Wayne Cayea


Language Acquisition has been hotly debated since Chomsky's theory of innate ability in the 1950s. Feral children. i.e.. wild children who grow up in extreme isolation, provide a unique opportunity to study the process of language acquisition. What we can learn can have a major impact on what and how we teach our young students, especially deaf - students whose language development may be delayed. Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron, a famous feral child, is the focus of this study. He was discovered in the French wilderness in 1800, after three to eight years alone in the forest. After five years of instruction at the Paris Institute for the Deaf, his education was abandoned. Victor never learned to speak and only ever became "half-civilized". Nevertheless, he left a tremendous legacy on the fields of education and language acquisition. His case helped develop many language acquisition theories, and numerous the techniques used in the attempt to educate him are still used in the field of education today.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type



Christie, Karen

Advisor/Committee Member

Schley, Sara

Advisor/Committee Member

Bateman, Gerald


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