Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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Tabula rasa

1925

Early psychological theory considered the learner to be a tabula rasa or blank slate, dependent for learning on training or conditioning.

Classical or Pavlovian conditioning is based on a learning model of this type, where learning is generated through experience with the environment. John Watson's classical experiment in conditioning an emotional response in a human subject, Little Albert, provides an example, as does his most famous boast:

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select-doctor, lawyer, artist-regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.

(Watson, 1930)

Activity

Watch : Little Albert

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