The Learning Perspective
The Learning perspective argues that children imitate what they see and hear,and that children learn from punishment
and reinforcement.(Shaffer,Wood,& Willoughby,2002).
The main theorist associated with the learning perspective is B.F. Skinner. Skinner argued that adults shape the speech
of children by reinforcing the babbling of infants that sound most like words. (Skinner,1957,as cited in Shaffer,et.al,2002).
The Nativist Perspective
The nativist perspective argues that humans are biologically programmed to gain knowledge.The main theorist associated with this perspective is Noam Chomsky.
Chomsky proposed that all humans have a language acqusition device (LAD). The LAD contains knowledge
of grammatical rules common to all languages (Shaffer,et.al,2002).The LAD also allows children to understand the rules
of whatever language they are listening to.Chomsky also developed the concepts of transformational
grammar, surface structure,and deep structure.
Transformational grammar is grammar that transforms a sentence. Surface structures are words
that are actually written. Deep structure is the underlying message or meaning of a sentence. (Matlin,2005).
Interactionists argue that language development is
both biological and social. Interactionists argue that language learning is influenced by the desire of children to communicate
The Interactionists argue that "children are born with a powerful
brain that matures slowly and predisposes them to acquire new understandings that
they are motivated to share with others" ( Bates,1993;Tomasello,1995, as cited in shaffer,et al.,2002,p.362).
The main theorist associated with interactionist theory is Lev Vygotsky.Interactionists
focus on Vygotsky's model of collaborative learning ( Shaffer,et al.,2002). Collaborative learning is the idea that conversations
with older people can help children both cognitively and linguistically ( Shaffer,et.al,2002).