Behaviorist Theory

Advocates of the behaviorist theory believe that language is a set of structures and the language acquisition is the formation of habits. It is, therefore, acquired based on the stimulus response method described by Skinner in Verbal Behavior (1957). According to Skinner, language learning is considered an observable behaviour that is automatically acquired through stimulus responses repetition, i.e. imitation, and occurs through acquisition of automatic linguistic habits. The quality and quantity of the language an individual is exposed to in conjunction with the consistency of reinforcement will shape the individual’s language behaviour. One of the most popular teaching methods developed considering the behaviorist approach to foreign language learning is drilling method.  In this method, errors are viewed as ”bad habits” which could only be eradicated by introducing correct structures and sufficient amount of their repetition, i. e. drilling.

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