Endah Humaedah_Lilik Milkiyah - Research Psycholinguistic

January 27, 2018 | Author: nengcintia | Category: Language Acquisition, Imitation, Language Development, Nature Versus Nurture, Learning
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First Language Acquisition for Children by Imitation at Kindergarten Ages in TK ALMuawanah Menes Pandeglang

RESEARCH (Submitted to fulfill lecturing of Psycholinguistic on TEFL as Final Assignment)

Compiled By: 1. Endah Humaedah 2. Lilik Milkiyah Class: IA


First Language Acquisition for Children by Imitation at Kindergarten Ages in TK ALMuawanah Menes Pandeglang

Abstract This research discusses about how an adult language can influence the development of children first language acquisition by using imitation and repetition. This research will be conducted at Students of TK AL Muawanah Menes Pandeglang. The populations in this research are 20 students and the samples of the research are 5 students. The problems of the research are how do the children acquire the first language acquisition? Are there any influences between imitation and first language acquisition for children at kindergarten ages? After conducting the study, the writer wants to know how the children acquire the first language and if there are any influences between imitation and first language acquisition for children at kindergarten ages. To find out the answers of the problems, the writer uses the related theories, they are Vershney, (2003), Chomsky, (2009), Bolinger, (2002), Gleason, (1998), Fromkin, (1983). The data gained by interview to the teacher, parents. To know the development of the children’ first language acquisition is gained by collecting HP recording’s parents. In analyzing the data, the writer uses some procedures. The data collected from video recording of the conversation between child and parent or closest family, and the result of interview between the writer and teacher, and the writer and parents. From this research, the writer can gain the result that parents who is used to involve their children in communication and ask them to imitate an adult speech are easier to acquire first language acquisition than the children whose parent did not involve them to communicate and ask to imitate their speech. Keywords: Language, Acquisition, and Imitation A. Introduction Parents do not teach their children the native language formally. Although they may try to reinforce their children’s verbal behavior with smiles or other ways or through the gap between their mature linguistic competence and the child’s beginning by means of ‘baby talk’. But there is no particular reason to believe that such ability appears on the child’s final achievement in becoming a native speaker of his parents’ language. It means that child acquires their mother tongue or first language is not only from their parents but from people surrounding him/her. A child picks up language when, for instance, he/she plays to gather with his/her friends, his/her sisters, brothers or any other people around him/her. Unconsciously, this situation may extend their language ability. The environment factors can

influence child’s language acquisition. It is crucial that child is allowed to socially interact with other people who can vocalize and respond to questions. For language acquisition to develop her/his language ability successfully, child must be in an environment that allows him/her to communicate socially in that language. If children do not allow interacting or communicating with others, they may become introvert people. This situation will become their language development are slower than extrovert people. Language acquisition is the process whereby children achieve a fluent control of their native language (Vershney, 2003:307). Children learn a language, not because they are subjected to a similar conditioning process, but because they posse an inborn capacity which allows them to acquire language as a normal maturational process. This capacity is universal. The child has an innate language acquiring device. All normal children can acquire their mother tongue equally intelligence but when does the acquisition take place? The answer is it depends on the environment aspect.

If the people around them try to ask them to

communicate or interact, the development of children language acquisition will increase rapidly. He learns a language by exposure to it in society and by unconsciously forming certain hypothesis about language, which he goes on modifying till he comes to the adult model to which he is for the most part exposed. So the child goes on constructing an innate grammar, operating over generalized rules. When the children are allowed communicating and interacting with people surrounding, they will imitate language that used by people around them. Unconsciously, by imitating the language, they will acquire the language. There are some researchers who study about the development of first language acquisition for children. Those are: Bertaria, S.H. (2015) study about children first acquisition at age 1-3 years, Shormani, (2014) the nature of language acquisition, Utami, R., (2012) Language input in children’s early language development through imitation, Robin, A (2003) Imitation in Language and Speech Roles and Functional Base. Although there were some researches who conducted the research about first language acquisition by imitation, but it is not clearly known if imitation can influence the children first language acquisition. So, it needs to conduct the study more deeply. Hence, the writer is interested to conduct the study about first language acquisition for children by imitation at kindergarten ages more deeply. Based on the statements above, the writer formulates the problems those are: how do the children acquire the first language acquisition? Are there any influences between imitation and first language acquisition for children at kindergarten ages?

After conducting the study, the writer wants to know how the children acquire the first language and if there are any influences between imitation and first language acquisition for children at kindergarten ages. B. Theoretical Review Language acquisition is the process whereby children achieve a fluent control of their native language Vershney, (2003:307). According to Krashen in Syafrizal (2014:3) language acquisition refers to the process of “picking up” a language. Furthermore, Syafrizal (2014:8) states that language acquisition is the study of the processes through which learners acquire language. Language acquisition is based on the neuro-psychological processes (Maslo, 2007: 41). Language acquisition is opposed to learning and is a subconscious process similar to that by which children acquire their first language (Kramina, 2000: 27). According to Chomsky (2009:101-102) in Bertaria (2015) language acquisition is a matter of growth and maturation of relatively fixed capacities, under appropriate external conditions. The form of acquisition and use of language the language is acquired is largely determined by internal factors; it is because of the fundamental correspondence of all human languages, because of the fact that “human beings are the same, wherever they may be”, that a child can learn any language. The functioning language capacity is, furthermore, optional at a certain “critical period” of intellectual development in addition to that, the term ‘language acquisition’ is normally used without qualification for the process with results in the knowledge of one’s native language (or native languages). As Bolinger (2002:3) said that acquiring a language calls for three things: 1. Predisposition, as well as physical capacities, developed through countless countries of natural selection; people have capacities for communicating in a human way uniquely and capacities for acting such as breathing, grasping and craying. 2. A preexisting language system, any one of the many produced by the cultures of the world; language persists through time and from speaker to speaker. We are not born with an instinct to learn language such as English, Indonesian or Chinese but we learn a language as members of the society, or we want to understand that society, or to be understood by that speech community. It means that if a language is not used in any society, it dies out. 3. A competence that comes from applying the predispositions and capacities to the system through the relatively long period during which the child learns both to manipulate the physical elements of the system, such as sounds and words and

grammatical rules, and to permeate them with meaning: a child must learn the rules before use the language creativity. Based on the theories above, the writer concludes that language acquisition is process of acquiring the language in natural order and not in formal situation. In the first stage acquiring, a child never thinks a good structure of language. It needs support from his/her environment. Acquisition versus Learning The differences between Acquisition and Learning, those are acquisition, for example, walking. No one teaches the child to walk but he/she is able to walk for normal child. We know walking is a process of acquisition. All children are able to walk without any instruction and tutoring or no one teaches them to walk. The second one is learning, for example, reading. If a child is not taught to read, he is not able to read. Reading is a learning process because he/she is taught to read so that he/she is able to read. As we know many people all over the world are not able to read because they are not taught to do so. Nature versus Nurture The controversial between nature and nurture is explored by the ancient theories of language acquisition, that is whether language is innate and God-given or learned by environment. Gleason (1998:376) states perhaps this is the major question that divides psycholinguistics. To what extent is language hardwired into human brain (nature), and to what extent is it learned through interaction with the environment (nurture)? Do parents teach children language, or does language simply unfold according to a genetic program? Vershney (2003:309-310) in Bertaria (2015) summarizes the difference between the empiricists’ approach and rationalist in the following manner: NO

Empirical or Behavioral Approach

Rationalist or Mentalist Approach

. 1.

Language acquisition is a result of Language


experience condition Language acquisition is a stimulus- Language acquisition is an innate, in-born


response process Language is conditioned behavior






process Language is not a behavior like other behaviors but a species-uniform mental


process Children learn language by imitation Children learn language by application

5. 6.

and analogy Language learning is practice based Language learning is mechanical





Language learning is rule based Language learning is analytic, generative

and creative repetition, Role of exposure is very significant

reinforcement, memory, motivation is 8.

very significant in language learning Language acquisition is the result of Language acquisition is the result of nature nurture

From the explanation of table above, Vershney (2003:310) takes two points they are: (1) language is maturational controlled behavior, and (2) child language is rule-governed, at every stage. Many types of behavior develop ‘naturally’ at a certain age, provided that the surrounding environment is adequate and teaching is available at the crucial time. Such behavior is maturational controlled. Arguments as to whether it is inborn or learnt, are useless. Nature and nurture, analogy and application, practice and exposure are important. Innate potentialities lay down the framework. Within this framework, there is wide variation depending on the environment. From the age of around eighteen months, human infants are in a state of ‘language readiness. The urge for language in them at this time is very strong, and only very extraordinary circumstances can suppress it. A child brought up in complete linguistic isolation, will not acquire language. But all normal children and some abnormal ones begin to speak if they hear language going around them at this time. Cognitive Theory Cognitive theorists believe that language is subordinate part of cognitive development, dependent on the attainment of various concepts Gleason (1998:383). According to this view, children learn about the world the world first, and then map language onto that prior experience. In additionally, cognitive theorists believe that language is just one aspect of human cognition. According to Piaget and his followers in Gleason (1998:384), infants must learn about world around them, which they do through active experimentation and construction.

For example, the infant crawls around the floor, observes object from all angels, and slowly develops a sensorimotor (literally, “through the senses and more activity) understanding of the space in which she lives. First language acquisition studies the infants’ acquisition of their native language (Syafrizal, 2014:8). Shormani, (2014) states that first language acquisition is a phenomenon in which a child learners his mother tongue. Syafrizal (2014:153) states “first language acquisition is process of getting or understanding the mother language in natural communication. The first language acquisition is in the children. The children get the language from around it haphazardly. The people who are very influenced in the development the first language in children is mother” In first language acquisition, there are many stages. No


Typical Age

. 1.

Pre-talking stage/cooing

2. 3.

Babbling One word morpheme

4. 5.

stage or

0 – 6 months




holophrastic stage Two – word stage

6 – 8 months one- 9 – 18 months or

Description Producing

sounds Repetitive cv pattern Single open class words or word stems

18 – 24 months




Telegraphic stage or early multi word 24 – 30 months

simple semantic relations “telegraphic” sentence

stage (better multi morpheme)

structures of lexical rather than



Later multi word stage

30 + months



grammatical morphemes Grammatical or functional

structure emerges. The children cannot know or do something without learn. So, in this case, the children need a process to get language. Even though many parents believe that first language acquisition is an automatic process. Based on the theories above, the writer concludes that first language acquisition is language that acquired by children before they acquire another language as addition. It can be

called by mother tongue. Because they know the first language from their mother or people closed to them. By hearing the sound speech from their parents or people around them in the early baby born, they just record the sound without saying anything. Meltzoff and Kuhl (1999) the ability to imitate is actually amazing.; newborns have never seen their own face and in order to imitate must somehow understand the similarity between an internal feeling and the external face they see; babies spontaneously coordinate their own expressions, gestures, and voices with the expressions, gestures and voices of other people; the problem of language is the mysterious gap between the sound waves that actually reach our ears and the sounds and words we create in our minds; we remain faced with the central problem of language, learning what words mean. Williams, Whiten, Suddendorf and Perrett (2001) say imitation involves converting an action plan from the other’s perspective into one’s own; autistic children may have a specific deficit in motor imitation, which, curiously, may go with echolalia and other repetitive behaviors; autistic children may suffer from a failure or distortion in the development of the neural mirror system. In Meltzoff and Prinzs (2002) developmental theory of imitation, the observer uses visual perception as the basis for an action plan; execution of the motor output involves vision, cross-modal coordination and motor control; research shows that the speech code, mapping sound to sign , is not exclusively auditory or motor, but multimodal; infants become capable of delayed imitation (execution separated in time from observation), a possible escape route from echolalia and a first step towards symbol development. What seems clear from the above is that the intermodal or a modal relationship of perception and action provides the basis for imitation. This also seems to be the case for the relation between speech production and speech perception, and for the relation between gesture and speech. There is now evidence to suggest that this is achieved by the ‘mirror neuron’ system (Rizzolatti and Craighero, 2004); the same neurons fire both when an individual observes another person performing a particular action as when they perform the action themselves. This system seems to underpin imitative behaviors and is also important in explaining how we understand others’ minds and intentions, and how we empathies with others’ emotional states. Furthermore, humans are able not only to imitate current observed behaviors, but also to defer reproducing the behavior until a later point in time since we are able to mentally represent objects and events in our memory.

Based on the theories above, the writer may conclude that child may acquire language by imitating from adult speech. In the first time, a child just hears the sound waves until he/she can produce its sound. From someone’ perspective to his/her own perspective. C. Methodology of the Research The methodology of this research is descriptive qualitative study. It used descriptive qualitative study because it attempts to find out how the children acquire the language and whether imitation can influence the development of first language acquisition for children at Kindergarten of Al Muawanah Menes Pandeglang. This research uses longitudinal study (Gay and Airasian, 2000: 279-280). Longitudinal studies are a kind of study which focuses on the development of speech in the same group over time. Nowadays, most studies of child language development of this form. Commonly, it is done on individual children or small number of children. The subject of this research is the students of Al-Muawanah Kindergarten Menes Pandeglang. The total of the students are 20 students, and the writer will take 5 students for a sample. For this research, the writer use questionnaire form, mother diaries, and video recorder to record the conversation between child and mother or people closest to him/her. To collect the data the writer applies observation method and video recording of conversation between child and parent. In analyzing the data, the writer conducts some procedures. The data are collected from video recording of the conversation between child and parent. The writer transcribes the recording data and analyzes it based on semantic, syntax, and pragmatic acquisition. Then, it includes them in approaching language acquisition. Results and Findings Almost students’ father professions are sellers and their mothers are homemakers. Only a few of them has other professions. Such as, one of student’s fathers is driver, and the mother is the teacher of TK AL-Muawanah Menes Pandeglang. Based on the interview between writer and one of the teachers of TK AL-Muawanah, her name is Siti Hamdanah, S. Pd.I, there were some students who could communicate and interact well with their friends and people around the school. But a few students could not communicate and interact with the societies around them. It makes the writer interests to know why it happened. To know it, the writer conducts some procedures. First, the writer

collect the data from students’ parents, those are: recording from parents’ hand phone, parents interview and observation. Based on the interview, it shows that since they were babies, their parents, especially the mothers involved their children in communicating although they could not speak, because the mothers were always near them almost 24 hours. This stage is cooing stage. When the mothers were busy in their home, usually the babies were cared by their grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts or their brothers or sisters. In this stage, the babies gave respond by moving their head, using eyes contact, etc. In the babbling stage, the babies usually gave respond by producing the sound ‘ba-baba’ or ‘ha-ha-ha’. But the mothers or other closest family used to involve their babies to interact and communicate. In the age 9 – 18 months, the normal babies start to say a single word although they said incompletely. Here are some conversation between babies and mothers or their closest relatives: 1. Syifa Azzahra Mom : “Syifa, main apa?” (What are you doing, Syifa?) Syifa : “engka” (boneka) (I play doll) Mom : “itu boneka apa?” (What doll it is?) Syifa : (Syifa menatap ibu nya) (Look at her mother) Mom : “itu boneka Barbie” (That’s Barbie doll) Syifa : “embi” (Barbie) Mom : “Bar bie” (Barbie) Syifa : “em bi Mom : “bar bie” Syifa : “em bi” 2. M Putra Nugraha Putra : “ba” (bola) “ba” (bola) (Ball) Mom : “Dede pengen apa?” (What do you want, de?) Putra : “ba” (sambil menunjuk bola) “Ball” (while pointing to the ball) Mom : “oh, bola. Bo la” (ball) Putra : “em ba” Mom : “bo la” (ball) Putra : “em ba” 3. Herus Syafaat

Heru Aunt Heru Aunty Heru

: “enjan enjan” (jajan jajan) (I want to buy) : “oh jajan, jajan apa?” (Oh, you want to buy, what do you want to buy) : “men” (permen) “Candy” : “per men” : “em men”

4. Neng Indira Shofa Indira Mom Indira

: “uis” (tulis) (write) : “Kamu mau apa indira?” (What do you want Indira?) : “Uis” (sambil menunjuk buku) “Write” (pointed out the book) Mom : “Oh, tulis, kamu ingin belejar nulis. Tu lis” (oh, write, you want to write) Indira : “u is” (write) (Indira imitate her mom) Mom : “tu lis” (bringing book and pencil to her) 5. M azis Arrasyid Azis lived with his mother and father. They are a seller and always busy. He has been taking care by servant. Azis : “bim” “bim” (mobil, mobil) “car” “car” Servent : “apa?” “dede pengen apa?” (What do you want) Azis : “bim” (sambil nunjuk mobil mainan) “car” (pointed a car) Servent : “oh mobil” (mengambildan memberikan mobilan) “oh, car” (take and give a car to Azis) In the age 18 – 24 months 1. Syifa Azzahra Syifa Grandma Syifa Grandma Syifa Grandma Syifa Grandma Syifa

: “men ua” (minta permen dua) “ask for two candies” : “permen nya ga ada, de” (there is no candy) : “men ua, men ua” (minta permen dua, minta permen dua) sambil menangis “Ask for two candies, ask for two candies” (while crying) : “ya, kita beli dulu” (ok, we buy it first) : (Syifa mengangguk) (Syifa nods her head) : “nih permen nya” (here are two candies) : “men ua” (permen dua) (two candies) : “per men du a” (two candies) : “em men ua”

2. M Putra Nugraha Putra and his mother went to the closest market Putra

: “pa tu?” (apa itu?)

Mother Putra Mother Putra

“What is it?” : “balon” (balloon) : “engen elon” (pengen balon) (I want to balloon) : “bal on” (ba loon) : “ellon”

3. Herus Syafaat Heru and his grandfather played football Grandpa : “De, tendang bola nya!” (De, kick the ball) Heru : (Heru memendang bola) (He kicks the ball) “kek, ndang ela” (kakek, tendang bola nya) (grandpa, kick the ball) Gandpa : “ten dang” (kick) Heru : “en ndang” (kick) Grandpa : “bo la” (ball) Heru : “el la” (ball) Grandpa : “ten dang bo la” (kick the ball) Heru : “enndang ella” 4. Neng Indira Shofa Indira : “bu, ta uang” (bu minta uang) (I ask for money) Mother : “apa de? Minta uang?” (Asking for money, what for? Indira : “enjan men” (jajan permen) (for buying candy) Mother : “ja jan” (buy) Indira : “en jan” (jajan) (buy) Mother : “per men” (candy) Indira : “em men” Mother : “ja jan per men” (buy candy) Indira : “ennjan emmen” (buy candy) 5. M azis Arrasyid Azis : “enjem pe” (pinjem hp) (I borrow HP) Servant : “apa de?” (What do you want?) Azis : (tangan nya nunjuk HP) (pointed to HP) Servant : (she takes and gives HP to azis) In the age 24 – 30 months 1. Syifa Azzahra One morning, Syifa wanted to go to school, after seeing her brother prepared to go to school. Syifa Mother Syifa

: “bu, cipa tas enna?” (Bu tas syifa mana?) “Where is my bag?” : “Syifa mau ke mana, minta tas?” (Syifa, where will you go, and what for you want to bag) : “engkut aa elah” (ikut aa sekolah) (I want to go to school with ‘aa’)


: “Syifa, masih kecil belum boleh sekolah” (Syifa, you are still a child, you may not go to school)

2. M Putra Nugraha Mother : “Putra, mandi yuk?” (Putra, let’s take a bath) Putra : “Enta, aen uyu mah” (sambil lari membawa mainan mobilan) (Putra maen dulu mah) “Putra plays first, mom” (while running to bring his toy car) Mother Putra Mother Putra Mother

: “Ayo putra mandi dulu” (let’s take a bath, Putra) : “aen uyu” (maen dulu) (Play first) : “mandi dulu” (take a bath first) : “aen uyu” : “man di du lu” (menggendong Putra ke kamar mandi)

3. Herus Syafaat Aunt Heru Aunt Heru

: “Heru, bibi bawa apa nih, coba tebak” (Heru, what I bring, can you guess?) : (sambil memandang bibi nya, dia menggelengkan kepala) (while looking at his aunt, he shakes his head) : “ lihat ini pistol mainan untuk mu” (look at this, this is toy gun for you) : “horee, entol” (toy gun)

Aunt Heru

: “Pis tol” : “Pis ntol” (toy gun)

4. Neng Indira Shofa Indira : “enju ende ana?” (baju dede mana?) (Where is my dress?) Mother : “baju dede yang mana?” (Which dress do you want?) Indira : “enju ende ana?” (baju dede mana?) (Where is my dress?) Mother : “yang ini” (sambil mengambil baju yang warna biru) (the blue one?) Indira : “engkan” (bukan) (no, it is not) Mother : “baju yang merah?” (The red one is?) Indira : “nini enju iyah” (ini baju merah) Mother : “ba ju me rah” (red dress) Indira : “ennju iyyah” 5. M Aziz Arrasyid Azis : “embu embing oa” (ibu ambil bola) (mom, take the ball) Mother: “apa de?” (What do you mean de?) Azis : “embing oa” (ambil bola sambil menunjuk bola di atas meja) “Take the ball” (pointed to the ball on the table) Mother: (take and give it to Aziz) From the data above, that is 5 students who becoming a sample of the study, the writer finds there are 4 students who can communicate and interact well with the people around them when they were first time at school and one student who cannot communicate and

interact well. Those who could communicate well when they entered school in the first time, are they whose parents or closest families used to involved them in communicate from the babies and asked to their children to imitate what an adult said. The more parents asked their children to imitate the sounds, or words, or phrases, the faster children can imitate what an adult said, and parents always give correction if their children are incorrect when they said something. Student, who could not communicate with other people around him, is a child whose parents did not use to involve to him in daily communication and they never gave correction when he said something wrong. From the result above, it is clear that parents have a significant influence in acquiring children language acquisition. That’s why, parents should give stimulus and ask their children to interact and communicate as much as possible. Within the process of communication with their children, parents should ask them to repeat, imitate and give correction the wrong words. D. Conclusion In this research, the writer concludes that children is easy to imitate an adult speech, so the better is parents or people around them involve and ask them to imitate and repeat what they said. The more children imitate what an adult say, the more fluently and faster they acquire first language acquisition for children. From the result of the study shows us that imitation is one of the ways that can be conducted by the parents or people around them to make faster in acquiring language acquisition of the children. Bibliography Bolinger, Dwight, (2002) Aspect of Language. Second Edition, American: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. Bertaria, S.H. (2015) Children First Acquisition at Age 1 – 3 Years Old In Balata/www.iosrjournals.org Chomsky, Noam. (2009) Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought. Third Edition, America: Cambridge University Press Fromkin, Victoria. (1983) An Introduction to Language. Third Edition, New York: CBS College Publishing. Gleason, Jean Berko and Nan Bernstein Ratner.(1998) Psycholinguistics. Second Edition, United States of America: Harcourt Brace College Publisher.

Khrashen, (2009) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamont. (First Printed) Syafrizal, (2014) TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language). Serang: Untirta Press Steinberg, Danny. D. (2003) Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and World, American: Longman Inc Varshney, Radhey. L. (2003) An Introductory Textbook of Linguistics & Phonetics, India: Student Store. http://www.academia.edc/4614945/PSCHOLINGUISTICS_Research/24/04/2017 http://cogprints.org/3111/I/Imitation.htm/10/05/2017

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