Why is Language Acquisition studied?

So why is it that language acquisition has attracted so much interest in recent years?
Interest
  • The fact that we are the only species that communicates through the use of speech, is fascinating when you think about it!
  • One of life's BIG questions revolves around why and how we have the ability to acquire language so effectively?
  • Research into language acquisition is relatively new, but has "taken off" considerably since the late 20th century.

Understanding
  • The human mind is extremely complex and thus plays a vital part in the acquisition of language.
  • By studying language acquisition you can gain insight into the structure and working nature of the human mind.
  • Psycholinguistics also helps enable us to gain greater understanding of the language phenomenon. (For more information, see Psycholinguistics).
  • The study of language acquisition helps to develop linguistical theories.

 



Applications
  • Insight into the acquisition of language can enable us to effectively help people if help is needed!
  • Speech Therapy: From children with speech impairments, to aiding recovery of those who have lost speech due to illness, such as a stroke.
  • Severe cases of language deprivation, for example The case of Genie. (To find out more, see Psycholinguistics: The Case of Genie).