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Theories of Language Acquisition

Learning a first language seems deceptively simple. Every typically developing child learns to speak and understand a first language in a relatively short time: From babbling at 6 months of age to first words at 12 months, from producing and understanding simple sentences between 24 and 30 months of age to producing and understanding full sentences and longer discourses by age 3. Learning language is not only rapid but follows the same developmental path regardless of culture and requires little formal teaching by parents or caretakers.

To acquire language, children must learn the specific sequence of sounds that comprise individual words, associate these words with specific concepts, and learn the grammatical rules that govern how words are combined into phrases, clauses, and larger discourse units. Learning ...

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