Discussion Board 6: Mechanisms of Word Learning

I’m studying for my Psychology class and need an explanation.

Discussion Board Instructions and Deadline

  • minimum 350-word up to a maximum 500-word answer
  • use evidence to support your opinion (MUST cite research as outlined in prompt)
  • proofread your answer and use complete, grammatical sentences

Discussion Board Question #6

Part of acquiring language is learning words – thousands and thousands of words. The vocabulary of an average English-speaking college student has been estimated at 150,000 words. The average first-grader has a vocabulary of more than 14,000 words. How do we accomplish this remarkable ability? What factors lead to the development of our first words and to a lexicon of hundreds and thousands of words? How are words born? Chapter 5 (pp. 137-160) introduced the many theories for how children learn their first words and the meaning of these words. In Deb Roy’s Ted Talk, he introduced you to his approach for studying language development. In this Video – The Birth of a Word (by Deb Roy), Dr. Roy presents evidence to suggest that the child’s developing lexicon is influenced by a number of social and contextual factors.

In your opinion and based on evidence, do you agree with Deb Roy’s mechanisms underlying the birth of a word? Provide 2 reasons for why you agree or disagree with his theory. In your answer, please describe the mechanism(s) he believes are important in children’s lexical development (you may want to talk about feedback loops, scaffolding and visual context). You may also want to incorporate into your answer the advantages and/or limitations of his study of language development (e.g., his particular methods of studying language development).You must use at least 2 references for your opinion. References for this response can come from your textbook, journal articles, chapters in edited books, and books. DO NOT USE WEBSITES AS EVIDENCE FOR THIS RESPONSE.

Grading Scale

5 – well-informed, uses/cites research appropriately, complete and grammatical sentences, meets minimum word count, convincing in argument/answer to prompt.

4 – reasonably well-informed and appropriately uses/cites research, but may be less convincing in argument/answer in prompt. No issues with grammar were noted and met minimum word count.

3 – author does attempt to use/cite research in response, but may have been less convincing in argument/answer in prompt. Issues with grammar may have been noted. Author may not have met minimum word count.

2author does not attempt to use/cite research in response and thus, fails to convince reader of answer. Issues with grammar may have been noted. Author may not have met minimum word count.

1 – poorly written, did not meet minimum word count and was not well-informed or use/cite research in prompt. Many issues were noted.

0 – did not attempt assignment