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Criticism of the Critical Period Hypothesis

However, she never learnt proper syntax.
Case Study:
What do these cases tell us?
Suggestive of the position that there is a critical period for first language learning
If a child is not exposed to language during early childhood (prior to the age of 6 or 7), then the ability to learn syntax will be impaired while other abilities are less strongly affected
Not uncontroversial: Victor, Genie and children like them were deprived in many ways other than not being exposed to language
Genie stopped talking after age 30 and was institutionalized shortly afterward (Rymer, 1993)

Curtiss, S., Fromkin, V., Krashen, S., Rigler, D., & Rigler, M.

The Critical Period for Language Acquisition: Evidence from Second Language Learning.

Estimates range from
5 years up to onset of puberty
Lenneberg (1967) proposed that there is a critical period for human language
Isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and crucially, of
human language.
Those found
after puberty


develop a vocabulary
But, they
cannot master
the full grammar of their language
If they are discovered
before puberty
, they have better chances of
learning the full grammar
Under 7 years:
Normal language acquisition guaranteed
8 until puberty:
Perfect command less possible progressively
Puberty onwards:
Almost impossible
But these claims are far from universally accepted


Lennebergs Critical Period Hypothesis by JerryHand - …

He claimed that children before their critical period were less severely impaired by brain damage.

However, while arguing that language itself is adaptive and "did not 'just happen'" (p. 172), Hurford suggests that the critical period is not an adaptation, but rather a constraint on language that emerged due to a lack of selection pressures that reinforce acquiring more than one language. In other words, Hurford explains the existence of a critical period with , the idea that when there are no selection pressures on multiple alleles acting on the same trait, one of the alleles will gradually diminish through evolution. Because the simulation reveals no evolutionary advantage of acquiring more than one language, Hurford suggests that the critical period evolved simply as a result of a lack of selection pressure.

In order to provide evidence for the evolutionary functionality of the critical period in language acquisition, generated a computer simulation of plausible conditions of evolving generations, based on three central assumptions:

Lenneberg's Critical Period Hypothesis DOWNLOAD HERE

Lenneberg (1967) and Slobin (1971:60) illustrate that anarthric people can acquire a language.

125. “The Critical Period Hypothesis: a coat of many colours”, International Review of Applied Linguistics (IRAL) 43 (2005), 269-285.

121. “Criticizing the Critical Period Hypothesis”, in Pragmatics and language learning, ed . Arabski, J., Kraków, Universitas, 2004, 219-229.

139. “The Critical Period Hypothesis: some problems”, Interlingüística 17 (2007), 48-56
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Critical period hypothesis - Wikipedia

The critical period hypothesis is associated with , whose 1956 Vanuxem lectures at formed the basis of his 1959 work with , . Penfield and Roberts explored the of language, concluding that it was dominant in the left hemisphere of the brain on the basis of hundreds of case studies spanning many decades. The review focussed on how individuals with brain damage evidenced atypical linguistic performance, rather than examining neurotypical cases of 'normal' language acquisition, and the authors' conclusions were also based on the prevailing view that children were born without any real language ability; however, linguistic "units", once "fixed", would affect later learning. Their recommendations for language schooling recommended starting early in order to avoid fixed effects; though these claims did not form the core of the book, being confined to the last chapter, other researchers and popular opinion were much-influenced by them. The hypothesis was developed by in his 1967 , which set the end of the critical period for native language acquisition at 12. The hypothesis has been fiercely debated since then, and has continued to inform popular assumptions about the presumed (in)ability of to learn a second language.

Critical Period Hypothesis | Language Acquisition | …

The CPH as applied to first language acquisition proposes that a child deprived of exposure to natural language would fail to acquire it if exposure commenced only after the end of the critical period. Because testing such a theory would be unethical, in that it would involve isolating a child from the rest of the world for several years, researchers have gathered evidence of the CPH from a few victims of . The most famous example is the case of (a pseudonym), who was deprived of language until the age of 13. Over the following years of rehabilitation, improvement in her ability to was noted, but during this time she did not develop the language ability common to other children. However, this case has been criticised as a firm example of the critical period in action, and data has not been gathered from Genie since the 1970s.

Age and the critical period hypothesis Christian Abello-Contesse

Whatis the theory of "brain lateralization?" Lateralization is the ideathat the two halves of the brain's cerebral cortex -- left and right-- execute different functions. The lateralization theory --developed by Nobel-prize-winners Roger Sperry and Robert Ornstein --helps us to understand our behavior, our personality, our creativity,and our ability to use the proper mode of thinking when performingparticular tasks. (The cerebral cortex is a part of the brain thatexists only in humans and higher mammals, to manage our sophisticatedintellect.)

Critical period hypothesis - SlideShare

8. Age as a factor in second language acquisition. Dublin: Trinity College, Centre for Language and Communication Studies (CLCS Occasional Paper 3), and Alexandria, Virginia: ERIC Reports ED 217 712, 1981.70pp.

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