Introduction to language acquisition review session notes (cited from dr. lisa pearl"s class. You understand and produce them on the fly, and may never have heard them before. Children are bad at imitating sentences where they don"t know some of the words, so it doesn"t make sense for them to imitate words they don"t even know. Also, children don"t often repeat word for word what adults around them say (i. e. the cat is hungry becomes cat hungry ). It"s unlikely that children learn by being explicitly taught because most of our knowledge is subconscious. Our language knowledge consists of many hidden, implicit rules (which we call grammar), which means we probably can"t explicitly teach children these rules. Language is a complex system of knowledge that all children learn by listening to native speakers in their surrounding environment. It includes sound structure, word structure, word meaning, sentence structure, mapping from sentence structure to meaning, and unspoken rules of conversation.