What Chomsky had to say about language processing
Some argue that the person who revolutionized the English language is not Shakespeare, but Noam Chomsky, who theorized that humans are born with a ‘grammar’ box of sorts that allows us to acquire language. This could explain how children easily and flawlessly switch between languages yet continue to remain grammatically sound – despite the different grammar rules of either language!
Children raised in Middle Eastern households are no different, as you can hear a child ask her mother, “Beddi water”. The word ‘beddi’ is an Arabic variant for the word ‘want’. Grammatically, this does not sound odd, though switching between languages in the past may not have been as normalized as it is today.
Chomsky has argued since the 1960s that ‘universal grammar’ exists. Much like walking, it is a skill in humans that is innately present and simply needs to be switched on. By this theory, children do not have to traditionally study grammar, as it is already a skill they have in their brains.
Why learning languages at an early age is crucial
Learning a second language at an early age is highly beneficial. Linguistic researchers at Cornell report that bilingual children are better at maintaining attention than monolingual children. Addedly, they have debunked the myth that children get confused when they learn two languages at once. Not only will children raised in bilingual households be able to create complex sentences in both languages, but they will also be able to switch between them at ease.
The nativist theory, which includes universal grammar, is a language acquisition theory that suggests we have something innate (perhaps in our genes) which facilitates language learning. It suggests that –just as the hypothalamus maintains and regulates body temperature– there is a ‘device’ in our brain that is responsible for acquiring and learning new languages.
Though there is no object in the brain responsible for language acquisition, the process of acquiring languages can be obstructed if the left side of the brain is damaged, significantly hindering language learning.
Away from the traditional
Because language is a communication tool, it is essential to factor in how children prefer to learn. Schools around the world have shifted away from monotone learning which places emphasis on aimless memorization. Primarily, children want a tool to express themselves, and by providing a space that facilitates this type of interactive learning, we provide an ideal environment for children to learn a language, two, or three.
Children prefer interactive learning methods, which Abjadiyat has kept in mind while creating its holistic Arabic-learning platform for early learners. By keeping teachers and teachers a part of its platform, Abjadiyat secures a unified learning atmosphere for children which keeps them at the core, making Arabic language acquisition a part of their daily life – away from traditional methods.