Language is very central for humans. With language, human can do converse with other humans in the world. To get language, humans need a process, namely language acquisition. Language acquisition is a process that humans using to acquire language. Humans can acquire many languages in the world.
There are five theories approach that designate in first language acquisition, such as Behaviorism theory, Mentalist theory, Cognitive theory, Functional theory, and Interactionism theory. All these theories had defined and explain about first language acquisition differently.
Language is one of the greatest important aspects for humans. With language, people can do connect with other people will be easier. They will be easier to convey an information if they are having language, such as to transmit information, to response the question, to telling the story, and any more. Hence, everyone agree that language is the most important features and it is also useful for everyone. Whereas, what is the term of language and where is the language was come from firstly? To reply this question, people should to recognize about definition of language firstly. According to Pinker’s The Language Instinct (1994), language define as a complex specialized for skill which develops in the child spontaneously without conscious effort or formal instruction is deployed without awareness of it is underlying logic, is qualitatively in the same in every individual and it is distinct from intelligently. Other investigator such as Bloch and Trager (1942) also define language as a system of utterrance sound which frees characters in a social group. Although there are many definition of language at the moment, but it has same define language as a medium that people using to convey dan report informations to other people.
At the moment, there are many languages which people consuming to communicate to other people in the world. For example are English language, Indonesian language, Spanish language, Japanese language, Malay language, and other language around the world. Whereas, where is these language come from? And how people to express these languages? The answer is easy, that these languages were come from mother tongue or first language. Mother tongue is also called first language is a language that people acquire and use firstly. People acquire first language when they are born and still youth people. Actually, there are many concept of how children acquire first language. For example, if a child were born in Japan and then living in Japan, so the first language of these children is Japanese. In other case, if a child was born in Malaysia and growths up in Indonesia, so the first language of these children is Indonesian language. To gain first language, children is needed a process namely language acquisition. According to Wikipedia, language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language, as well as to produce and use words and sentences to communicate.
Actually, the conception of language acquisition is the study of procedure how humans purchase language. How humans gain language is concern that departing to research from many era and century. Many researchers in the world were doing investigation to identify how children secure language. The professional of linguistic and psychology decide that language acquisition is including to psycholinguistic study. According to Levelt (1975), psycolinguistic is a study to learn how human utilize language and to language acquisition. There are four of psycholinguistic studies such as comprehension, production, biology and neurologist anvil, and finally is to recognize how children acquire the language.
The structures of this paper are contains: first definition of first language acquisition. Second are histories of first language acquisition. Thirdly, theories in first language acquisition, and finally is the process of how children acquire language. All structures in thispaper will be described and explained deeply.
Contents of Paper
Language is a complex thing. People in the world is necessary a language as the intermediate to connect with other people. To advantage a language, human is required a method namely language acquisition. Language acquisition is very central for human especially for children.
i. Definition of first language acquisition
First language is a language that someone acquire and consuming firstly. Someone that using and acquire first language arise when they are children and using first language consistently without to modification other language. According to Wikipedia, language acquisition is the process which humans acquire capacity to perceive and comprehend language as well as to produce and use words and sentences to communicate. Children in the world have same method and stages to acquire first language, such as they are do empty talk, babbling, cooing, and any more. Hence, first language acquisition is the process of human using to become first language or mother tongue.
b.History of first language acquisition
There are many investigator in the world was done their investigation about how children gain first language. Actually, the thought of how children obtain language acquisition was exploration firstly by Psammetichus 1 on 7 SM. He was used his children as taster to learn about the maternity and development of language. After that, the experiment of first language acquisition was sustained by Dietrich Tiedman from Germany in the last of 18th century. Dietrich Tiedman was done his research to get psychologist language progress and linguistic from his children. The research of first language acquisition was continued in last of 19th century, when Francois Gouin were done his experiment to his nephew. He is a found of serial technique to impart foreigner language. Finally, in the middle of 20th century many scientists in the world were doing testing to investigate children language systematically.
According to Ingram (1989), there are three histories of first language acquisition:
- Daily book period
This period was begun by H. Taine on 1876. The representative of this period is parent have determining encouragement in improvement their children’s language. In this period, parent should to make daily book to transcribe their children script development of language. For example, H. Taine was made daily book to find out his children development language.
- Big Sample Period
The Big sample period was introduced by John B. Watson on 1930. The characteristic of this period are environment factor is determined in language acquisition. Besides that, imitate and association is the main instrument in successful language acquisition.
- Study of longitudinal period
The study of longitudinal period was introduced by Noam Chomsky on 1957. Nativism argues that every child can acquire language if they are given an opportunity. Hence, children were given natural instrument to acquire language, namely Language Acquisition Device. Chomsky argues that only human as creatures who can acquire language and there is difference method and stages of children in acquire language.
c. Theory of First Language Acquisition
There are many researcher in the world was doing research to explain how humans acquire an language. In this matter, there are several theories to appearance how humans acquire first language. According to Brown (1993: 22-28), there are three theories of first language acquisition, such as Behavioristic, Nativist, and Functional. Pateda (1998: 43-49) also indicate that there are three theories in first language acquisition, such as Behavioristic, Mentalist, and Cognitive. In this paper, there are five theories that observe in the first language acquisition, such as Behaviorism theory, Mentalist theory, Cognitive theory, Functional theory, and Interactionism theory.
- Behaviorism Theory
Behaviorism theory was introduced by John B. Watson on 1930 and be famous among years of 1940- 1950. According to this theory, children were born as tabula rasa. Tabula rasa mean children were born in pure condition and his parent is determining his attitude and behavior. According to H.R. Bukhari, every child was born in nature condition and their parent is determining his children to Jewish, Christian, or Majusi religion. Base on this Hadist, parent had important determine to develop their children attitude and behavior. Besides that, there are responses in language acquisition from outside of environment. In acquire language, children can using some of methods, such as imitate.
There are three main points in Behaviorism, theory approach, such as respond, stimulus, and reinforcement. Behaviorism was dividing into two main specific theories that are Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning. Operant Conditioning was pioneered by B.F. Skinner and Classical Conditioning was pioneered by Ivan Petrovich Pavlov on (1894-1936). Operant Conditioning is a condition to make human respond or operant (sentence or statement) spontaneously. B.F. Skinner was done his investigation to animals, such as mouse and dove. The characteristic of Operant Conditioning is if respond emitted, it will make stimulus. In other hand, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov does his research to train a dog. He had given piece of meat to the dog. Every show piece of meat to dog, the dog salivates. In subsequent experiment, Pavlov ran the bell again and the dog salivates. In this matter, the stimulus if lured will make a respond.
- Mentalist theory
Mentalist or also called Nativist theory was pioneer by Noam Chomsky in the beginning of 1960. This theory is argues that when children were born, they are bring language skill in their life, namely Language Acquisition Device or LAD. Noam Chomsky disagrees with Behaviorism theory that children attitude and behavior were determined by environment. Noam Chomsky argues that human have a capacity to acquire language, so human can acquire a language everywhere.
- Cognitive Theory
Cognitive theory or also called Rationalist was pioneer by Jean Piaget. This theory argues that when children were born, they are having thinking ability. Thinking ability can develop and improve if children do interaction with other people.
- Functional Theory
Functionalisms argue that human is needed a social integration in acquire language.
- Interactionism Theory
Interactionism theory was pioneer by Bloom (1970), Bowennan (1973), Gromer (1976) on 1960-an. This theory is argued that language acquisition is the result of interaction between learning mental ability and language environment. They are related with interaction between input and internal ability which learner has.
d. Process of First Language Acquistion
According to Noam Chomsky, there are two processes when children acquire language. The first is competency process and second is performance process. Competency process is a process to acquire language grammars, such phonology, morphology, syntaxes, and semantic unconsciously. In other hand, performance processes is a process to acquire understanding and sentences publication. Both competency and performance, it is very important to acquire the language. According to Krisanjaya (queting by McGraw 1998), there are two process in language acquisition. The first is language acquisition have inception suddenly and second is language acquisition appear from motoric achievement, social and cognitive paralinguistic ability.
There are many expert in the world was explain the stages or process in language acquisition. Mangantar Simanjuntak (1987) suggests that there are six stages on children acquire language such as:
Paralinguistic processes occur when children were 0- 6 month old. According to Menn and Stoel Gammon mention that there are five stages in paralinguistic stage, such as cooing, play with vocal, canonical babbling, conversational babbling, and meaningful word.
- Two word utterance
Two word utterances were started from 20- 24 month old. Babies can express two words, such as Mom, dad, etc.
- The beginning grammar
- Toward adult grammar
Other references mention that there are three processes in children acquire the language. The processes are pre-speech, babbling stage and one word (holophrastic) stage.
The papers conclude that language acquisition is very important to human. Children can acquire language in anywhere if they are given opportunity to gain it. There are five theories approach which explain first language acquisition process at the moment, such as Behaviorism theory, Mentalist theory, Cognitive theory, Functional theory, and Interactionism theory. All these theories approach has self-view in first language acquisition process. According to these theories, the suitable theories approach in first language acquisition process is Nativist theory approach, because this theory approach argue that children was given medium to acquire language, namely Language Acquisition Device. To acquire language, children will be speeding some of stages and process. The processes are pre-speech, babbling stage and one word (holophrastic) stage.
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