Presentation on theme: "“Language is … to be considered in two contexts: on the one hand, human system of conceptualization and perception, and on the other, the actual use of."— Presentation transcript:
“Language is … to be considered in two contexts: on the one hand, human system of conceptualization and perception, and on the other, the actual use of language in society.” (J. Yalden, The Communicative Syllabus, 1987)
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THEORIES Skinner, Bloomfield etc BEHAVIOURISM How do children acquire a language? Language acquisition and learning formation of habits imitation The process: Stimulus response reinforcement
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THEORIES Noam Chomsky Cognitivism How do children acquire a language? The capacity of acquisition of a language is innate. Every human being was born with a LAD (Language Acquisition Device)
Noam Chomsky Cognitivism Language is a phenomenon internal to speakers, rather than a social phenomenon Focus on the speakers’ competence= mental representation of language rules, that is the speakers’ knowledge of the language or the intuitions that they have about it. Interest in the mental processes involved in using a language and in learning to speak
Noam Chomsky Cognitivism “Language is creativity governed by rules”: with a finite number of grammar rules and a limited vocabulary, speakers can generate an infinite number of sentences, many of which may have never been said before. All speakers go through a process in the use of language, “period of interlanguage”, in which they produce their own creative constructions by applying internal rules and an internal grammar (Ex: errors of overgeneralization are considered as “developmental errors”).
Noam Chomsky COMPETENCE / PERFORMANCE COMPETENCE: a person’s internalised knowledge of a language. This means a person’s ability to create and understand sentences, including sentences they have never heard before. COMPETENCE refers to the “ideal” speaker/hearer COMPETENCE is a cognitive (mental) skill.
Noam Chomsky COMPETENCE / PERFORMANCE PERFORMANCE: “ the actual use of language in concrete situations” how a person actually uses his/her language knowledge in producing and understanding utterances, including errors.. “There are rules of use without which the rules of grammar would be useless”
De Saussure’s distinction between LANGUE and PAROLE is similar to Chomsky’s distinction between COMPETENCE and PERFORMANCE, BUT for De Saussure the repository of LANGUE is the speech community, for Chomsky the repository of COMPETENCE is the individual ideal speaker/hearer. Langue / Parole - Competence / Performance