Language Acquisition by a Child Living in an Institutional Environment
Very recently the American psychologist U. Bronfenbrenner (1979) deplored the fact that although we have a certain amount of knowledge concerning a child’s development we still do not know anything about the environments in which they live, or the processes which allow the environment to influence the course of this development. M. Richelle (1976), for his part, states that most traditional studies of language, consider the child as an individual isolated from his environment on the one hand, and speech as an in behaviour dissociable from behaviours as a whole on the other hand. But at present many researchers are emphasising the fact that language development in the child is greatly influenced by his verbal surroundings (C.E. Snow, C.A. FERGUSON. 1977); one should go further and say that language acquisition depends on the environment as a whole. Indeed, interactions with the human surroundings do not intervene alone in the learning of language: the structure of everyday life and of the world of objects also play an important role. At least that is what emanates from observations over a period of 10 months with a child living in an institutional environment. Without doubt, the studies of single cases can only have a limited relevance but they can suggest useful hypotheses.
KeywordsInstitutional Environment Language Acquisition French Language Linguistic Behaviour Phonological System
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