The process of Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) that gestalt language processors (GLPs) go through can sometimes be complicated to envision... so let's sweeten the deal with The Chocolate Analogy!
Introducing our new-and-Marge-approved Chocolate Analogy -- updated to include real child gestalts and demonstrating the progression through all 6 Stages of Natural Language Acquisition (from Stage 1 gestalts/"scripts" to Stage 6 fully-developed self-generated grammar). This sweet analogy provides a visualization of how our GLPs move through each of the NLA stages.
The chocolate bars themselves each represent a full, unmitigated gestalt. If we break off a row (or part of the gestalt), we can combine with other rows in a process known as mitigation. After this, we can break down even further to the individual squares of chocolate, which is finally when we hear those freed words, and can start combining referentially. Lastly, the individual squares can be combined in beginning grammar to form novel, self-generated language.
If you liked our original Chocolate Analogy, check this one out for a more accurate representation through ALL 6 stages.
Big thanks to Marge Blanc, author of Natural Language Acquisition (2012) for helping us get this to you!
P.S., You can download our handout version of the chocolate analogy in PDF form here.
by Halle Demchuk, SLP
Paediatric SLP | GLP-Trained Clinician | Owner of HAEPI SLP
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