Rousseau on Learning Language Term Paper by Nicky

Rousseau on Learning Language
A look at Rousseau's beliefs on the learning of language in children.
# 147226 | 1,745 words | 2 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Mar 03, 2011 in Language (French: General) , Philosophy (General) , Linguistics (General)

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The paper discusses Rousseau's belief that when children are subjected to intense pressure and the artificial acceleration of their natural learning of language, it can make them unnecessarily shy and self-conscious, it reinforces the wrong pronunciation and it promotes lazy speech. The paper also explains Rousseau's assertion that the French tradition of ensuring that everyone sounds the same detracts from the ability of the individual to express himself completely. The paper emphasizes Rousseau's belief that some children simply begin speaking later than others, and that if they were left alone and allowed to absorb language at their own pace, they would not necessarily suffer any lasting consequences of starting to speak later than other children.

From the Paper:

"Throughout Book I, Rousseau explains his criticism of the way that modern society (even in his time) teaches language to children. Rousseau's characterization of the way that children learn language naturally was prescient for his era, but was perfectly consistent with modern understanding of infant babbling. Today, it is known that infants in all cultures babble all of the sounds used in all languages spoken by man. During the first year of life, infants gradually discard the vocalizations not used in their language of origin because their linguistic experiments are modeled after and reinforced by the sounds (and mouth shapes) of their parents and caretakers (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2007)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gerrig, R. and Zimbardo, P. (2007). Psychology and Life. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.
  • ILT. (2009). Rousseau's Emile, ou l'education. Retrieved March 18, 2009, from the Institute for Learning Technologies website, at:

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Rousseau on Learning Language (2011, March 03) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Rousseau on Learning Language" 03 March 2011. Web. 09 December. 2023. <>