Language Acquisition

Language acquisition is a process where you acquire the skills to perceive, use, and produce words to communicate. This involves picking up diverse capacities that include syntax, phonetics, as well as an extensive vocabulary. Language acquisition refers to acquiring first language (acquisition of native language by infants) and second language acquisition (acquisition of additional languages by children and adults).

The capacity to learn and use language is an important aspect that makes humans distinct from other living organisms. Although there exist numerous forms of animal communication, they have limited nonsyntactically structured vocabulary token varieties, which lack cross-cultural variation between groups. Many theories have been employed to explain language acquisition.


Social interactionism

The theory of social interactionism has several hypotheses that deal with spoken, visual, or written tools consisting of complex systems of rules and symbols on acquisition and development. Basically, the compromise between nurture and nature is the social interactionist approach. For years, scholars and psychologists have been asking: What are the language behaviors realized by environmental exposure and what are those that nature provides innately?

Relational frame theory

This theory provides an exclusively selectionist or learning account about the development of language complexity and competence. The relational frame theory holds that we acquire language through interacting with our environment. The functional contextualism concept in language learning stresses the significance of influencing and predicting events like feelings, behaviors, and thoughts by centering on manipulable variables.

This language acquisition theory identifies and defines a certain type of operant conditioning called derived relational responding. This learning process seems to occur only in people having a capacity for language.


Emergentist theories hold that acquiring language is a cognitive process emerging from the interaction of environment and biological pressures. According to this theory, nature or nurture alone is not sufficient to drive language learning. It suggests that nature and nature influences should work together to allow us to acquire or learn a language.

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