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Another anti-CPH supporter claims that adults and children appear to behave very much in the same manner, which indicates that activation of certain linguistic development is dependent on the existence of specific environmental factors, rather than on the different cognitive abilities of children and adults (Muhlhauser 1986:266).

 Laura Monaco Torelli recently chatted with Steve Dale about dog training. The link is here:

The Behaviorist worldview certainly stands in opposition to the Christian worldview on many points. Thanks for this page. Back in the 70’s I watched an experiment being conducted using Skinnerian techniques to “modify” the behavior of gay men wherein an increasing shock charge was administered to the subject as he viewed slides of females interspersed with images of males. Any physiological reaction (sexual arousal)to the male images met with a jolt. A strong reaction incurred the force of a cattle prod. To my knowledge, the experiments were unsuccessful. I have known gay men and women who, once they were turely born again, were able to walk out their new lives able to overcome any temptation to return to their former lifestyles.
This may seem shocking to behaviorism! We are not human beings who sometimes have “spiritual” experiences, but rather spiritual beings having human experiences.

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The children outperformed the adults, but after the adults were taught the phonemic distinction in the follow-up experiment, the adult got better scores, while children did not.Sato's study (1987) suggests that open (CV) syllable preference in Japanese is not evident in second language learners' pronunciation when they began learning before the age of twelve.

They made an experiment on German pronunciation by English speakers in the United States and found that adults did significantly better than children after ten sessions.Conversely, frequently cited research with Japanese children and adults shows that adults did not get better results than children (Cochrane 1980).

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Watson (1913) - Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It will be available on

It should be also noted that it is impossible to decide whether learners of foreign languages have a real 'native-like' competence without defining the word 'native.'

Children are more likely to achieve higher levels in both pronunciation and grammar than adults, but some adults who started learning their second language after puberty can achieve native-like levels.

or (b) they do not cause hardship (e.g.,fear of snakes in Hawaii where no snakes live in nature)
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  • -Greek god Phobos frightened his enemies

  • *avoidance must impair functioning to be a phobia

  • * fear can generalize to impair functioning

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- also social skills training for social phobias

When their grammatical performance was compared with native speakers, it was impossible to distinguish the non-native speakers by the number of mistakes and inappropriate wordings.

Reduction or elimination of panic in long-term after treatment

This results in an initial advantage over children in the artificial environment such as in a classroom though it does not guarantee their native-level achievement.While some adult learners of foreign languages can speak foreign languages quite naturally even if they started learning after puberty, most learners fail to reach native-speaker's level.

Women are twice as likely to develop GAD as are men

This is less likely to happen in instructional than in naturalistic settings because the critical amount of exposure is usually not available in the former.Research on the CPH suggests that adult learners' developed cognitive skills help them learn a foreign language.

-defenses fail to displace anxiety onto an object

Overall, as in Krashen, Long and Scarcella's argument (1979), adults learn faster, especially so in the case of formal learning of grammar than pronunciation.The most important reason for the divergent results of the past research is, excepting the differences in the methods themselves, disregard of the natural learning environment.

Performing a particular act (e.g. chewing slowly)

In comparison with native speakers of French, no significant difference was found within the theoretical frame of 'Universal Grammar.' His study reassures the existence of competent learners of foreign languages who started learning a second language after puberty.

-restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to feel love)

In Neufeld (1978), twenty adult native speakers of English were asked to do an imitation test after they had eighteen hours of intensive instruction in Chinese and Japanese.

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