It is generally claimed that some people are born with certain talents, for example, music, sport, and language. In contrast, it is sometimes believed that any child can be taught to be a good sport, musician, and speaker. There are two different points of view come from Burrhus Frederic Skinner and Noam Chomsky.
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904, in Susquehanna Pennsylvania. He, American psychologist, emphasizes biological continuity and environment (Behaviorist). Environment is a determinant to establish children’s characters. They must be nurtured in learning by giving reward and punishment.
However, Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA). 1959, he, American linguist, published an influential critique of B.F. Skinner. He emphasizes the uniqueness of language and innate creativity in acquisition. The innate hypothesis states that children are born with innate knowledge. They have already had linguistic competence before they are born.
In conclusion, B.F. Skinner’s theory is relevant to our lives, for example, the well-known tennis player, Rafael Nadal, who is a right-handed person, but when he started playing tennis, his uncle forced him to hold the racket with left hand. After years of training, he has become one of the best tennis players in the world. Looking at this example, it is clear that “practice makes perfect.” On the other hand, Noam Chomsky can be true for vocal singers. Only a person who was bestowed by God with a beautiful voice can become an amazing singer.
Glossaries: nurture:pengasuhan,mengasuh inheritance:warisan inherit/bequeath: mewariskan establish:menetapkan, membentuk innate:bawaan lahir bestow: memberikan, menganugerahkan heredity: keturunan
1. What do you think about B.F Skinner’s theory?
2. What do you think about the innate hypothesis of Noam Chomsky?
3. Which one is the most relevant in our lives? Give the facts!
4. Do you think you have innate talents or not? Why?
To debate: Do you strongly agree or disagree children are born with certain talents?
Written by Ancha