皮亚杰和维果茨基在早期语言学习和认知发展中的基本概念如下。认知的概念与人的心理活动和行为有关。这种认知能力使人们能够学习感知、记忆，并影响对问题的批判性分析。儿童的这些认知发展受到生物学、实验和思维能力的影响(Lightbown & Spada, 2006)。皮亚杰提出认知发展理论，理解儿童认知发展的细微差别。这是语言学习过程中的基本原则。根据皮亚杰的思想，儿童不断地寻求信息，具有适应环境的基本倾向。有许多天生的反应使人们能够学习语言。这个学习过程在孩子身上被分为四个独特的阶段。
感觉运动期0 ~ 2年，术前2 ~ 7年。皮亚杰认为，在这几年里，人们对世界或周围环境的认知发展和理解达到了顶峰。从叶芝7岁到11岁，有具体操作的发展，在11岁到12岁之间，有儿童正式操作的发展(Lightbown & Spada, 2006)。皮亚杰指出，这种发展因儿童的文化和当地家庭环境而异。这一理论的缺陷在于，有一种假设认为认知发展是分阶段、系统地进行的(Lightbown & Spada, 2006)。维果茨基的社会文化理论探讨了文化对儿童发展的细微差别。研究发现，儿童通过与社会环境的互动，将自己的思维过程内在化。
The basic notions of Piaget and Vygotsky in the early language learning and cognitive development have been explained in the following. The notion of cognition is associated with the mental activity and behaviour of the people. This cognitive ability enables people to learn about perception, memory and also influences the critical analysis of the issues. These cognitive development of children is influenced by the biological, experimental and thinking abilities (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). Piaget suggested the theory of cognitive development understanding the nuances of the cognitive development of the children. This is found to be the fundamental tenet in the language learning process. According to the ideology of Piaget, the children continually seek out to reach information and have a basic tendency to adapt to their environment. There are many in born reflexes that enable the people to learn about the languages. This learning process in the child is divided into four unique periods.
The Sensorimotor Period is between 0 to 2 Years, and Preoperational Period is between 2 to 7 years. Piaget stand that there is maximum cognitive development and understanding of the world or the surrounding environment between these years. From the ages of 7 to 11 Yeats, there is the development of concrete operation and between the ages of 11 to 12, there is the development of formal operation of the child (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). Piaget noted that this development varied based on the culture and the local family environment of the children. The flaw with this theory is that there is assumption made that cognitive development occurs in stages and in a systematic manner (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). Vygotsky’s Socio cultural theory discusses the nuances of culture on the development of the child. The children are found to internalize their thought process with their interactions with the social environment.