In the current modern society, there are various cases where children have been isolation and raised with little or no human contact. Most these children are isolated by their parents because of their physical defects that the latter considers them as liabilities and the fear of the society impacting a negative attitude to that family. However, these disabled children fail to acquire basic practices such as how to talk due to the lack of human association that they are deprived of. This paper pays great attention to similar thirteen year old girl, named Genie who had spent almost a decade in an isolated room.
From Genie`s case, scientist revealed that there is a critical period for anyone to acquire language skills. According to a scientist Erick Lenneberg, critical period of acquiring language skills ranges from birth to the age of twelve years after which the brain organization starts and one is unable to utilize and learn language skills in a complete functional manner. For example, Genie after being deprived of acquiring language skills during this time interval, she had difficulties in acquiring at her puberty age. She began learning some basic traits such as dressing herself and visiting the toilet, but remained in difficulties in learning language skills. She took more than a year to manage to put three words together after which her language remained constant at the language explosion stage that is acquired through putting words together as in the novel manner (O’Donnell, Angela, Johnmarshall and Jeffrey p.95).
However, genie`s case had some drawbacks such as lack of information or interpreting some of her behaviours. In addition, the researchers were biased in determining the facts that were to be noticed and those to be ignored and also their memories might be inaccurate or selective making the conclusions to be unreliable. Moreover, there is a possibility that Genie might have been unresponsive to the researchers (O’Donnell, Angela, Johnmarshall and Jeffrey p.95).
Therefore, it is evident that the critical period for anyone to acquire language skills still exists. This critical period ranges from birth to twelve years of age after which it becomes difficult to learn language skills properly.
O’Donnell, Angela M, Johnmarshall Reeve, and Jeffrey K. Smith. Educational Psychology: Reflection for Action. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.