The Educational Theory of Noam Chomsky - …
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Someone who engages in this study is called a linguist
In an interview with Lillian R. Putnam in the Fall of 1987, Chomsky was asked "â¦hellip;If teachers from primary grades were familiar with your work, what kinds of changes or emphases might they make in reading instruction? What general suggestions would help them?" To this Chomsky replied, "I'm hesitant even to suggest an answer to this question. Practitioners have to decide for themselves what is useful in the sciences, and what is not. As a linguist, I have no particular qualifications or knowledge that enables or entitles me to prescribe methods of language instruction. As a person, I have my own ideas on the topic, based on my own experience (in part, as a teacher of language to children), introspection, and personal judgment, but these should not be confused with some kind of professional expertise, presented from on high. My own feeling, for what it is worth, is that at any level, from nursery to graduate school, teaching is largely a matter of encouraging natural development. The best "method" of teaching is to make it clear that the subject is worth learning, and to allow the child's -- or adult's -- natural curiosity and interest in truth and understanding to mature and develop. That is about 90% of the problem, if not more. Methods of instruction may influence the residue." Accordingly in an interview with Gary Olson and Lester Faigley, Chomsky states that teaching is mostly "common sense". It does not matter what is covered; but how much you develop the capacity to discover (2007).
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According to Chomsky, language defines what it means to be human and the study of language is a way in to the study of the human mind. "Although having a language is not a prerequisite for having a mind, language is overwhelmingly our best evidence for the nature of mind" (Smith, 1999). With regard to learning language, Chomsky purports that some aspects of language are explicitly taught in school such the spelling conventions of the written representation of language and forms of technical vocabulary; however, the most fundamental aspects of language are universal. We all know the same unique human language. This notion of universal grammar is the set of linguistic principles that we are endowed with at birth in virtue of being human (Smith, 1999). Chomsky also asserts that there is a genetically determined "window of opportunity" for language acquisition. If the child does not learn its first language during this period, then it will never attain full "native-like mastery" of any language (Smith, 1999). Chomsky has at many times presented many different kinds of evidence in favor of the claim that language is in large part genetically determined including the speed and age-dependence of acquisition. For example, it can be said that we do not need to "learn" that our language contains nouns and verbs; all language contains nouns and verbs (Smith, 1999). We do however; need to learn the noises within the language that are associated with nouns and verbs.
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