Language Acquisition      According to Behaviorists, the behavior for them is a stimulus-response association or habit formation. The Behaviorists differentiate between language acquisition and other types of behavior. They call it verbal behavior which starts from the childhood. Thus, the child is born with a blank slate. Moreover, they suggest that the learning prosses can be done or achieved by means of repetition. Skinner, one of the pioneers in this field, argues through his experiment (operant conditioning) that the learning process proceeds with positive reinforcement which involves rewarding the correct utterance and the negative one which involves punishment. Finally, the behaviorists believe that the same methods and procedures apply for both FLA and SLA. 
May 5, 2018 9:15 PM
Comments · 8

Hi Eyad what is FLA and SLA ?

Behaviorism is a little bit outdated in psychology, do they still teach it in your country? Now there is cognitivism which puts the accent on how a person thinks about himself and the world in which he is living.

Regarding the phrase you mention “ a child is born with a blank slate” it isn’t considered accurate anymore. Human babies are far more competent than scientists believed in the 60 ties.

Babies still in the womb of their mother are able to discriminate sounds. They recognize the voice of their mother and other close people . Fetuses usually accelerate their heart rhythm when they hear something familiar.

But Skinner was right, the baby must be stimulated to learn a language. If like Mowgly he lives among wolves he will not learn any human language. But it is more complex than a mere stimulus/ response.

Anyway it is a good topic. 

May 5, 2018
Yeah, I posted a video about this. It’s the old BF Skinner behaviorist debate with Noam Chomsky‘s opposing views going back to the 60s. Sapolsky on YouTube has a Video describing the two well, and I posted the link. Skinner didn’t know what he was talking about. His behaviorist theory has long been discarded as nonsense and was described as „utter raving rubbish“ in the video. Chomsky‘s poverty of stimulus view is the truth. An average college Student knows about 60,000 words in his native language by college, age 20, which would be impossible under Skinner‘s behaviorist model. 
May 6, 2018
Yes Dan but I think there are some differences between acquiring a language and Shaping the personality of the child.
May 6, 2018

In the 1970s, a colleague of mine was about to become a father for the first time. We had many spirited discussions on nature versus nurture, the tabula rasa, and whether all behavior was learned. He was a psychologist, and in those days, psychology in the US was very much in the tradition of John Watson and B. F. Skinner. I was a software engineer... with some background in ethology, the study of animal behavior from the point of view of evolutionary biology.

I said to him "Our experience is that babies have personalities and individual characteristics from day one, which they could not have possibly learned. You are about to have your first child. Tell me in a year what you think."

To his credit, some time later, he said "You're right. Anyone whose raised a baby has to believe they arrive with some pre-existing, unlearned behavior hard-wired in."

(I'd add that it is even more obvious after you have had two children... each with a definite, different personality from day one.)

May 6, 2018
Regardless of these theories, what is critical in the learning course of a language is to think, to learn, to listen and to practice all the time.  These theories do not make sense to most learners at this place. 
May 5, 2018
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Language Skills
Arabic, Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Levantine), Arabic (Modern Standard), English, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, German, Spanish