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Biplob Prodhan
  • 2 months ago
  • 102
Behaviourist theory of first language acquisition

Behaviorist theory is a theory of language acquisition that emphasizes the role of environmental factors in shaping a child’s first language (L1) development. According to this theory, children learn language by imitating the language they hear and by receiving feedback on their language use. Behaviorist theorists argue that language is acquired through a process of stimulus-response-reinforcement, in which the child is exposed to language stimuli, produces responses, and receives positive reinforcement for correct language use.


Behaviorist theory emphasizes the importance of repetition, practice, and positive reinforcement in language acquisition. It suggests that children learn language through imitation, shaping, and conditioning. For example, a child might imitate a parent’s pronunciation of a word and receive positive feedback, such as a smile or a hug, which reinforces correct language use. Over time, through repeated exposure and reinforcement, the child gradually acquires a set of language rules and vocabulary.


Behaviorist theory has been influential in shaping our understanding of language acquisition, but it has also been criticized for oversimplifying the complex processes involved in language learning. Some linguists argue that it fails to account for the creative and generative aspects of language use and the role of innate language abilities in language acquisition

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Biplob Prodhan
Founder of EDNOUB & Ednoub Private Program


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