Teaching English Essay
A language can be promoted by policies designed by the government or the officials of the government responsible for language policies. Promotion can occur through ; the recognition of the language resource allocation or use, language toleration, avoiding making policies which have regard to it, restricting it, making sure that the societal benefits are conditioned, rights, have knowledge services about the language, repressing it (linguicide), prohibiting its transmission through generations and also its use. If the language is seen as problem, civil or human rights or resources influence those designs or approaches. Justification, repression or promotion policies of language are through several ways.
In some circumstances they are similar ideological for example unification by the nation. However there are differences in their means. Multiple or single language can be favored by language policies approaches (Bloom, 2001). Using India as an example English and Hindi are the two main official languages and several other national languages. Therefore, the states component of the nation is reflected by the status of these languages. During the last hundred years and plus judicial concept as it regards to human right developed.
Human right s considers language as an important aspect. In addition the right of not being discriminated based on the language and the right to use and acquire (have accesses to) state community languages or one mother tongue if different are education standards which are being developed. In some countries individuals are not restricted and they have freedom of expression and speech. However, in other countries the rights are seen as cultural identity and integrity part of the right (http://science.
jrank.org/pages/8452/Bilingualism-Multilingualism-Government-Policies-Accommodate-Language-Diversity.html, 2008)Every one should know a couple of facts about language. Languages are diverse. Obviously languages have different sounds and one can tell different languages from the other or else things are called by different name in different languages.
In every language there are metaphysics i.e. tacit commitments of the part of the reality to be packaged and be talked about. The several languages of the human kind came into being similarly with the evolution of man, adaptation, competition, winnowing and extinction. Some languages are complex compared with other languages.
That is complexity can be judged with the difficulty or hardness that arise in learning the language. Probably, the languages you have never heard of are the most complicated languages often spoken by small groups like the hunters and the gatherers. Often these small groups for a long time have been separated and therefore acquired as Blooms 2001, puts it accreted layers of decorative gunk languages that are clean crisp and simple built up single generation creoles) other languages have problems of their own. For example English have writing systems. There are advantages that occur when one is literate but with time people’s speech become unnatural and freeze the language. These create lexical and grammatical fossils. All the languages basically are the same. Basically they share the same design features since they arise from language organs which are unconditioned reflex of neurons that human beings posses (bloom, 2001).
In addition languages share grammatical properties. In linguistics there are parameters which are the basic choices or points in which to express universals. The linguistic facts that linguistics is often interested in have little to do with language. But what is counted as a language has considerations in social and political matters. In explaining linguistic diversity culture has a limited role, some of the language aspects connect with values beliefs and technology of the speakers of that language.
This is reason as to why Tuyuca doesn’t have modem whereas English has. Ones culture is not reflected by the language one speak (McWhorter, 2001). The Ebonics issue and achievements of the education of the African student and American student have cut across the curriculum in schools this is because learning of other subjects like mathematics, literature social studies, and sciences et-cetera depends on the literacy level and oral languages. However there have been demands according to Ebonics debates to develop teaching of Standard English, although Standard English is being taught in schools, traditional methods are applied which ignores research on variation of language.
Teachers lack knowledge of crucial defaults and resource are limited. Little research has been done on pedagogical methods. However the curriculum of the new Standard English has been tried out evaluated and is being developed using approaches of new constrictive analysis that shows clearly the contrast between the dialects. Bidialectal curriculum of the school system is one of these (Mufwene, 1999).There have been arguments that African American English (AEE) is identified as mistaken English, and is mainly a language of the Niger-Congo (Mufwene, 1999).
Therefore according to teaching techniques of second language Standard English just like the way Niger –Congo language is taught to its speakers, it should taught similarly to its speakers. In North America unlike other members of ethnic groups African American are considered as having less skill in acquiring English language. It is a myth that African American has misshaped English language whereas American (the whites) inherited it from England and there is little reconstruction. Therefore the problems school children of African American experience are blamed due to their mental inferiority or their laziness.
The popular myth of misshaped English is an older one often held by non-linguist mostly white Americans and African American who are successful. There are assumptions from those who believe in the myth that Standard English is spoken by the white and that it is little restructured from English inherited from England in 17th century (Mufwene, 1999). It is therefore a task of the school children of the African American to work harder in school work in order to succeed just like any body else. However according to Taylor et al 1998, all the varieties of English in America are restructured varieties and that Ebonics debate is unduly ethicized. The debate has also been at the expense of underprivileged children among the whites who are not better off than African American children in classroom (Taylor et al, 1998). In the past few centuries the English variety of British does not match the English variety of the white Americans and therefore to single out AEE as not having been restructured in North America is mealy a bizarre.
This statement can be explained by the fact that since 17th century British English has changed. The movement of the populations that brought the populations of the Europeans into new world originated in Europe itself. In England dialect contacts were entailed in these movements of the population and therefore led to restructuring the British English. In United States the movement led to contacts among the English dialects and other languages e.g.
German, French, and Dutch. It however prevailed but in restructured form. The North America history of socio-economic suggests that, varieties of English of the American would not still be identical to English varieties even if dialects of British English had no changes for the past several centuries (McWhorter, 2001). AEE has structured features that overlaps with other sets selected by the other dialects but it did not develop by peculiar structured processes. This applies to all the other dialects since they are not identical to each other. Therefore AEE speakers and other speakers of other varieties of English sound the same than the ones that speak African variety of English and those of Caribbean.
Second language techniques in teaching have been proposed as the typical solution in improving proficiency among school children of the African American in Standard English. To many English speakers Standard English is a second variety of language. The reason behind this is that the structures which are used in writing are more consistent to “medium of expression” writing whereas other varieties of English are oral primarily and have structure consistent with orals. Varieties of some vernacular and other Standard English are closely structures and therefore speakers of those vernaculars can develop proficiency with fewer problems. Lack of the ability in perceiving structural differences between Standard English and some vernaculars often lead to failure in acquiring command of the Standard English (Taylor et al, 1998). Similarities between developing proficiency and learning languages in second language dialects perhaps end with above observations. In the learning process of Standard English a native speaker will bring expectations and assumptions in the classroom different from non native speakers. For example they can paraphrase what is being said in Standard English using their vernaculars because they understand what is being said.
Expectations like this one are due to the exposure to oral media that a child probably gets before he /she goes to school. It means that the child is aware of the differences of the structural features that distinguishes Standard English from his/her vernacular and therefore has developed passive competence. The child may intend to write or speak Standard English but keep on slipping back to the vernacular patterns. The problem arises mostly when the two varieties are very different and when strong stigmatization of non standard features occurs (http://science.jrank.
org/pages/8452/Bilingualism-Multilingualism-Government-Policies-Accommodate-Language-Diversity.html, 2008) The techniques used in teaching native English speakers should be applied in teaching other children of African American in teaching them Standard English but however it should be adapted to cultural differences. AEE in the classroom should not be treated as being unique or exceptional. The treatment given to the children i.e.
negative comments, zealous corrections always about the way they speak or write makes the children become aware of the negative attitudes in the school towards their community. This has serious consequences of demotivating the children who speak other English varieties other than Standard English. Solution to this problem would be to develop constructive ways of teaching which would be less humiliating. The aim of teaching Standard English should not be to replace the vernaculars but to make the child acquire command of the language in order to fit adequately in other setting where his/ her vernacular cannot be accepted.Reference:Bilingualism and Multilingualism – Government Policies To Accommodate Language, 2008: Retrieved on 17th September 2008 from; http://science.jrank.
org/pages/8452/Bilingualism-Multilingualism-Government-Policies-Accommodate-Language-Diversity.htmlBloom, Paul (2001): Explaining Linguistic Diversity. Retrieved on 17th September 2008 from; http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/explaining-linguistic-diversityMcWhorter, John (2001): Explaining Linguistic Diversity. Retrieved on 17th September from:http://www.
americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/explaining-linguistic-diversity.Mufwene, Salikoko S. (1999): Ebonics and Standard English in the classroom: some issues. Retrieved on 17th September 2008 from:http://humanities.uchicago.
edu/faculty/mufwene/gurt99.html.Taylor et al (1998). Language Diversity. Retrieved on 17th September 2008 from; http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/AAVE/coalition/..