Role of Nature and Nurture in Language Development Essay

3191 Words Aug 17th, 2013 13 Pages
How do both nature and nurture interact in the promotion of language development in young children?
The debate between many researchers is the argument of whether nature or nurture play a more important role in development. In this essay I will be looking into both aspects of nature and nurture focusing specifically on their influence towards language development in children. A main controversial question I will be looking into is the question of whether are we born already equipped with mechanisms which help us to learn language, or is language learned throughout a child’s environment by, for example, imitation and repetition? Studies done by some opposing researchers claim to show that nature and nurture promote language development
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This discovery enlightens the idea that to promote language development in a child is not fully down to environmental factors and instead the basic principles of grammar are contained within our brains when we are born.
As a way of responding to Chomsky's LAD learning system, Bruner (1964) theorised the language acquisition support system (LASS). Bruner states that through LASS, parents often use books and images to develop their child’s language abilities and their ability to get involved in conversation thus further developing their language skills. So unlike Chomsky’s LAD theory where language acquisition was determined by a mechanism in the brain, Bruner’s theory acknowledges the role of nurture where parents or guardians act as the ‘support system’ to promoting a child’s language development. Within the LASS theory there are four main components; gaining attention, query, label and feedback, which all require social interaction between adult and child. Contrasting to learning theorists approach, Bruner (1964,pg78) believed that simply listening to language is not a sufficient way to acquire language skills. Instead he thought that, ‘the child needs to be exposed to the mutual eye gazing and turn taking that are needed for conversation’. So language, according to Bruner, relies heavily on the role and exposure to social context. Evidence for this can be provided by looking into the

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