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Lecture 8 LANGUAGE & INTELLIGENCE Visiting Assistant PROFESSOR YEE-SAN TEOH Department of Psychology National Taiwan University Unless noted, the course.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 8 LANGUAGE & INTELLIGENCE Visiting Assistant PROFESSOR YEE-SAN TEOH Department of Psychology National Taiwan University Unless noted, the course."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 8 LANGUAGE & INTELLIGENCE Visiting Assistant PROFESSOR YEE-SAN TEOH Department of Psychology National Taiwan University Unless noted, the course materials are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Taiwan (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Taiwan GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY


3 THE COMPONENTS OF LANGUAGE Phonemes – basic sound unitsSemantics – meaning of words and sentencesGrammar – structure of language (syntax, morphemes)Pragmatics – conversational rules


5 THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THE LEARNING VIEW Reinforcement (Skinner) Imitation (Bandura) But how do children develop language in a particular sequence? How do they acquire certain components of language even without reinforcement or imitation?

6 THE NATIVIST VIEW Chomsky’s LAD- Language Acquisition Device Evidence: Certain universal features in all languages, Critical period in language acquisition But… Social context/culture is important – more differences than similarities across languages

7 THE INTERACTIONIST VIEW Innate ability + supportive context (Tomasello) Biologically programmed ability to speak must be complimented with extensive experience with language Children play an active role in acquiring language

8 DIFFERENCES IN LANGUAGE LEARNING Lack of stimulationDeafnessBlindnessLanguage Impairments

9 LACK OF STIMULATION – MALTREATED CHILDREN The Story of Genie Abused and never spoken to since birth. Discovered at age 13, given rehabilitation. Was able to use speech much like that of a young child (“Another house have dog”). Never able to reach the proficiency typical for her age.

10 DEAFNESS Language does not depend on the auditory-vocal channel. The American Sign Language (ASL) involves a system of gestures. ASL has hand shapes & positions for each word composition. Babies born to deaf ASL users (whether or not they are deaf) can learn from caregivers through informal interaction.

11 BLINDNESS Blind children learn language just as rapidly and as well as sighted children. Vision-related words like “look” and “see” are understood in a different way – use of hands rather than eyes. Color words are learnt even without personally experiencing them – they can talk about the colors of things they are familiar with.

12 LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS Aphasia -Disorder of language produced by lesions in certain areas of the cortex in the left hemisphere. -A lesion in Broca’s area = nonfluent aphasia (speech difficulty). -A lesion in Wernicke’s area = fluent aphasia (comprehension difficulty)

13 LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTS Specific Language Impairment (SLI) -Syndrome in which individuals are very slow to learn language. -Not caused by developmental disorders or brain damage. -Throughout life, difficulty in understanding and producing many sentences, even though intelligence seems normal.

14 SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING Knowledge of the first or native language is so much better than knowledge of a second or third language. Evidence shows that the brain loci of late-learned languages usually are different from those of the first learned language. The older a person who is learning a second language, the more difficult it is to become fluent in that language.


16 THE CRITICAL/SENSITIVE PERIOD HYPOTHESIS There is a sensitive developmental period for language learning. Language is most easily acquired in early childhood. Evidence for sensitive periods for language acquisition comes from studies of severely maltreated children and second language learning.


18 Parents and infants engage in dialogue of sounds, gestures, facial expressions. Infant grows as a communicative partner (Schaffer, 1996). INFANT-DIRECTED SPEECH (ALSO MOTHERESE)

19 Gesturing sets the stage for language development…. (Goldin-Meadows, 2007)

20 6 months - most babies learn to use pointing gesture. End of 1 st yr, gestures to communicate, share their intentions with another (Tomasello et al. 2007). Protodeclarative Gesture intended to make a statement about an object. Protoimperative Gesture intended to get another person to do something for the child. USING GESTURES

21 Beyond Gesturing….. Receptive Language Expressive/Productive Language

22 RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE – EARLY SPEECH PERCEPTION As early as 1 month of age, infants can perform categorical speech perception. Ability to discriminate speech sounds, e.g. consonants. Exposure to specific or native languages determines ability to distinguish and categorize specific sounds/phonemes.

23 DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN LANGUAGES 4-day-old babies in France & America can discriminate between English and French speech. By 2 months, babies listen longer when their own native language is spoken.

24 TUNING IN TO ONE’S OWN LANGUAGE…. Infants lose the ability to make phoneme distinctions that are NOT used in their language community. Japanese infants stop distinguishing between “la” and “ra”. Babies begin to listen specifically for the particulars of their own language.

25 PRODUCTIVE LANGUAGE – EARLY SPEECH PRODUCTION Production of sounds in 1 st yr follows orderly 4-stage sequence. Crying  Cooing  Babbling  Patterned Speech. Cultural differences in prespeech sounds emerge around the babbling stage. Babies start to tune in to the specific sounds of their native language.

26 HOW CHILDREN ACQUIRE WORDS Different views on how children associate a word with an object. 1.Associations combined with attention to perceptual similarity. 2.Use of social cues from adults to learn what a word labels. 3.Use of multiple cues that changes with age – perceptual at early stage, social later.

27 HOW CHILDREN ACQUIRE GRAMMAR By 2yrs of age, children begin to use 2-word utterances (Telegraphic Speech/TS). E.g. ‘there book’, ‘more milk’ TS includes crucial words needed to convey the speaker’s intent. From 2 yrs onwards, children learn the rules of grammar – understanding and acquiring morphemes (-s, -ing)

28 Grammatical Flowering (deVilliers & deVilliers, 1992). In 3 rd year of life….. Sentence construction improves. Increasing types of verbs, and tenses. Ability to pose questions, using wh- words (what, which, where, why). Expressions of negation (e.g. “That not daddy”, “No go school”).


30 THE COMPONENTS OF LANGUAGE Phonemes – basic sound unitsSemantics – meaning of words and sentencesGrammar – structure of language (syntax, morphemes)Pragmatics – conversational rules

31 USING LANGUAGE SOCIALLY Children use language as a social tool through…. 1.Speech Acts = Expressions clearly referring to situations rather than to one object/action. 2.Discourse = Socially based conversation where children listen and respond to another’s speech.

32 THE RULES OF PRAGMATICS – Using Language Appropriate To A Given Situation 1.Engage attention of listener. 2.Be sensitive to listener’s feedback and respond clearly. 3.Adjust speech to the characteristics of the listener (e.g. age, culture, social background). 4.Adjust speech to suit situation (e.g. church) 5.Learn to listen. 6.Evaluate own and conversational partner’s messages.


34 MAKING CONVERSATION AT 2YRS 2-year-olds… Addressed listeners during interaction Directed communication to others when they could see each other. Made close contact to topic/object of conversation. Responsive to feedback. (Wellman & Lempers, 1977)

35 ADJUSTING SPEECH 2-3-yr-olds used more repetitions and more attention- eliciting words (hello, look) when talking to baby siblings than to mothers. (Judy Dunn & colleagues)

36 CHILDREN’S LIMITATIONS… Less effective speakers when they must compete with other adults or children. Less competent when speaking about (i)Absent objects (ii)Feelings (iii)Thoughts (iv)Relationships

37 LEARNING TO LISTEN Even 3-yr-olds can recognize ambiguous messages and respond appropriately. Revelle et al (1985) -When 3- and 4-year-olds heard ambiguous requests (e.g. Bring me the refrigerator)…. -Many understood that request was problematic and requested more information (e.g. How? It is too heavy)


39 A FEW CONSEQUENCES OF BILINGUALISM… Learning of each language may be slower, vocabularies of each language smaller. Can use distinct sounds from each language to deal with cognitive load from learning two languages. Skillfulness in 2 languages – better concept formation, flexible thinking.

40 CRIB BILINGUALISM… Bilingual exposure in early infancy enhances the ability to monitor and switch between competing tasks. Having to inhibit knowledge about one language while learning another language promotes executive control. Better cognitive flexibility and executive control – better ability to monitor, repair, and reinterpret sentences.


42 TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE FLUID Ability to deal with new and unusual problems, likely to be a fast learner. Decreases with age. More susceptible to bodily changes. CRYSTALLIZED Individual’s acquired knowledge; useful for dealing with problems that are similar to those already encountered. Increases with age.

43 Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence 3 major components – (a)Information-processing skills: Encode, store, and retrieve info. (b)Experience with given task: Exposure & practice with particular intelligence task. (c)Ability to adapt to demands of context: Adapt to requirements, select situation to meet abilities & needs.

44 Sternberg’s Theory of Successful Intelligence Ability to meet own goals and those of his/her society. 3 abilities: 1.Analytical: reasoning about best answer to a question. 2.Creative: devising new ways of addressing issues and concerns. 3.Practical: skills used in work, family life, social/professional interactions.

45 Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence 8 kinds of intelligence: 1.Linguistic (e.g. poet, teacher) 2.Logical-Mathematical (e.g. scientist) 3.Spatial (e.g. engineer, artist) 4.Musical (e.g. musician, composer) 5.Bodily-Kinesthetic (e.g. dancer, athlete) 6.Intrapersonal (e.g. novelist, actor) 7.Interpersonal (e.g. psychotherapist) 8.Naturalistic (e.g. biologist)

46 APPLICATION TO FORMAL EDUCATION? Gardner & Sternberg’s Project Zero Practical Intelligence for School Program (PIFS) Positive effects on motivation, achievement, behavior.

47 PIFS Students work through lessons that develop their understanding of their own strengths and interests; The purposes of various school tasks (why is there homework and how is it similar to what adults do?); The demands of different subject areas (how is studying for a math test different from studying for social studies?); The many steps involved in school tasks (such as making plans and using resources); and The importance of self-monitoring through reflection (in journals and discussions).

48 INTELLIGENCE TESTING IQ (Intelligence Quotient) Index of a way a person performs on a standardized intelligence test relative to the way others of the same age perform.


50 FLANAGAN & HARRISON, 2005 1.Predict academic performance 2.Predict performance on the job 3.Assess general adjustment & health Problem with IQ Test Questions… -Are they accurate? -Are they culturally sensitive?

51 EXISTING INTELLIGENCE TESTS Infants 1.Bayley Scales of Infant Development 2.Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence -Primarily used to identify abnormal development, determine child’s need for early intervention services.

52 Older children 1.Stanford-Binet Test 2.Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children -Skills tested in WISC include factual knowledge, long-term memory, short-term memory, reasoning, mathematical skills.

53 Adults 1.Stanford-Binet Test 2.Weschler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS) -Skills tested in the WAIS include verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, processing speed.


55 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN INTELLIGENCE Heritability Ratios Proportion of variance in intelligence in a given population that is attributable to genetic factors. Estimates of 40%-70%. Differences in heritability – some cultures or socio- economic backgrounds facilitate/impede the expression of ‘intelligence’ genes.

56 CULTURE & INTELLIGENCE Cultures may differ on conceptions of what intelligence is. Different cultures use different methods of problem solving. Cultures differ in the skills they need and value.

57 POVERTY & IQ DEVELOPMENT Children who live in poverty in their preschool years seem more at risk than children who were not exposed to such levels of poverty until middle or late childhood. Genetic factors are more significant in high-SES than low-SES families. Impoverished environment cuts off genetic potential – so genetic blueprint matters less.

58 THE FLYNN EFFECT  IQ scores seem to be rising at the rate of approx 3 points per decade. Why?  Improvement in nutrition and health care.  Interaction among cultures – sharing ‘intelligence’  Genetics less significant – evolution takes much longer.

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