Week 3_ - This week we went deeper into the linguistic...

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This week, we went deeper into the linguistic aspects of morphology, phonology, and semantic development. Specifically, we discussed how teachers use these aspects of language acquisition to relate to their students. We questioned a teacher’s role as a linguist, if that term is too broad, and if a “linguistically informed” educator fits a little better. I believe that teachers are linguists, especially elementary teachers. I mean, they are responsible for teaching children to enjoy reading, to write, to spell, and to speak effectively. Everything about a teacher’s instruction involves linguistics. Jill also believes good teachers are natural linguists. She says that, “Without being keenly aware of it, teachers provide language instruction through all subject areas.” If a teacher is aware of this then he/she will be able to identify weak and strong points in his/her student’s language acquisition. Caleb taught ESL for 4 years in Taiwan and did the best that he could with his intuition, class materials, and lots of personal research on the side. Caleb believes that a good teacher is continually learning and exploring. Doing this with linguistics though, he states, can be a daunting task. He thinks it really helped to test and try out the things that people a lot smarter than he was. He stated, “that good linguistic researchers are not necessarily good ESL teachers and that some of the theories or hypothesis may transfer more successfully to the classroom than others.” Furthermore, Caleb believes it will be very difficult to apply the broad concepts of linguistics to individual students and in a teaching environment where many teachers are not as mobile as would be necessary.
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Ashley agreed with Caleb, in that, she believes that linguistics can be a heavy and complicated subject. However, she believe that it is not realistic to expect all educators to be linguists. She does, however, think it is important that all educators are informed. "It would be counterproductive to base language-teaching methodologies on something other than an understanding of how language does and does not take place" (Glass & Selinker Content Module). I discussed that every student is going to come from a different family environment with a different home culture. Dialects are common all over the world, in every language. Jill believes this is an extremely important point to remember when working with second language learners. Being familiar with a student’s culture not only helps understand language development, but also makes students feel valued and respected. Jill also mentioned that the week 3 content module focuses on this idea that student errors may not be errors, but rather they are language behaviors that adults aren’t aware of. In terms of good language and bad language. We concluded that there is no such thing, from a linguistic perspective, as a bad language. What we deem acceptable or good language is, basically, whatever the normal language/language variety that the
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Week 3_ - This week we went deeper into the linguistic...

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