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Language Acquisition

Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language, as well as to produce and use words and sentences to communicate. Language acquisition is one of the quintessential human traits, because nonhumans do not communicate by using language. Language acquisition usually refers to first-language acquisition, which studies infants' acquisition of their native language. This is distinguished from second-language acquisition, which deals with the acquisition (in both children and adults) of additional languages. Furthermore, there are actually two main guiding principles in first-language acquisition, that is, speech perception always precedes speech production and the gradually evolving system by which a child learns a language is built up one step at a time, beginning with the distinction between individual phonemes. Language acquisition is one of the central topics in cognitive science. Every theory of cognition has tried to explain it; probably no other topic has aroused such controversy. Possessing a language is the quintessentially human trait: all normal humans speak, no nonhuman animal does. Language is the main vehicle by which we know about other people's thoughts, and the two must be intimately related. Every time we speak we are revealing something about language, so the facts of language structure are easy to come by; these data hint at a system of extraordinary complexity. Nonetheless, learning a first language is something every child does successfully, in a matter of a few years and without the need for formal lessons. With language so close to the core of what it means to be human, it is not surprising that children's acquisition of language has received so much attention. Language acquisition is not only inherently interesting; studying it is one way to look for concrete answers to questions that permeate cognitive science.

Researchers define language acquisition into two categories: first-language acquisition and second-language acquisition. First-language acquisition is a universal process regardless of home language. Babies listen to the sounds around them, begin to imitate them, and eventually start producing words. Second-language acquisition assumes knowledge in a first language and encompasses the process an individual goes through as he or she learns the elements of a new language, such as vocabulary, phonological components, grammatical structures, and writing systems. The topic of language acquisition implicates the most profound questions about our understanding of the human mind, and its subject matter, the speech of children, is endlessly fascinating. The capacity to successfully use language requires one to acquire a range of tools including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and an extensive vocabulary. Language is a very important part of life. Communication between people not only enables us to understand one-another, but aids in developing relationships and allowing us to communicate our problems, suggestions and plans. Language Acquisition is something that can often be misunderstood, or simplified, or even forgotten. Yet from the word GO, acquiring language and using language is an amazing ability we, as human-beings, have.

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Associations on Language acquisition
• Association for Language Learning
• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
• European Second Language Association
• American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
• National Foreign Language Center at the U of Maryland
• Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
• International Association for Language Learning Technology
• American Council on the Teching of Foreign Languages
• North American Christian Foreign Language Association
• Center For Applied Second Language Studies

conferences on Language acquisition
• 4th Chinese National Conference on Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition on 18-Oct-2014 - 19-Oct-2014 in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China.
• Chinese and Germanic Languages: Second Language Acquisition and Perception from 09-Oct-2014 - 10-Oct-2014 in Shanghai, China.
• International Conference on Child Foreign Language Acquisition from 16-Oct-2014 - 17-Oct-2014 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
• 2014 Graduate Online Conference with International Participation on Language Acquisition & Learning Research from 27-Nov-2014 - 29-Nov-2014 in Magnitogorsk, Russia.
• 6th International Conference on Formal Linguistics in Conjunction with International Conference on Language Acquisition, Language Disorder and Language Assessment from 08-Nov-2014 - 09-Nov-2014 in Beijing, China.
• Variation in Language Acquisition from 03-Dec-2014 - 05-Dec-2014 in Grenoble, France.
• Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition - North America 6 from 19-Feb-2015 - 21-Feb-2015 in College Park, MD, USA.
• Big Data: New Opportunities and Challenges in Language Acquisition Research on 04-Mar-2015 in Leipzig, Germany.
• Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition from 04-Mar-2015 - 06-Mar-2015 in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
• 2nd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition from 01-Jul-2015 - 03-Jul-2015 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

This page will be updated regularly.

This page was last updated on 10th Oct, 2014

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