How would learning theorists describe language acquisition that occurs through interactions such as this one, as a young boy listens to his father?
Niamh Baldock/Alamy Stock Photo
Interactions with parents and teachers give children more opportunities to talk, observe, and help them to learn to use new words.
Learning theorists emphasize the role of parental interaction and reinforcement because children pick-up new vocabulary when they converse with their parents. Additionally, parental interaction gives children an opportunity to converse in diverse scenarios and the reinforcement encourages them to use such words in other conversations too.
For instance, if a child heard his parents talking with each other in an abusive language, there are chances that the child will also talk to their friend in abusive language or use that language with other people around.
According to learning theorists, interactions with parents and caregivers can enhance language acquisition. During these interactions parents usually praise when their child uses a new word. This reinforces such behavior. Additionally, parents who engage their children in a conversation by asking questions and probing different answers help expand a child's vocabulary. Rewarding correct usage of grammar and words during interactions such as these enhances the child's linguistic abilities. Moreover, children also imitate their parents, and as a result, end up picking new words and phrases. For instance, the father makes the child learn about the names of the fruits. The child sees a yellow fruit and says 'banana'. Father becomes happy and praises the child.