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Nature versus Nurture

Lloyd Williams

• People are born with some innate abilities that they use to interact with and understand the world world. • Through prolonged use, learners will eventually achieve proficiency in the target language.

• People are born “tabula rasa” (or blank slate) and become who they are through the course of their lives alone alone. • Students need to be taught their language.

Naturists vs. Nurturists vs • Noam Chomsky oa C o s y
• Stephen Krashen
• Gardner

Vygotsky ygots y

The Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
• Test created in 1905 to predict which students would benefit from teaching.
• Attempts to objectively measure “intelligence” intelligence • Scores are given as numbers that show the test taker’s results relative to others.
• When adjusted for age, a person’s IQ generally does not vary greatly over the course of their life.
• IQ tests can be given on various skills (linguistic, math, etc)

Nurture Theories (Skinner)
B h i i
• Knowledge and Linguistic ability results from stimulus-response conditioning.
• Focus is on controlling behavior not behavior, cognitive processes.
Concerned only with d l ith observable/measurable behavior.

Nurture Methods
The Audio-lingual M th d
Th A di li l Method
• Based on Behaviorism
– Positive reinforcement of desired production
– Emphasis on “correctness” correctness – Seeks to create language habits
– Repetition

Nature Theories (Chomsky)
Universall Grammar
U i
• Humans are born with a Language
Acquisition Device that allows us to understand languages in terms of universal principles.

Nature Theories (Chomsky)
Language A
Acquisition Device i iti
D i
• The LAD is said to have 4 aspects
– The ability to distinguish...

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