1. What is language (sounds, symbols, a complex system, speech and writing)
Language defined in simplest terms is a system of communication using
vocal symbols. Although its origin will never be fully known the oldest
written symbolic language known is only 7,900 years at most. Spoken
language is believed to have been developed long before that. Linguists
divide the study of spoken language into two categories, phonology and
grammar. Phonology is the study of sounds. Grammar is how the sounds are
used to make sense. (Dalby, 1999)
Human language is a symbolic communication system that is learned, rather
then an inherited trait, such as barking. Symbols in the form of sounds
have been arbitrarily assigned meanings. For instance, the English word
"rock" does not in any way physically resemble the object it stands for.
All symbols have a material form but the meaning cannot be revealed by
simple sensory inspection of their forms, they are abstractions.
Speech and language is not the same thing. Speech is a term that refers
to patterns of verbal behavior. The rules of how the symbolic sounds,
(words), are spoken in order to communicate meaning constitutes a language.
Language is the set of
The word "queer"for example has come to be a somewhat derogatory designation for,generally, males who are homosexual. In the Mandarin form of Chinese the word "su" can have six differentmeanings, depending on the tone change. For example,when a child tells his mother that Daddy took him: First we went to a gasser then we went to an eaterThe mother and the father when hearing their son's description of stoppingat a gas station then a diner will probably produce laughter, a positivesign as far as the kid is concerned. If that same personattempts to communicate with his peers in that environment with the form oflanguage used by the dominant culture, (proper English instead of Ebonicsfor example), he may find himself ostracized and shunned by those in hiscommunity. Word's meanings can change over time, as can whatconstitutes proper or improper use of words, (grammar). This again reinforces what the child islearning. Thus, the more academically sophisticated astudents native language knowledge and abilities are, the easier it will beto learn a second language. Cockney rhyming in fact is a languagealmost unto itself, where ideas are expressed using words and phrases thatto a causual listener from America have nothing to do with one another. If a child states that"Johnny hitted me," she is expressing an action and an idea based on whatshe understands about the use of her language. They range from millions ofpeople speaking the same language all the way down to a few dozen or less. In the first phase of language acquisition children are learningrudimentary words, sentence structure and phrases. Language Varieties (historical, geographical and social dialect; register: age, sex, status, role; topic, medium, style) Different languages have developed world wide because of manycontributing factors such as the role historical interactions betweencultures have played. Each of these guidelines should contain the following parts: List of objectives considered appropriate for learners of that stage in relation to the aspect of communicative competence in focus A list of strategies the learner can use to achieve these objectives A list of language learning techniques to implement the strategies A list of language learning activities to implement the strategies (Source: http:www. In more formal ways control throughlanguage can be one of verbal or written orders commanding individuals orgroups to perform a function or complete a task.