• Uzoechi Felicia Chinyere Imo State University, Owerri
Keywords: Language, Language acquisition, Language theories, Innatism, Behaviorism, Social interactionism


Although language acquisition is innate, it is important not to overlook it. The unconscious nature of language acquisition further makes it a vital point of study. Thus overtime, scholars have emerged with various concepts concerning the acquisition of language in humans. Some have considered basic requirements for language study while others have even gone further to study hypotheses of language acquisition which afterward led to the emergence of theories. The study of language acquisition is essential in order to understand the process by which we learn meaningful ways to communicate; to speak, write or even use language. Therefore, with theories of language acquisition, such as BF Skinner’s behavioral theory, Chomsky’s nativist theory, MacWhinney’s competition model theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory; there are comparisons to be done to establish what connects and distinguishes one from the other. This essay thus assesses different theories of language acquisition; brings various aspects of language acquisition theories to light; and studies theorists with their different ideologies towards language mastery in a child. Finally, the paper draws a conclusion from the similarities and differences that exist in the theories of BF Skinner, Noam Chomsky, MacWhinney and Lev Vygotsky.

Author Biography

Uzoechi Felicia Chinyere, Imo State University, Owerri

Department of Language Education