Theorists on child language acquisition

This is a list of pyscologists/ theorists linked to children acquiring and learning language. I have an exam coming up on this subject in June. Many people who study English Language at A-level will have this exam too. By the way this is a way of helping me revise and may provide readers with some interesting information.

Chomsky- Noam Chomsky stated that children are born with an innate knowledge of language when they are born and learning of their native language is at high speed when hearing it from others. This links to children overrgularising and putting grammar into utterences when they are not needed. Chomsky is one of the most famous theorists on child language acquisition, but because his theories were based on his own intuitions about English and not actually studied on real children, many theorists find flaws within his theories and statements

Chomsky created the LAD- language acquisition device

1. Baby already knows about linguistic rules, as they are born with an innate knowledge of language.

2. The baby hears examples of his/ her native language

3. The linguistic rules help the baby make estimations and presumptions about the language it is hearing.

4. From these estimations and presumption the baby works out grammatical sets of rules. As more language is heard the grammar becomes more and more like adults.

Skinner- Skinner bases his theory of children acquiring language thrugh behaviourism. Skinner states that all behaviour is conditined e.g. punished or rewarded until it becomes natural and automatic. Babies imitate their parents/carers and are either reprimanded or praised according to their accuracy. This is Skinner going against Chomsky, as he believe biology plays almost no part in the way children learn language.

Piaget-  Piaget's theories on children learning language is mainly focused around "cognitive development," meaning language is controlled by the development of thinking. If a baby can use sentences involving phrases such as, "more than", "less than" it is obvious that the concepts of "more than" must have been grasped, before the child uses the phrase in an utternace.

Bruner-  As a way of respoonding to Chomsky's LAD learning system. Bruner theorised the lanuage acquisition support system (LASS) Bruner states through lass that parents often use books and images to develop their childs naming abilities and their ability to get involved in conversation.


1- Gaining attention- drawing the babies attention to a picture

2- Query- asking the baby to identify the picture

3- Label- telling the baby what the object is

4- Feedback- responding to the babies utterances


Comments 34 comments

Kat 7 years ago

Tash, you saved my life :) I forgot where I put my notes for these lmao. (It's Kat from your English btw) Good luck tomorrow!

omar 6 years ago

this is gr8 really ... i have a turn paper i have to submitt tomorrow and this saved my life thank u girl !!!

7ay 6 years ago


master's reading reading student 5 years ago

how do i cite this source?

jenny 5 years ago

you saved my ars literally thankss sooo mucch!!

jenny 5 years ago

you saved my ars literally thankss sooo mucch!!

frank 5 years ago

you cant spell you moron

Eugene 5 years ago


Del 5 years ago

Chomsky didn't 'create' the LAD, but believed in it.

Other than that, helpful, thanks!

Trish 5 years ago


MELON! 5 years ago

ty so much, saved my life babycakes

Jack Osborne 5 years ago

OMG lololol totally saved my lif3.

MELON! 5 years ago

jack osborne = dum fk!!!!!!!!!

Melon 5 years ago

melon ownes 2k11

krissy 5 years ago

it was helpful but somewhat limited

hatte 5 years ago


atirse from ethiopia 4 years ago

put detail information about first language acquisition.i got some information from your notes for my assignment so thank you !

Chawlani 4 years ago

Wow! Ur notes helpd me,pls add mor information though

kiya 4 years ago

thanks I now what i want.

soso 4 years ago

wow i have learnt a lot about languege acquisition, and what i have read will help me a lot in my assignment

Hassan Rose 4 years ago

thnx much

hc 4 years ago


sparksmel 4 years ago

trying to complete my dissertation and needed one clear overview of all the language development theories and spent so long trying to get them all together but your page has helped helps! thank you so much :) my 10,000 word count just got closer to being fulfiled!

Apple 4 years ago

Wow yu made gud points buh i fink if i woz to do dis, it wud be better. Cheers anyway!

jas 4 years ago

good but you didn't mention lenneberg who is a key theorist with regard to the critical period

lilian 4 years ago

good ut not thoroughly explained,limited rather.add more flesh

Chris 4 years ago

Thanks a bunch :) definitely made my life a fair bit easier, and I now know where to start. Much appreciated.

Daniel Maher 4 years ago

Im on the larger side of life hey :)

LiamGray328 4 years ago

This is a good source to start on, it'll spark some interesting debate in class tomorrow.


Theresa M 18 4 years ago

This is a great pice of information I could get for my essay I have learnt so much about Language acquisition from this vital piece of information. Thank you ever so,so, much.

smith 4 years ago

thanks a lot , i got an exam on that very topic today!!!!!!

rose 3 years ago

Thank you for the information it is helping me with my assignment

roberto 3 years ago

thanks..i owe you my term term paper ;-)

Rhyse 3 years ago

You beautiful human this is a life-saver

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