Noam Chomsky’s Critical Intervention- Foreword by Peter McLaren- Afterword by Pepi Leistyna
1 Professional and Personal Encounters With Noam Chomsky: A Critical Self-Reflection
Professional and Personal Encounters With Noam Chomsky A Critical Self-Reflection o n e i was first exposed to Noam Chomsky’s nativist theory in 1994 in an introduc-tory psychology course that I took at Massachusetts Bay Community College . As the professor was talking about language development, she briefly mentioned nativist theory . Although her explanation about this theory was rather brief (she was trying to contrast it with behaviorism), it caught my attention . I attempted to ask her a question about nativist theory, but I was not fully able to do so, since my limited English at the time prevented me from making myself completely clear . Therefore, the professor seemed unsure about what I wanted to ask her . I felt somewhat embarrassed and said to her hastily, “I am sorry . I didn’t mean to inter- rupt you,” realizing I could not adequately articulate the question . She replied, saying, “That’s okay Pierre . You’re not interrupting me . What question did you want to ask?” I remained silent for a while and then said, “Actually I don’t have any question . I am sorry .” The truth was that I did not want to embarrass myself in front of my class- mates for fear that I would not be able to make myself clear while asking ques- tions about nativist theory . Nonetheless, because I was able to read English fairly well, I went home that day and carefully read the short section in my psychology textbook that addressed this theory and gained a basic understanding of nativist...
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