First language acquisition research
Despite this, certain factors are necessary for the acquisition of the first language. Furthermore, do have a significant influence on how a child acquires his first language. In this essay, the essential factors required for first language acquisition are identified, and the environmental and social factors that influence this process are also analyzed. Essential Factors In order for a child to successfully acquire his first language, several things are required. To begin with, children require input, which means that a child needs to be exposed to a particular language. This particular requirement is evident in Genie’s case. Genie was a girl who rose to prominence when she was committed to a children’s hospital at the age of 13, without the capacity to speak.
Before being admitted to the hospital, Genie had spent all of her formative years tied up in a room by herself. Over time, she was able to develop the capacity to speak and understand other people (Yule 166). This demonstrates that while a child is receptive to first language acquisition, if she is not allowed to use language by interacting with other people, then he will most likely not acquire his first language. For instance, a particular state of emotion can have a significant motivational effect on a person’s capacity to learn a particular language (Ghazali 10). In children, the affective filter plays a particularly important role. This is because children are constantly encouraged to produce any form of language. Grammatical errors, stutters and other mistakes are often overlooked as parents and caregivers are more concerned with seeing the children attempt to express themselves (Ghazali 12).
Furthermore, most children remain unaware of their own mistakes during the language acquisition stage (Ghazali 10). However, it is worth noting that the capacity to hear is not sufficient for language acquisition on its own. Deaf children, even with increased contact to input and interaction, are unable to learn how to speak. Despite this, they are capable of developing some form of sign language. Environmental Influence The environment in which a child develop tends to have a serious implication on a child’s acquisition of the first language. One of the main environmental influences is the culture in which a child grows in. Due to these differences, children in these societies tend to be early learners and high achievers in language acquisition.
The parent’s education has also been shown to influence the first language acquisition of a child. Language development in children brought up by parents with different attainment levels tends to vary significantly. Children whose parents have a high level of education tend to learn language early and faster than other children (Grandgeorge et. al. Conversely, parents from high and middle socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to interact more with their children. In fact, they will talk to them, play with them, read them books, and remain highly responsive to them, further promoting their ability to express themselves and communicate effectively (Safwat and Sheikhany 261-2; Grandgeorge et. al. Furthermore, a parent’s socioeconomic status may also influence the beliefs and values of parenting, with most parent from low socio-economic backgrounds placing little emphasis on talking to children and interacting with them in a leisurely manner, such as through play and reading (Hoff 1374).
Influence of the People around the Child The people in the immediate environment in which a child grows tend to influence a child’s first language acquisition in numerous ways. When parents make alterations to their language, when addressing children, this tends to have a positive effect on a child’s language development. For instance, this form of speech tends to place more emphasis on things taking place in the present time. This can help a child identify objects and the names associated with them. On the same note, the use of high pitches, altering intonations and employing exaggerations also help capture a child’s attention, which plays an important role in language acquisition (Halldórsdóttir 19-20). To some extent, “motherese” may actually undermine a child’s language development, because it excessively simplifies the input a child is receiving (Halldórsdóttir 20).
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