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Formative Test IV for Introduction to Psycholinguistics January 25th, 2013 Time: 90 minutes 1.

Explain the milestones in acquiring first language for most children. 2. Elaborate the differences between FLA and SLA. 3. There are some theories on Second Language Acquisition (SLA), such as: a. Universalist Theory b. Nativist Theory c. Behaviorist Theory d. Cognitivist Theory e. Social Interactionist Theory Explain two of the theories.

Answer: 1.The first word - If your child hasn't already spoken their first word, they will soon. Most children

speak their first word between 10 to 14 months of age. More true words will follow the first one. Gestures - Your child may use a lot of gestures with words to try and get the meaning across to you. As time goes on, there will be more words than gestures. Parts of the body - By around 15 months, your child will be able to point to some parts of the body when you name them. Naming familiar objects - They will begin to be able to name familiar objects between 12 and 15 months. Listening - During this time, they will enjoy being read to and listening to songs and rhymes. They will begin to be able to name familiar objects that you point to in a book. Vocabulary - By 18 months of age, most children have at least ten words. After 18 months, word acquisition increases dramatically. There may be a "word spurt" after a child has a vocabulary of 50 words. Some children then learn new words at a very rapid pace. Your child will be able to use and understand many words by 24 months of age. Name - By 24 months, your child should be referring to themselves by name. Directions - Your child will understand and follow simple directions between 12 and 15 months of age. By the age of two, they should be able to understand more complicated sentences. Two word "sentences" - By 24 months, they will also be putting two words together. This could be their name and a request, or your name and a request, or a question, like "mama car?"
2. First language acquisition is mostly passive. We listen to the people around us, their speech

melody, their sounds, their words, and their sentence structures. Before we can even read or write a single word in our first language, we already use an impressive vocabulary and many important grammar structures. Some people never learn how to read or write but still speak their first language fluently. Babies learn rules while listening to the people around them. They are able to distinguish sentence structures at the early age of seven months as experiments have shown. They also pick up new words from their surrounding people. At the age of six, most children have acquired their native language(s) without any effort. Second language learning, on the other hand, is an active process. We need to learn vocabulary and grammar in order to achieve our goal. Most people will need an instructor, either a teacher at school or the instructions of a course book or audio course. If we ever want to achieve fluency or near fluency in a second language, it requires years of studying and likely a long stay in another country. Many people will never reach anywhere near fluency with any second language
e. Social interactionist theory is a claim that language development occurs in the context of social interaction between the developing child and knowledgeable adults who model language usage and "scaffold" the child's attempts to master language. This type of theory is strongly influenced by the socio-cultural theories of the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky. A major theorist is Jerome Bruner who has published extensively within this tradition. c. Behaviourism gave birth to a stimulus-response (S-R) theory which sees language as a set of structures and acquisition as a matter of habit formation. Ignoring any internal mechanisms, it 3

takes into account the linguistic environment and the stimuli it produces. Learning is an observable behaviour which is automatically acquired by means of stimulus and response in the form of mechanical repetition. Thus, to acquire a language is to acquire automatic linguistic habits. According to Johnson (2004:18), [B]ehaviorism undermined the role of mental processes and viewed learning as the ability to inductively discover patterns of rule-governed behavior from the examples provided to the learner by his or her environment. Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991:266) consider that S-R models offer little promises as explanations of SLA, except for perhaps pronunciation and the rote-memorization of formulae. This view of language learning gave birth to research on contrastive analysis, especially error analysis, the main focus of which is the interference of ones first language in the target language. An important reaction to behaviourism was the interlanguage studies, as the simple comparison between first and second language neither explained nor described the language produced by SL learners. Interlanguage studies will be present in other SLA perspectives, as the concern of the area has been mainly with the acquisition of grammatical morphemes or specific language structures.