1. Piper (2003) says that children learn to match language to social context
and that this is something we never completely stop learning. That is, we
continue learning this as we travel through adulthood.
What do you think she means by this? Can you think of examples?
I think that Piper’s view is very interesting. I think it challenges the critical
period theory because Piper is implying that we continue to adjust and
learn in different social settings. This is especially true, I think, for college
students. For example, those of us undergrads in our early twenties are
stuck between two social worlds; the way we communicate with our friends
and the way we will communicate in our career. People always say, “Be
yourself at a job interview. That’s what they want to see.” However, if I were
being my true self, I would talk about my favorite bands, movies and
television shows. I would probably also talk about Christianity and other
important aspects of my life. But, that is not how we socialize in job
interviews or with our students. Instead, we are “professional” (whatever
that means). I have seen this occur amongst my neice, as well. Last
summer, I worked at her summer program at Primrose School. Around her
mother and other adults, she would use “yes ma’am” and speak softly.
However, when I was her teacher for the summer, I watched her interact
with her friends through screaming, name-calling, teasing, showing-off…
just like any pre-teen. This behavior is something she didn’t express with
her mother because she wasn’t competing with her mom for attention. With
her friends, there was something to fight for.
2. Now that we have read about how language functions and the
importance of acquiring that knowledge, think about the term "people
skills." We might say, "She has wonderful people skills." First of all, what
does that term mean to you as a result of your reading?
To me, this term, “people skills” makes me reflect on our term “linguistically
informed” from our week 3 discussion. I think that someone has good
people skills because he/she is able to relate to many different people