Theories of Language Acquisition - Coggle Diagram
Theories of Language Acquisition
B. F. Skinner
Perspective: "Learning should not be conceived as growth or development, but rather acquiring behaviors as a result of certain environmental contingencies."
Learning happens when repeated and controlled stimulation from the environment can bring out a predictable response.
Left to right progression
Vocabulary or word knowledge :
Auditory discrimination of the sounds of the alphabet
Comprehension or meaning making
Visual discrimination of shapes and letters
Use in teaching
Direct instruction given by teacher and teach strategies that can be used while reading
Determine needs of students
Give students practice time with guidance from teacher and eventually practice independently
Assumed we had innate mental structures that allowed language use.
Referred to this as "Universal Grammar"
Argued that because all human languages follow similar production rules, we must have a built in capacity for language.
Says that at birth we are given a "Language Acquisition Device," which allows us to unconciously recognize the language we are dealing with.
Babies go through the same developmental stages no matter what language they're learning.
Infants master language faster than they would have with "blank slate" of knowledge.
Says that language acquisition is influenced by multiple factors: physical, linguistic, cognitive, and social
Placed heavy emphasis on social interaction for learning language
Two developmental stages of sociocultural model: 1. Social interaction behavior develops in a child after observing others. 2. A child learns best when an adult guides them in problem solving until they are able to do so efficiently on their own.
His theory is one of the major foundations of constructivism
Social interaction plays important role in cognitive development.
The More Knowledgable Other (MKO) can help learner with skills and processes.
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the distance between their performance with guidance and their performance when working on their own.
Believes that people learn and retain information best when they discover knowledge themselves.
Discovery Learning Theory
Promotes autonomy, responsibility, and independence.
Encourages active engagement.
Possibility of misconceptions.
May cause cognitive overload.
Behaviorist, Nativist, and Social Interactionist:
Alexander, P. (January 2004). A historical perspective on reading research and practice.
. Retrieved from
Maestas, B. (2021). Core reading synopsis: Theories of language acquisition-2 [Canvas]. Retrieved from
Nativist theory: Chomsky and language learning. Retrieved from
The Ling Space. (2014, September 3).
Language aquisition and universal grammar
[Video]. Youtube. Retrieved from
Interactionism. Retrieved from