jueves, 9 de octubre de 2014

essay about first language acquisition

The aim of this essay is to explore the most important ideas of Chomsky's theory of Language Acquisition and present a personal opinion about it.

Chomsky argues that human's brains have a Language Acquisition Device and this mechanism allows children to develop language skills without any effort. According to this view, all kids are born with a Universal Grammar which makes them receptive to the common features of all languages since universal grammar is the basis upon which all human languages are built.
The linguist also claims that it would be like a miracle if children learnt their language in the same way they learn math or how to ride a bicycle since children are exposed to language which sometimes is not correctly formed; parents while speaking constantly interrupt themselves, change their mind, hesitate, etc. Despite these mistakes, children manage to learn their language all the same and this claim is usually referred to as "The Argument of Poverty of the Stimulus".
This argument has four stages: a) A native speaker of a particular language knows a particular aspect of syntax, b) the aspect of syntax could not have been acquired from the language input typically available to children, c) this aspect of syntax is not learnt from outside, d) this aspect of syntax is built-in to the mind.
Another reason why the learning of language cannot be compared with other activities that can be learnt is that children do not simply copy the language that they hear, they deduce rules from it, and then these rules can be used to produce sentences that they have never heard before.
Chomsky argues that children will never acquire the tools needed for processing an infinite number of sentences if the language acquisition mechanism depended on language input alone.
Consequently, he proposes the theory of Universal Grammar, an idea of innate, biological grammatical categories, such as a noun category and a verb category that facilitate the entire language development in children and overall language processing in adults.
Universal Grammar is considered to contain all the grammatical information needed to combine these categories. The child's task is just to learn the words of his/ her language.
In response to evidence from the environment the child creates a core grammar that assigns values to all the parameters, yielding one of the allowable human languages. To start with, the child's mind is open to any human being. The principles of UG are principles of the initial state and the Projection Principle, Binding, Government, and the others, are the built-in structure of the language faculty in the human mind.
Parameter-setting allows the child to acquire the circumscribed variation between languages. Acquiring a language means setting all the parameters of UG appropiately.The child does not acquire rules but settings for parameters, which, interacting with the network of principles, create a core grammar.
In addition to the core grammar, the child acquires a massive set of vocabulary items, each with its own pronunciation, meaning and syntactic restrictions.
A large part of “language learning" is a matter of determining from presented data the elements of the lexicon and their properties. This lexical learning hypothesis claims that parameters belong to lexical entities rather than to principles
To sum up in Chomsky's words, “what we know innately are the principles of the various subsystems of S and the manner of their interaction, and the parameters associated with these principles. What we learn are the values of the parameters and the elements of the periphery".

Language is an ability that truly makes us human. Children develop their language listening to their parents, parroting, building their own rules as regards grammar. All of us have this innate capacity since our mind is open to any human language.


jueves, 12 de junio de 2014

can we change the world from the classroom?

>Can we change the world from the classroom?

Every single teacher can notice that there are several social problems in our society reflected in the classrooms. We can see a lot of absenteeism from parents and also from teachers, violence and lack of tolerance. I think that we as teachers can contribute to make a better world from the classroom; every time you prepare a game with love for the students and then you see that they enjoy it and you make them happy for a moment, every time you enter the classroom with a smile, every time you congratulate them for their improvement,you are collaborating for a better atmosphere. Working with passion and enthusiasm can be an effective key to changing our educational reality.


miércoles, 4 de junio de 2014

welcome people!!!


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