, states that Acquisition is a “subconscious process that leads to fluency” [Bik11] and Linguistics is a conscious act of the learner focusing on formal knowledge being presented [Bik11]. Krashen theorized that before you can have acquisition of language, you must first have the linguistic leaning.
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