How do they do it? Answers (2014)Apunte Inglés
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Dra. Begoña Núñez Perucha
(10%of the final grade) READING WORKSHEET How do they do it? ( O’Grady , W. (2005:164-197)) Student ‘s name and surname (s) __ Deadline for submitting this worksheet ( in printed format):Thursday 16th April 2015 Read O´Grady´s (2005) chapter and answer the questions below. Please note the following remarks: - Provide answers that draw on the information that appears in the text rather than on what you think.
- Use paraphrasing instead of copying whole sentences or fragments from the text.
- Try to be relevant and go straight to the point.
Questions: 1. Can the imitation explanation fully account for the process of language acquisition? Justify your answer (1 point).
- The imitation explanation does not fully account for the process of language acquisition, due to the fact that there are important segments of language which don’t respond to imitation, such as sentences. Sentences are created as the necessity emerges , so consequently they cannot be saved in the brain but they can be understood. Moreover, there are two major facts which confirm that imitation is not the way of learning to produce sentences; firstly, children don’t imitate sentences very often and secondly, they are not able to imitate sentences with unknown structures or words.
2. What is the name given to those well-formed alternative sentences that parents produce as a response to children´s wrong utterances? (0.5 point) - Recast is the word given to those well-formed alternative sentences that parents produce as a response to children’s wrong utterances.
To what extent are “these responses” effective? (1.5 points) - 3.
Recast‘s effectiveness is doubtful in some cases because they don’t always have a stable effect. One study about article’s use and recast showed that although the progenitors provided recasts for missing articles, children didn’t immediately start using articles in response to their parent’s recasts; consequently, recasts didn’t seem to accelerate their learning. However, children appear to be sensitive to recasts. To sum up, recast may be more helpful in certain points in the learning process, such as remembering to use the forms that have already been learned, than in others, such as learning new forms. Briefly, it can be said that recast seem helpful but not necessary.
Regarding the type of speech to which children are exposed, what condition needs to be met for language acquisition to take place? (1.5 points) - One of the methods in which parents contribute to language acquisition is by speaking to children using motherese. It is a type of speech distinguished by slow and meticulous articulation, the use of primary vocabulary items, short sentences and a slightly exaggerated intonation. Moreover, there is an external requisite that must be met before language can be obtained; children need to perceive sentences that can be understood without knowing a lot about the language they are trying to learn.
4. What evidence does the text provide for the relation between genetic factors and language capacity? (2 points) - The finest evidence for this connection is language disorder due to the fact that if language’s ability is inherited, language disorders should be inherited too. Identical twins are one source of statement for inherited language disorders because they are notably closer to each other in their linguistic abilities and disabilities than non identical ones; this is so because they have the same genes and consequently the capacities created by their operation should be similar. Moreover, adopted children are another evidence of the inheritance of language disorder, showing that adopted children with language disorder’s relatives are more likely to suffer disorders than the ones whose parents are not linguistically impaired. Finally, there are samples of language disorders that have been connected to a specific gene, which is the case of the family known as KE, with an identified disorder in the gene FOXP2.
5. Discuss briefly the two views of the language acquisition device (write about 100 words).
(2.5 points) According to the first view, the acquisition device is just for language. This device contains an inherent grammar called Universal Grammar, which consists of common grammatical categories and principles in all languages. This method informs children that all languages have particular categories such as noun, adjective or verb and provides them some hints in order to help them to decode which words are included in which category. On the contrary, the second view explains that the acquisition device is not just for language. It claims that children might use more general cognitive and learning principles, not only attributing the words to their meaning and category. This device is specially illustrated with the example of the mutual exclusivity method which claims that things should have only one label.
6. What strategy is used by children in each of the following cases? (1 point, 0.5. each) 6.1. A child avoids saying “Mommy asleep is”: - The child is using the ‘‘Be Conservative’’ Law, in which he avoids producing word orders that doesn’t actually hear.
6.2. A child eventually replaces “putted” by “put”: - The child is applying the Principle of Contrast, which claims that two forms have different meanings so, when the baby hears ‘put’ instead of ‘putted’ realizes that they have the same meaning and one should be replaced.