Language is Influenced by Purpose and Context

Language is influenced by purpose and context. This article is the last element of language. Click here to read my first posting about eight elements of language. Maybe you have noticed that the way you use language differs depending on the person you are talking to and maybe even the context of the conversation. For example, you use language differently with your dentist versus how you speak with your students. You speak with close family members in a casual manner, which is different from conversing with someone you meet for the first time in a formal setting. Sociolinguists have even studied the different ways in which men and women use language. Classroom language varies as well. An important distinction is language that is used for social purposes versus academic purposes. Social language is here-andnow language, whose meaning is context-linked and obvious. Playground or lunchtime language are examples of social language. Similarly, written language depends on the purpose and audience. A note you write to a friend is far more casual than a paper you write for a class. Talking about academic concepts and writing formally is vastly different from informal uses of spoken and written language.
Why is this useful information for a teacher?
Social language will be more easily learned and used by your English learners, while academic language will require more effort and direct focus. It is important for you to fully understand the differences between social and academic language so that you can help your English learners in the best ways possible. Cummins (1981) has discussed these types of classroom language use. We will
draw on his work in Chapter Two to elaborate on these uses of language. Throughout the book, we discuss strategies and approaches—we call them tools—that will help you scaffold meaningful academic language for your students as they negotiate to understand and learn English.

Important Points to Remember
  1. Everyone passes through similar stages of language development.
  2. English learners bring a great deal of information from their first language to the process of learning English.
  3. Language learning relies heavily on social and cognitive support.
  4. Learning English can be supported by the environment and helpful individuals; however, learning a new language takes time.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

Design by Free7 Martos Alf