Crash Course Linguistics 12 (Language Acquisition)

How do we learn language?

Week 12’s Crash Course Linguistics video explores how humans learn to use language, both as babies and later in life.

Topics addressed include skills involved in learning language, differences between first and subsequent language acquisition, and bilingualism/multilingualism. In this week's Thought Bubble, viewers are walked through a classic experiment in child language acquisition. Closed captions are available in English.

As always, Crash Course Linguistics provides a brief, accessible overview of this general area of linguistics. For further detail about many of the topics introduced, check out 15 language acquisition videos from The Ling Space, some of which feature summaries and supplementary material. The 8-minute video Linguistic Baggage focuses on what types of knowledge are transferred from someone’s first language to their second. Closed captions are available in English.

Sounds you can't hear, a 30-minute Lingthusiasm episode, discusses the lasting effects of early language experience, and how to do language research with babies, in a light, conversational way. This episode is available wherever you prefer to find podcasts, and a transcript is available here.

SAGE Publishing has available 10 multiple-choice quizzes that go along with Child Language: Acquisition and Development by Matthew Saxton (use the menu on the left to navigate to different quizzes). UCSB’s Department of Linguistics has available several quizzes for the second language acquisition chapter of Carol Genetti’s How Languages Work. For each of these activities, correct answers are provided after each question.

Finally, see our past newsletter for additional video and audio resources about second language acquisition.

Coming next week: resources about historical linguistics and language change!

Liz, Gretchen, and Lauren

About Mutual Intelligibility

Mutual Intelligibility is a project to connect linguistics instructors with online resources, especially as so much teaching is shifting quickly online due to current events. It's produced by Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch, with the support of our patrons on Lingthusiasm. Our editor is Liz McCullough.

Mutual Intelligibility posts will always remain free, but if you have a stable income and find that they’re reducing your stress and saving you time, we're able to fund these because of the Lingthusiasm Patreon and your contributions there.

For the 16 weeks of Crash Course Linguistics, Mutual Intelligibility will be sharing the video weekly, along with supporting resources. We will resume our regular link request and recommendations after the Crash Course Linguistics series. For more on how we usually operate, check out our about page.

If you have other comments, suggestions, or ideas of ways to help, please email mutual.intellig@gmail.com.