Adult Learning Persuasive Essay by cee-cee

Adult Learning
A look at whether the fundamental concepts of behaviorism can be applied to teaching second language acquisition to adult learners.
# 107351 | 3,278 words | 21 sources | APA | 2008 | US

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This paper discusses whether behaviorism can be used as a comprehensive theory of language and whether teaching a second language can be based on such a theory. The paper discusses B.F. Skinner's theories about behaviorism and how they apply to the process of language acquisition and then looks at the beliefs of critics to this approach such as Noam Chomsky. The paper also discusses the writer's own opinion regarding theories of behaviorism and concludes that his own experience has provided an objection to behaviorism as a comprehensive theory of language: even if there is a direct correlation between an input and an output, this does not automatically imply that a language has been learned. The writer goes on to argue that, while the fundamental concepts underlying behaviorism are doubtlessly beneficial in teaching ESL, it should, under no conditions, be interpreted to be the definitive and decisive approach towards teaching.

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cain, M. J. (2002). Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Chomsky, N. (1975). Reflections on Language, New York: Pantheon.
  • Cole, David. (2004). "The Chinese Room Argument." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, March. Available:
  • Dennett, Daniel C. (1987). The Intentional Stance. San Diego: Greenhaven.
  • Driscoll, M.P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction (2nd edition). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Adult Learning (2008, September 02) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Adult Learning" 02 September 2008. Web. 07 December. 2023. <>