Child Language Acquisition Case Studies: Genie, Jim etc

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  • Child Language Acquisition: Case Studies
    • Jim: The Son of Deaf Parents
      • Jim had little contact with adults to interact with due to his parents being deaf, the only verbal contact he had was with a television and radio.
        • He grew up with incorrect syntax and was under the expected rate for his age group.
        • Eventually, after beginning language therapy sessions his language improved drastically and his syntax was corrected.
          • This conveys how children need interaction in order to lean language, this is also supported by the Genie Case Study. The Interactional Theory is put forwards by Bruner.
    • Genie Wiley: Case Study
      • Genie was discovered when she was 13 years old after years of abuse and neglect from her parents. She was discovered tied to a child's potty, in a small, dark and confined room.
        • When she made a noise her father would beat her and he would only communicate by grunting at her. When discovered she was unable to speak and silent, as tests taken suggested she had the mental age of a 1 year old child.
        • Over a few months she made rapid progress learning hundreds of words however that development was soon shunted as she could speak the words however she could string together a grammatically correct sentence.
        • Genie is a key example of the Critical Period Theory put forwards by Lenneberg. As she missed the critical period to learn language, it was conveyed that she never could as language is pragmatics, grammar etc which she failed to understand.
    • Oxana Malaya
      • Oxana Malaya was what is classed as a 'Feral Child' due to the fact that she suffered extreme neglect and grew up with a family of dogs rather than humans.
        • Oxana was placed outside due to the fact her parents were alcoholics and did not care for her properly. She crawled away in search of warmth and ended up in the kennel with a family of dogs. When she was 7 ears old someone reported to seeing a feral child running around with a pack of dogs on the streets.
      • Oxana conveyed dog like behaviours such as barking etc, however because she had been 'thrown out' when she was 3 years of age she could still speak a small amount of language.
        • With speech therapy she was able to succeed and speak proper language with correct grammatical sentences and syntax etc.


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