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COGNITIVE THEORY

COGNITIVE THEORY
PIAGET ( 1896 to 1980)

Piaget was a French-Swiss Psychologist/Epistomologist. He was born in 1896 and died in 1980 whilst still directing the International Center for Genetic Epistemology, an institute he had founded in 1955. He had a long and very accomplished career, and received many prestigious awards for his work in child psychology and theories of cognitive development in children. It should be noted that Piagets observations and theories were not really targeted at language learning or development but at overall mental growth in general. To him, language was essentially just a representation of mental processes going on in the childs mind, though his later work brought more focus to aspects of interaction and language ability.
1.INTRODUCTION

Piaget strong interest was in psychoanalysis and how intelligence could be observed and studied in developing children. He studied the intellectual development of his own three children from infancy beginning in the mid 1920s, and this along with studies of other children (especially when at play or during interactions with adults) led to publication of some of his early ideas on the development of cognitive ability in children. Over his long career in developing ideas about child psychology, Piaget went on to study thousands of children, and is credited with the major development of relatively new scientific fields such as developmental psychology, cognitive theory and what came to be called genetic epistemology. He was also apparently the first major scientist to take child talk seriously, and his first and most major assertion was that children think in a way very different to the way adults think. One of his most famous statements about cognition in general was that "Intelligence is an adaptation.To say that intelligence is a particular instance of biological adaptation is thus to suppose that it is essentially an organization and that its function is to structure the universe just as the organism structures its immediate environment"

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Some of the things Piaget noted included the ideas of object permanence (knowing something is still present even if it has been hidden from view), stability of quantities despite changes in their physical appearance (the famous example of the same quantity of water presented in two different glasses, one of which is short and broad whereas the other is tall and thin), and logical inferencing - linking properties of objects to the way they act (for example, how the size, weight, and material of one ball affects how far it can be tossed or how high it bounces compared to another ball). A key aspect of Piagetian psychology is the idea that cognitive development in young children stems from action and interaction with the world around them. This begins with physical (or concrete) objects in a problem-solving (thinking something through) sequence that is gradually internalized and develops the childs thinking ability. In terms of how this related to language acquisition in children, Piaget basically saw language as a representative system, one of a variety of symbol systems developed throughout childhood to represent new knowledge acquired as children engage in a physical way with aspects of their environments . Piaget is generally most widely known (especially in language learning circles) for his theories about stages of cognitive development and the concepts of assimilation and accommodation , but to focus only on these aspects is to essentially ignore some of the other outstanding contributions he made to a general understanding of how experience and social interaction may develop cognitive ability and find representations in language. Piaget later went on from his early original theories to make observations about the way arguments amongst children are fundamental in the process of developing internalized reasoning skills, just as cooperation in child play can be a major factor in the development of moral judgment. In many ways, his theories were seen as working from the idea that right-hemispheric brain activity (concentrated on action and motor skills) preceded left hemispheric brain activity (generally watching and learning until a sufficient amount has been absorbed that can then be converted into language), a notion which James Asher reiterates as one of the founding principles of his world famous Total Physical Response (TPR) method.By 1965, some of his theories had evolved to the point that they were considered to be from the same theoretical viewpoint as Vygotskys in terms of the central role they allocated to social interaction in language learning, and have even been considered fundamental in the growth of relatively contemporary notions such as
2. COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING

Piaget is also well known for his famous debate with the so-called Father of Linguistics in Chomsky, in which he argued that language basically represented or expressed a skill of symbolic representation gradually acquired through stages of cognitive development. This view was in contrast to Chomskys theories about Universal Grammar: that a general mechanism in the brain (acquired genetically) accounted for humans ability to acquire language, which he saw as being far too complex and distinctive to be acquired simply through experience and general cognitive processes

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3.COGNITIVE SCIENCE

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of how information concerning faculties such as perception, language, reasoning, and emotion, is represented and transformed in a (human or other animal) nervous system or machine (e.g., computer). It consists of multiple research disciplines, including psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, learning sciences, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and education. It spans many levels of analysis, from low-level learning and decision mechanisms to high-level logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The term cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in his 1973 commentary on the Lighthill report, which concerned the then-current state of Artificial Intelligence researchIn the same decade, the journal Cognitive Science and the Cognitive Science Society were founded.

Figure illustrating the fields that contributed to the birth of cognitive science, including linguistics, education, neuroscience, artificial Intelligence, philosophy, anthropology, and psychology.

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4.ASPECTS OF COGNITIVE THEORY

Constructivism emphasizes not merely how individuals receive material to be learned and construct it inside their heads, but how they and their teachers construct it between them through their dialogue. Leading on from this, in a sense Kelly's Personal Construct theory eschews the use of the term "learning" altogether, but provides a model of how individuals make sense of the world and how this changes. Kolb's work on the Cycle of Adult Learning (building on the work of Kurt Lewin) provides a useful model, which develops into a theory of learning styles. Pask distinguishes between Holist and Serialist learning strategies, which can relate issues of subject discipline, teacher and student preferences to account for differences in learning/teaching effectiveness. Similarly, Hudson distinguishes between convergent and divergent cognitive styles, characteristic of students with different interests and academic careers. Bateson disentangles various levels of learning, in which each lower level is contextualised by the one above. Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance tries to account both for some perverse aspects of learning and failure to learn, but also for readiness to learn. But the point also needs to be made that the use made of psychological ideas, in particular, is often sloppy and uncritical and that even people like me have not always checked our readings back with the original texts. So check out this page on myths and misrepresentationwhich I think is destined to grow.
5.PIAGETS STAGES COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

One of Piagets central theories was that growth and development of mental skills and knowledge in children necessarily went through a series of defined stages that eventually develop into the ability to engage in formal logical thinking about abstract concepts, a final stage generally believed to be inaccessible to children before the age of about 11. He noted four stages of cognitive development: (a) Sensorimotor (b) Preoperational (c) Concrete Operational (d) Formal Operational He also identified characteristics for these stages, and it these that have drawn the most criticism from others in the field of cognitive development in children. Among the characteristics he identified, he asserted that these stages did not vary in their sequence, they were universal (and
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therefore not culturally specific), the stages and characteristics were generalizable to other functions, each stage represented a logically organized whole, and the stage sequences were hierarchical (with each stage incorporating elements from earlier stages to become more differentiated and integrated). (a) Sensorimotor: (birth to about age 2) During this stage, the child learns about himself and his environment through motor and reflex actions. Thought derives from sensation and movement. The child learns that he is separate from his environment and that aspects of his environment -- his parents or favorite toy -- continue to exist even though they may be outside the reach of his senses. Teaching for a child in this stage should be geared to the sensorimotor system. You can modify behavior by using the senses: a frown, a stern or soothing voice -- all serve as appropriate techniques.

(b) Preoperational: (begins about the time the child starts to talk to about age 7) Applying his new knowledge of language, the child begins to use symbols to represent objects. Early in this stage he also personifies objects. He is now better able to think about things and events that aren't immediately present. Oriented to the present, the child has difficulty conceptualizing time. His thinking is influenced by fantasy -- the way he'd like things to be -- and he assumes that others see situations from his viewpoint. He takes in information and then changes it in his mind to fit his ideas. Teaching must take into account the child's vivid fantasies and undeveloped sense of time. Using neutral words, body outlines and equipment a child can touch gives him an active role in learning. (c) Concrete: (about first grade to early adolescence) During this stage, accommodation increases. The child develops an ability to think abstractly and to make rational judgements about concrete or observable phenomena, which in the past he needed to manipulate physically to understand. In teaching this child, giving him the opportunity to ask questions and to explain things back to you allows him to mentally manipulate information. (d) Formal Operations: (adolescence) This stage brings cognition to its final form. This person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgements. At his point, he is capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning. Teaching for the adolescent may be wideranging because he'll be able to consider many possibilities from several perspectives

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5.1 PIAGET'S KEY IDEAS


Adaptation What it says: adapting to the world through assimilation and accommodation The process by which a person takes material into their mind from the environment, which may mean changing the evidence of their senses to make it fit. The difference made to one's mind or concepts by the process of assimilation. Note that assimilation and accommodation go together: you can't have one without the other. The ability to group objects together on the basis of common features. The understanding, more advanced than simple classification, that some classes or sets of objects are also sub-sets of a larger class. (E.g. there is a class of objects called dogs. There is also a class called animals. But all dogs are also animals, so the class of animals includes that of dogs) The realisation that objects or sets of objects stay the same even when they are changed about or made to look different. The ability to move away from one system of classification to another one as appropriate. The belief that you are the centre of the universe and everything revolves around you: the corresponding inability to see the world as someone else does and adapt to it. Not moral "selfishness", just an early stage of psychological development. The process of working something out in your head. Young children (in the sensorimotor and pre-operational stages) have to act, and try things out in the real world, to work things out (like count on fingers): older children and adults can do more in their heads. The representation in the mind of a set of perceptions, ideas, and/or actions, which go together.

Assimilation

Accommodation

Classification Class Inclusion

Conservation

Decentration

Egocentrism

Operation

Schema (or scheme)

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5.1.1 The Four Periods of Cognitive Development in Piagets Theory: This theory is better known as Piagets Stage Theory because it deals with four stages of development. Each stage has its own components and major characteristics that take place. They are all separated by an approximate amount of years which a child would fall under. a. Sensori Motor: (Ages Birth 2) This stage is primarily physically based. It has to do with building up a type of coordination between sensations that are felt and the movements that cause them or are caused by the sensation. The main movements that a child deals with at this point are involuntary movements called reflexes. During this stage, the child, through physical interactions with his or her own environment, builds a set of concepts about reality, and it really works. b. Pre-Operational: (Ages 2 7) The child now knows about certain movements and reflexes that happen. Now is the time for the child to realize that there is a differentiation between his or her own self and the other people. A type of egocentric thought begins to develop. c. Concrete Operational: (Ages 7 11) At this point, the child has the ability to think abstractly. His or her thought process has widened. A number of physical experiences have happened in his or her life. A thought process begins to connect these physical actions to explanations of why they happened. They can now use rule of logic. Using logic, the child is capable of reversibility and conservation. d. Formal Operational: (Ages 11 15) The child at this point is able to imagine a hypothetical situation, or solve a problem that it not directly in front of them. Conceptual reasoning is now possible of the child. They are becoming more adult-like in their thought structures and processes. There is high potential in the child to use logic to his or her fullest capacity.

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6.CHARACTERISTICS FEATURES OF THINKING IN EACH PIAGETIAN PERIOD 6.1. During the first stage of Piagets Theory (Sensorimotor), the child basically deals with what is presented to him. At birth, the child realizes that if an object is not in front of him or her, it does not exist. After the first six to eight months, the development of something called object permanence comes in. Once object permenance takes place, the child can realize that an object will continue to exist after it is out of view. 6.2During the Pre-operational stage, the child is very egocentric. The world revolves around only him or her. There is no ability to see the perspectives of another person. If a child is playing \"Peek-a-boo with another person, the child will only cover her eyes. She assumes that if she cannot see, she cannot be seen. The child also does not understand conservation. If there is a ball of clay that is shown to the child, he or she will recognize that ball of clay as one size. If that ball of clay is flattened with no amount added or taken away, the child will see that the ball is not the same anymore. He or she will recognize that there must be less in the flattened ball of clay than in the regular ball of clay. If that flattened ball is then rolled into a snake-like shape, the child will then think that there is more of it. Since it will be longer. 6.3 During the Concrete Operational stage, the child becomes capable of logical reasoning and thinking. The children of this age are in school. They are able to take other peoples perspectives and views. It is like a shallow form of empathy. They can now group certain things into categories, and put objects into size order, number order, and any other types of systematic ordering. They can see that A is greater than C, B is less than A, and B is greater than C. There is a form of logical reasoning that they use at this age. This helps when the child is being taught to add and subtract without counting. 6.4 During the Formal Operational stage, the child is able to think hypothetically. A child can now imagine solutions to problems or even figure out problems without trial and error to stumble upon it. This stage is generally like the preceding stage but in a more advanced level. 7.PIAGETS ACTIVITY LEADING TO ASSIMILATION AND ACCOMODATION THEORY

Piaget quite early on came up with a general theory about how physical activity and the associated experience interacting with ones environment leads to mental growth: Activity can lead to mental development through two means: assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation basically involves an action whereby the child does not actually change his or her knowledge, just reapplies the same action in different circumstances (making information fit an existing schema, as it were). Accommodation, on the other hand, indicates that some kind of alteration or adjustment of the knowledge occurrs, as a result of interaction with new things present (altering an existing schema to accommodate new information) in the environment. Take as an example a child who has already fathomed that tapping or hitting a toy ball will cause it to move. The child may then employ the same action to make something else (lets say a toy car) move, in which case we have an example of assimilation the childs knowledge on how to
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make something move has not essentially changed, it has just been applied to a new object in the childs environment. On the other hand, lets imagine that the child stops tapping the toy car to make it move, and actually places his or her hand on it to either drag or push it along (in the process enabling the child to control the speed of the movement or to steer the car in a particular direction). In this case, we are seeing accommodation as the child sees a new possibility and creates new knowledge for him/herself. As we can see from this example, both assimilation and accommodation happen together, and while they begin as general behavior in interaction with the physical environment, eventually they become active thought processes. The important things to take note of here are that children actively construct new knowledge from themselves, basically by doing. When they have figured out one way of doing they are likely to try and reapply that action with other objects in their environment. In adapting the action and coming up with a more satisfactory result of some kind, they learn a new way of doing. The overall experience involved in this process gradually enters the childs mind as a thought process, which in turn enhances the childs cognitive development. Both concepts (assimilation and accommodation) appear to have important links with language learning. We can often see young learners play and experiment with language, sometimes by applying knowledge they already have to a new object in the language (for example, realizing that past tense involves a -ed sound, which many children typically over-generalize and apply to all verbs in past tense whether they are regular or irregular, producing such utterances as she runned), whereas at other times they experiment and adapt to try out a new thought on how the language works (for example, eventually coming up with ran and then accommodating the new knowledge into their language system). Where it gets a little confusing is in terms of Piagets original theory being mainly applicable to physical objects in a physical environment, whereas for language learning theorists the concepts of assimilation and accommodation appear to refer to activity that is conceptually more abstract (basically, the development of learners interlanguage through the key acts of over-generalizing or restructuring), even if the act of speaking is a real physical act and the outcome of a speaking action may yield physical results.

8.PAIGETIAN THEORY AND IMPLICATION FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING

The well-known characteristic of early Piagetian psychology was that first language development did not play anywhere near as much a role in childrens mental growth as did the key concept of taking action and learning from it. One of Piagets earliest works in this field, Language and thought of the child (1926), focused on theories of speech acts, but mainly in terms of how a childs speech reflected (rather than influenced) his or her growing mental capacity The second consideration is that his original theories almost completely neglected any consideration for social influences on childrens learning and cognitive development, and focused instead on biological factors as determining his famous universal stages of development theory. This also has implications for differences between his theories and those of Vygotsky (Zone of Proximal Development) and Krashen (i+1). Piagets views on cognitive
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development are generally held to have been centered on a single level, whereas Vygotskys and Krashens worked on two levels an actual level and a potential level Third, Piaget essentially saw the concepts of learning and mental development as separate from each other, that learning utilizes development but does not shape its course Finally, something many theorists (mostly those who had found a reason to criticize him) like to conveniently overlook is the fact that Piagets theories changed considerably over time. Whereas his early ideas are used as a direct contrast to Vygotskys (whose work he appeared to be unaware of at the time), by the sixties in many ways the theories Piaget was expressing were remarkably similar and had begun to focus a lot more on social factors in explaining cognitive development in children.

9.THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE OF PIAGET AND VYGOTSKY

Piaget and Vygotsky are two theorists that offer theoretical perspectives on how a child develops. 9.1.Piagets Constructivist Theory of Cognitive Development: Piaget had a phrase that said Assimilation and Accommodation lead to Adaptation. Assimilation is when a person fits his or her external information in with what he or she already knows. The change is external in this case. Accommodation is the exact opposite. This is when you have to modify what you already know to make some sense out of the external information. The change is internal. A person must use both of these tactics in order to adapt to a situation (external or internal) correctly and have a regulated equilibrium. 9.2.Nature v. Nurture: In Piagets theories, he seems to cover the Nature side of the Nature v. Nurture argument. In the textbook assigned for this class, Of Children, by Guy R. Lefrancois, it tells about how and when a child is growing up, he or she is a helpless little organism. (S) he is lacking in stored thought and reasoning. However, they are remarkable sensing machines. They are picking up everything around them in their environment. They look for, seek out, and respond to every stimulation there possibly is. 9.3Continuity v. Discontinuity: Piaget has two main theories. One theory is on Adaptation, the other is about Development. In terms of the adaptation theory, better known as his Constructivist theory, continuity seems to take place. This theory ,and its content, is not something that would stop at a certain age. It is a continual process that everyone has until death. Piagets Developmental Theory, better known as his Stage Theory, he describes how a person develops from birth and how each level effects a person. (Described in more detail on page six) This is an example of discontinuity. His stages only approach up to, and end with, approximately age fifteen. This theory does not seem to have any major factors after approximately age fifteen. 9.4.Individual Differences: No child is the same even if they are brought up the same way. People learn that through the Nature V. Nurture argument, but that is another story. There are major factors that can disrupt the Stage theory or the Constructivist theory. A person could have a dysfunction or a special
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need that needs to be dealt with. For example, is a little boy has a brain dysfunction that disrupts his learning abilities, there is a high percentage of chance that he will not develop at the same pace and rate as other children in his generation and environment. With the Constructivist Theory, a child may not know how to deal with his or her internal emotions and/or thoughts. If that child does not know how to deal with his or her own internal workings, there is going to be much difficulty trying to deal with a personal accommodation. The same thing goes with assimilation. If a child does not know how to deal with his or her external environment, there is going to be difficulty changing them and dealing with assimilation. Dealing with the Developmental Theory (Stage Theory), a child may have the same dysfunction and not be able to move up the ladder of stages. There are those rare cases where a child may be stuck at one stage, or a child may not develop everything he or she needs to move on. 9.5. Organizational and Adaptive Processes that Account for Cognitive Development: The three adaptive processes for cognitive development are assimilation, accommodation, and equilibrium. These are three agents that contribute to a childs intellectual growth. Ass was covered earlier, assimilation is when a person fits his or her external information in with what he or she already knows and accommodation is when you have to modify what you already know to make some sense out of the external information. Equilibrium is what keeps both assimilation and accommodation balanced. Having a wellbalanced equilibrium is having a healthy adaptation level. If Assimilation or Accommodation overpower another, a person may develop differently.

10.VGOTSKYS SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT


10.1.Nature V. Nurture:

In Lev Vygotskys theories, he seems to cover the Nurture side of the Nature v. Nurture argument. He relied mostly on three things that all revolved around everything teaching the child how it is raised: Culture, Language, and The Zone of Proximal Development. In each category he speaks about the influence that each section gives to the child as he or she is being raised. Culture: A culture is like a life of its own. Vygotsky separates the importance of culture into two sections: Elementary Mental Thinking, and Higher Mental Thinking. Elementary mental thinking is like instinct. It is using what we have not learned. We already have it inside of us. It is shown when a new-born turns his head when a person speaks, and how the baby can recognize the mothers smell. Higher mental thinking is evident in many things. Our use of language and our thinking processes are example of using a higher mental thinking. These type of processes require human contact, and interaction with others. 10.2.Language: Language is the main think that makes even thinking a possibility. Language is the difference between thinking on an elementary level and on a higher level. In itself, language has three separate categories: 10.2.1 Social, 10.2.2 Egocentric,

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10.2.3 Inner. Social speech expresses simple thoughts and emotions. It is what is heard from children everyday when they ask for a glass of milk or a toy. It takes place around age three. Egocentric speech is like the ego of speech. It mediates between the Social Speech and the Inner Speech. It can control a childs behavior, but as it can be spoken out loud. Inner Speech begins around age seven. This form of language is like our conscience. It is selftalk. People use inner speech when thinking to themselves. It helps control social speech and what is said out loud. 10.3.The Zone of Proximal Development: The zone of Proximal Development can be looked upon as a chart on potential for learning. Everything that is learned and used is someones independent performance. Anything above that is what is called assisted performance. The fact that things are being learned in Vygotskys theory shows that he takes the nurture side of the Nature V. Nurture argument. The Zone of Proximal Development will be explained in greater detail later in this paper. 10.4.Continuity / Discontinuity: Within those three components of Vygotskys theory, it seems as though continuity is key. They all seem to continue instead of ceasing at a certain age. It is not like at a certain age, someone leaves a culture to go to another. Cultures live on through traditions and rituals that the members carry on. Language obviously doesnt stop. It is too much of a necessary communication device. It helps a human being be a human being. All three types of language are used everyday of life. The Zone of Proximal Development is apparent in everyday activities; mostly at our jobs. Everyone is presented with different tasks everyday. Some are simple tasks that can be performed with ease. Some tasks need help from others. Whatever is learned from someone else becomes transformed from assisted performance to individual performance. 10.5.Individual Differences: Vygotskys theory is developed around the fact that development is a social process. He does not believe that a person can individually grow. The only way a child can learn is by being around more competent peers, adults, and individuals. This also proves once again that Vygotsky takes the Nurture side of the Nature V. Nurture argument. He is always going for the learned tactics of development. 10.6. Culture and Society: Culture plays a big part in Vygotskys Cognitive Development Theory. He believed that the environment around an individual played the largest part of development. A person could not develop the way he or she had without learning from others in the environment they were raised in. Certain cultures do not stay the same after years together. They change and grow, as do individuals. That is mainly due to the fact that the individuals make up that culture and carry it on. 10.7 Vygotskys View on Piagets Stage Theory: Vygotsky did not believe in stages. Piaget based his theory mainly on stages. The main reason why Vygotsky did not believe in stages is because of the continuity factor. He believed that characteristics did not cease at a certain point. Everything was progressive. When one thing was learned, it was used from then on. It did not stop just because a child entered another stage of development.

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10.8 The Function of Instruction in Development: There is really only one phrase that can describe this particular section. Learning leads to development. This phrase is true. Learning acts as a way of developing. Development, according to Vygotsky, is completely social, and the way a society, culture, or environment develops is through learning from others. 10.9 The Zone of Proximal Development: The Zone of Proximal Development has to do with a childs potential to do something. Everything that is learned and used after it is learned is someones independent performance. Anything above that and is assisted by being taught or physically shown is what is called assisted performance. Whatever is learned can be used over and over again with ease. There is no assistance necessary after it is learned. Sometimes a person approaches a situation where he or she does not know exactly what to do. That person can be taught. The potential and degree to which that person can be taught is what the assisted performance is all about. You cannot teach a newborn calculus but you can teach a college student calculus

11.LIMITATIONS OF PIAGET'S THEORY OF COGNNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Piaget's model of cognitive development is criticized for two basic reasons. First, the model underestimates young children's abilities and overestimates older children's abilities. In Piaget's model, children have limitations in logical thinking until the age of seven due to "perceptual centration," "irreversibility" and "egocentricism." However, critics say many children are able to overcome these limitations at the age of five or six. So this generalization may not fit all children. Again critics say there are many children who are not able to think abstractly and hypothetically during the period of 11-15. Particularly, the age of 11 is too early to start complex mental operations. Second, the model overemphasizes biological influence on cognitive development. According to the model, every child goes through similar stages of cognitive development and environment and education have little influence on these stages. An important implication of this assumption is that education's contribution is not so powerful on cognitive development. In addition, Piaget's model implicates that the teaching process should be student-centered, that is, the student should be main source of information in the educational process. The major task of the teacher is to design an environment that is conducive to active involvement and learning, but not transmitting knowledge to the student directly. The teacher is a facilitator only. The child will actively explore the outside world and try to make sense based on his/her cognitive level of operation. An imposition on him/her will confuse the child especially if that impositions is not parallel to his level. This position brings out an implication about the role of schools and teachers in child's learning: a passive one. This implication is criticized by many educators since it underestimates children's learning abilities and the influence of schooling on child's cognitive development

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12.CONCLUSION

Make a learning environment as rich as possible in terms of providing new things to think or talk about (posters, realia, etc) remember that children instinctively want to find out new things and are capable of constructing new knowledge about language for themselves based on trialand-error, but without a suitable environment this instinct becomes diminished;

Remember what assimilation and accommodation mean and involve, including the fact that they are interrelated when it comes to childrens learning when childrens overgeneralization of a language rule results in a non-target form, see it as an important first step in finding and accommodating new language, not as an error that needs to be jumped on immediately for correction;

Recall that Piagets best known theories generally neglect social factors in learning and work from the idea of a child finding new knowledge independently combining his theory with Vygotskys notion of social scaffolding and Bruners notions of routines and formats can create an extremely effective method for helping young learners acquire new language.

Piaget had (and continues to have) a major impact on our general understanding of the way children think and interact with and within their environment. This article has gone into depth about Piaget's best known theories and what they may imply for language learning and a foreign language classroom for young learners. Not everything Piaget had to say turns into gold for a language teacher, but there are certainly gems to be picked out of his work that can help YL language instructors get a better idea of what to bring to their classrooms, how to deliver it, and how the students themselves may grasp and interact with it.

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