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IB Psychology- Language

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Lys Isma

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of IB Psychology- Language

Lys Isma
Sandy Milien

What is Language?

The method of human communication,
either spoken or written,
consisting of the use of words in a structured of conventional way.

Any nonverbal method of expression or communication:
"a language of gesture and facial expression."(i.e Sign language)
Language is step by step
Stages of Language Acquisition
How do we learn language?
Behavioral Approach
Language has been thought

a process of imitation and reinforcement
Children are blank slates and language is learned through experience
Language is a conditioned behavior
Controlled Drilling
children learn
to speak
by imitating what they hear
Language is practiced based
and there is
no real difference from the way one learns language to the way one learns everything else.
Criticism of the theory
Children tend to say things that they have never heard an adult say.

They don't really understand irregular verbs
. For example, "I goed to the store."
Children have a hard time imitating what adults say exactly.
Proving Language involves maturation as well as imitation
Building blocks of language
Phonemes are sound units
. By themselves they make no sense.
Morphemes are the smallest meaningful units of speech.
Like simple words suffixes and prefixes.

Around 4 months Babbling—a variety of sounds, often repeated

Around 10 months Babbling that includes language used in the household

Around 12 to 18 months Single words (sometimes one word has a variety of meanings—holophrastic speech)

About 18 to 24 months Two-word statements (often a noun and a verb— telegraphic speech)

About 30 + months More complex sentences, greater vocabulary, rapid language expansion
Argument made by B.F Skinner
Grammar-Language has a set of rules that determines how sounds and words can be combined to create meaning
Cognitive Perspective
Noam Chomsky
Proposed that
humans are equipped with a language acquisition device

An innate mechanism that facilitates the learning of language
proposed that children must be exposed to language before adolescence
in order to fully grasp language

Gleitman and Newport 1996

Aim: To investigate whether language is learned or innate

Method: They went to different countries around the world and studied children in order to examine if the way children learn language depends on culture. A group a children around the same age (15 months) were selected and examined. The researchers also recoded samples of their care takers speech. After a six month period the researchers met with the same group of children to examine their progress.

Results: Language learning follows the same sequence in all the languages in cultures investigated. At about one year isolated words appear and there is a sudden spurt of vocabulary during the second year that is marked by rudimentary sentences.

Conclusions:No specific language is innate language must be learned but the commonalities among human languages are striking. So language acquisition is a result of nature and nurture.
Psycholinguist David McNeill (1933)

Child: Nobody don’t like me

Mother: No, say ‘no body likes me’

Child: Nobody don’t like me (eight repetitions of this dialogue)

Mother: No, now listen carefully: say ‘no body likes me’

Child: Oh! No body don’t likes me
Jean Piaget's Theory of Child Language Development
Sensory motor period (Birth to 2 years)

During this period a child’s language is "egocentric"
: they talk either for themselves or "for the pleasure of associating anyone who happens to be there with the activity of the moment."

Pre-Operational period(2 to 7 years)

Piaget observed that during this period, children's language makes rapid progress.
The development of their mental schemas lets them quickly "accommodate" new words and situations.
From using single words for example, "milk", they begin to construct simple sentences ,for example, "mommy go out".

Piaget's theory describes children's language as "symbolic,"
allowing them to venture beyond the "here and now" and to talk about such things as the past, the future, people, feelings and events.

During this time, children's language often shows instances of what Piaget termed "animism" and "egocentrism."

The Operational Period

This phase is divided into two parts: The concrete operational phase (7 to 11 years) and the formal operational stage (11 to adulthood).
Children's language also reflects their ability to "de-centre," or view things from a perspective other than their own.

It is at this point that children's language starts to become "socialized," showing characteristics such as questions, answers, criticisms and commands.
Language Disorders
When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain
are responsible for language.
Aphasia causes problems with
any or all of the following:
speaking, listening, reading, and writing

Some people with aphasia have trouble using words and sentences (expressive aphasia). Some have problems understanding others (receptive aphasia).

Others with aphasia struggle with both using words and understanding (global aphasia).

Aphasia can cause problems with spoken language (talking and understanding) and written language (reading and writing).
Typically, reading and writing are more impaired than talking or understanding.

Aphasia is most often caused by stroke. Any disease or damage to the parts of the brain that control language can cause aphasia.
These include traumatic brain injury, dementia, illness, and other progressive neurological disorders
The affective filter is a screen of emotion that can block language acquisition
or learning
if it keeps the users from being too self-conscious
or too embarrassed
to take risks during communicative exchanges.
Stephan Krashen claims that
learners with high motivation
, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety
are better equipped for success in second language acquisition.

Low motivation,
low self-esteem, and debilitating anxiety
combine to '
raise' the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that
prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. In other words, when the filter is 'up' it
impedes language acquisition.

On the other hand ,
a positive attitude is necessary, but not sufficient on its own, for language acquisition to take place.
Affective Filter
Does Language influence how we think?
Boroditsky 2001
Aim : To determine whether language and culture determine how people think about time.

Method :
All participants were Stanford University students. And they we
re separated into two groups. One group was composed of native English speakers that had never been exposed to Mandarin. While the other group was composed of students who were native Mandarin speakers.

All participants were tested on the same three questions about time.
An experimenter stood next to the participant, pointed to a spot in space directly in front of the participant and said (for example) “If I tell you that this here is TODAY, where would you put YESTERDAY?” The experimenter waited for the participant to point and then asked “And where would you put TOMORROW?” Three sets of durations were tested with each participant.

No spatial language was used to describe the time points in either English or Mandarin (e.g, participants were not asked which is the “up month” or the “down month” in Mandarin).

Results: Mandarin speakers and English speakers do think about time differently. English speakers think of time horizontally and Mandarin speakers view time vertically. English speakers arranged the events in the horizontal plane 95% of the time. Mandarin speakers on the other hand produced vertical arrangements 42% of the time.

Conclusions: Even subtle differences in language structure can alter a cultures' view of time
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