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Critique two classmates paper

  • Must be an analytical critique of how well your classmates applied hybrid theory in their answers regarding and recommendations for improving Genie's language development.
  • Provide suggestions for improvement or alternative areas to be considered.

1. student one---The hybrid theory is a combination of the three other language development theories (infants need to be taught, social impulses foster infant language, and infants teach themselves), which states that that an infant’s language learning can be explained by one theory at a certain point in their life and another theory at a later point (Berger, 2014, p. 176).

            Using the different aspects of the other theories within the hybrid theory, Genie had delayed language development because her family never taught her proper words and how to formulate sentences (infants need to be taught). There were rare social interactions between her and the family unless it was for her father to beat her for making noises or to bark or growl at Genie (social impulses). Lastly, Genie wasn’t really able to teach herself because the only communication she had received or heard from family wasn’t frequent enough and when it was the other communication she had to go off of was barks or growls (infants teach themselves) (Berger, 2014, p. 173-176).

            To start off, Genie was analyzed to check her cognitive abilities to get a general idea of where she was at mentally. Once they realized that she had the mental capacity of a one year old, they tried to show her how to speak and formulate sentences by teaching her different words at a time. She was able to start adding words to her vocab, but since she missed the critical period mentioned in the article, she was unable to put more than three words together at a time.

            The first recommendation that I could mention that I didn’t see mentioned in the article to help teach Genie how to speak would be to recast her speech, for example if she said something like “applesauce buy store”, they could restructure it like “you want to buy applesauce from the store?” to help explain to the proper way to ask something. The second recommendation I would have for them is to try child directed speech, which would slow down how the caregiver talked to her and make speech more childlike and ask more questions to try and get Genie to respond more regularly. The third and last recommendation I would have is to try and expand on what Genie was saying to them, such as Genie telling her caregivers “Spot chew glove”, they could expand on that by bringing up a past example of something similar and ask her more questions to get her to recap and expand on what she wants to say.

2. student 2----The hybrid theory of language development is some aspects of language may be explained by one theory at one age and another theory at another age. How language is learned depends on the age of the child as well as on the particular circumstances.

Using the hybrid theory the reasons for Genie’s delays in language development were caused by the neglect and abuse of her parents. They did not foster an environment of love and of learning. 

The psychologists gave Genie an assessment, she scored at the level of a one-year-old, they started teaching her as they would teach a one-year-old, however she never made it to the stage called language explosion. Genie never experienced the love and attention that a child does with his or her mother, perhaps they should have treated Genie as if she was really an infant, Genie craved for human touch and connection, she didn’t get much of that. They also should I thought Genie how to formulate sentences in a better manner.

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