Essay on Language Acquisition And Its Effects On Children

743 Words Dec 11th, 2015 3 Pages
Her father had ordered the family never to speak to her, leading to the gross underdevelopment of her Broca’s and Werinicke’s area—the language centers of the pre-frontal cortex. The lack of stimulation in these speech centers caused irreparable damage. By the age of thirteen, Genie had no real capacity to learn language. This phenomena of severely decreased ability to learn something as someone ages is called a “critical period.” Something is expected to develop within this time and if it does not, it is significantly harder or even impossible to learn certain information or develop certain skills (Genie). Famous development psychologist, Noam Chomsky argues children are not taught grammar but acquire it through socialization—we are preprogrammed to develop language skills, especially during early childhood. Children learn through a hypothesized mental structure called the Language Acquisition Device, which includes basic grammar. Even though she had scientists teaching her English and seemed to be making progress for some time, she was capable of very little learning and ultimately resulted in a substantial deficiency in anything more complicated than basic grammar. Genie constantly used over-regularizations, such as “There are two sheeps” and was unable to comprehend or learn not to make these mistakes (Berger). Either due to her lack of development during the critical period or her undeveloped Language Acquisition Device, she was never capable of more than simple…

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