Language Acquisition Quotes

Quotes tagged as "language-acquisition" (showing 1-15 of 15)
“Language is best taught when it is being used to transmit messages, not when it is explicitly taught for conscious learning.”
Stephen D. Krashen, The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom

Jennifer Egan
“Das mine!' protested Ava, Bennie's daughter, affirming Alex's recent theory that language acquisition involved a phase of speaking German. She snatched a plastic skillet away from his own daughter, Cara-Ann, who lurched after it, roaring, 'Mine pot! Mine pot!”
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

“Not all babies learn to play chess or hunt penguins or play the didgeridoo, but except in cases of pathology they all master their first language. Indeed, failure to master one’s first language is taken to reflect a pathological condition; failing to master algebra or the piccolo has no such implication.”
Neilson Voyne Smith, Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals

Steven Pinker
“(...) Language acquisition might be like other biological functions. The linguistic clumsiness of tourists and students might be the price we pay for the linguistic genius we displayed as babies, just as the decrepitude of age is the price we pay for the vigor of youth.”
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Steven Pinker
“As far as the language instinct is concerned, the correlation between genes and languages is a coincidence. People store genes in their gonads and pass them to their children through their genitals; they store grammars in their brains and pass them to their children through their mouths. Gonads and brains are attached to each other in bodies, so when bodies move, genes and grammars move together. That is the only reason that geneticists find any correlation between the two.”
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Min Kim
“When someone recommends a book to you, you know two things; that it is a good book and you have a good friend.

If you listen to everybody, you will be nobody.

Judge a man by what he tried, not by what he accomplished.

People hate what they know but fear what they don't.

A curious mind is never bored.

Parents, teachers, and politicians should not be judged by their popularity.

People believe in everything except the reality.”
Min Kim

“The central hypothesis of the theory is that language acquisition occurs in only one way: by understanding messages.”
Stephen D. Krashen, The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom

“Now we have come full circle to the subtitle of this book: children learn by unlearning other languages. Viewed in the Darwinian light, all humanly possible grammars compete to match the language spoken in the child's environment. And fitness, because we have competition, can be measured by the compatibility of a grammar with what a child hears in a particular linguistic environment. This theory of language takes both nature and nurture into account: nature proposes, and nurture disposes.”
Charles Yang, The Infinite Gift: How Children Learn and Unlearn the Languages of the World

“The totality of utterances that can be made in a speech community is the language of that speech community.”
Leonard Bloomfield, An introduction to the study of language

“The study of universal grammar is a joint venture between globetrotting theoreticians who worry about impossible grammars and laboratory experimentalists who put young children through these impossible grammars. Perhaps, as in physics, one of these days there will be a grand unified theory of universal grammar. Linguistics today is where physics was in the age of Galileo and Kepler. The collection of principles may one day be replaced by one powerful principle - perhaps just the principle of recursion. that underlies them all. Universal grammar is still waiting for its Newton and Einstein. Whatever it turns out to be, its job its to keep children on the right track to their language.”
Charles Yang, The Infinite Gift: How Children Learn and Unlearn the Languages of the World

“The widely documented failure of late starters to achieve native-like proficiency, even when motivation, cognitive abilities, and opportunities are optimal and plentiful, all agree, is one of the most salient facts about SLA. It is a weighty empirical problem, in Laudan's sense, crying out for a solution.”
Michael H. Long, Problems in Second Language Acquisition

“The child's reluctance to speak for the first few months of his residence in a new country is not pathological, but normal.”
Stephen D. Krashen, The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications

“Older acquirers progress more quickly in early stages because they obtain more comprehensible input, while younger acquirers do better in the long run because of their lower affective filters.”
Stephen D. Krashen, The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications

“Universal grammar is about what language is: it is to be distinguished from prescriptive grammars, often distilled in newspaper columns, which tell us what language should be. We are all entitled to our own opinions of what is appropriate, be it in the arrangement of words or flowers - as long as we keep in mind that these are just opinions. The properties of universal grammar linguists have unearthed, however, are a useful defense when language "authorities" try to rationalize their pontifications: none of the don'ts they advertise can be found in the book of universal grammar.”
Charles Yang, The Infinite Gift: How Children Learn and Unlearn the Languages of the World

“The language of academic discourse, which is crucial to academic progress beyond grade 3 is learned by all children through literacy: there are no native speakers of academic language!”
L. W. Fillmore