Identify the Effects of Deafness and Blindness on Language Acquisition. What Can These Tell Us About Language Acquisition in Hearing and Sighted Children?

1673 Words7 Pages
In this essay I will be discussing how deafness and blindness affect the language acquisition of children and comparing this to the language acquisition of hearing and sighted children. I expect to then be able to draw conclusions about the importance of sight and ability to hear, in language acquisition and what the main factors are that cause any delays or deviance in the language acquisition of deaf and blind children. I will be focusing on children that are born with one of these conditions who have parents that are both hearing and sighted. Throughout this essay I will show how the findings about language acquisition in deaf and blind children support the nativist view that language is innate. As Landau and Gleitman (1985:2) write 'the blind seem to confront a world quite different to our own...one might expect their language learning to differ as well.' The babbling stage of language acquisition is the same for all children throughout the world evidence, including deaf and blind children. It usually involves the sounds /b/, /m/, /t/ and /p/. This worldwide similarity supports Chomsky's nativist idea that language is innate, known as 'universal grammar'. Chomsky and other nativists state that language is inbuilt into the brains of all humans in a place that Chomsky labels the LAD (Language Acquisition Device). If we agree with Chomsky's and other nativists' ideas then we must assume that the language of deaf and blind children would not differ from that of other children. However, the empiricist Sampson (2005:1) says: 'The English language, and other languages, are institutions... which individuals may learn during their lifetimes, if they happen to be born into the appropriate cultures, but to which no one is innately predisposed.' This would suggest that the language of deaf and blind children might be deviant to language of hearing and sighted children

More about Identify the Effects of Deafness and Blindness on Language Acquisition. What Can These Tell Us About Language Acquisition in Hearing and Sighted Children?

Open Document