THE EVOLUTION OF THE CRITICAL PERIOD FOR LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: The…
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CRITICAL PERIOD FOR LANGUAGE ACQUISITION:
The Phenomenon to be Explained
Critical period for the acquisition of first language
Critical period hypothesis by Lenneberg
Progress in language learning occurs in children younger than the age 14
Progress becomes standstill after maturity
Result based on evidence
Post pubescent learners do not have high proficiency as other early learners but language had not become totally unbearable.
Eg: Genie learned language outside of the critical period
There is a decline over age in the ability to acquire a first language
Johnson and Newport develop the idea of a critical period
The exercise hypothesis
Early in life, humans have superior capacity for acquiring languages.
If the capacity is not exercised during this time, it will dissapear or decline with maturation.
If the capacity is exercised, however further language-learning abilities will remain intact throughout life.
The maturational state hypothesis
Early in life, humans have a superior capacity for acquiring languages.
This capacity disappears or declines with maturation.
second language learning is (to some extent) inhibited by prior attainment in a first language
Johnson & Newport claim humans have special capacity for acquiring language in childhood regardless the language is their first or second.
The evidence for critical period for language acquisition is not strong because of ethical limitations on experimentation.