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Children Study on English Language

But Nunes says elsewhere that symbolic tools that people use "must not be confounded with the powers and limits of the users themselves" (p. 98). This appears to suggest that symbolic systems (whether arithmetic competence or language use) are an attribute of rational capacity. It is in that context that Chomsky's discussion of language acquisition by children takes on meaning. His view is that children can (even though they do not always) discover good linguistic form without ever having learned grammatical rules in a formal way. Language itself develops from impulse toward making a formal expression that was already resident in the child. The rational/cognitive component is decisive, as far as shaping language is concerned, cognition plus experience allow the individual to acquire the social function of language. In other words, thought can develop independently of language. The reverse is not true; language as social function does not determine (though it may influence) rational processes: "The system of language is only one of a number of cognitive systems that interact in the most intimate way in the actual use of language" (Chomsky, 1980, p. 188).

All this suggests that individuals know more than they can formulate in language and that rational capacity impels them to seek new modes of expression. If that is true, then rational capacity of children who do not speak English will, in an English-speaking environment, be applied to the task of discerning English symbols for their expression. Assuming cognitive faculties are competent, that task will be successful. If they are not obliged to learn English, however, they may not engage the task of employing their cognitive abilities to seek English modes of expression. If, however, English is the linguistic mainstream and if advantages attach to being consistent with the mainstream, then it follows that the more bilingual education retards use of cognitive power to enter the mainstre...

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Children Study on English Language. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:54, August 24, 2017, from
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