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Reading response - Essay Example

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Chapter 8 entitled “Talking about Things” simply delves into the core of communication, particularly in the aspect of thought and message construction. Apparently, the point of the whole chapter points toward the importance of learning the basic and rudimentary rules in using a language, particularly the English language, which is quite complex: that words do not make complete sense on their own unless we combine them to create a sensible thought…
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Reading response

Download file to see previous pages... For instance, the word chair – we only of the word chair as the object itself but we cannot make any other significance to the word beyond its own definition “unless” we combine it with other parts of speech: This chair is mine. Now it makes a lot of sense. In a nutshell, and as a student, it is not enough to simply learn the words of a language but to know the context in which they can be spoken, written or used in any other way possible. Chapter 9 is probably the most crucial and interesting one considering that at the end of day, the purpose of having a language is to send message and express meaning. The central point of this chapter is the duality of an English expression: (1) the sentence construction; (2) the meaning of the sentence construction (132). As mentioned earlier, words do not make any other sense aside from their individual significance in a language unless combined with other parts of speech to create a complete thought and a whole new meaning. In the same way, in expressing meaning, words should be chosen based on which king of meaning we intend to express: command, request or question. By having this knowledge as a student, I am always being reminded to not only focus on words but on meaning too to ensure clarity of expression. In the initial passages of chapter 10 entitled “The Link between Language and Culture”, a very strong point has been brought across: “acquiring the ability to understand the social meaning of an utterance is an important part of learning a language” (175). This is particularly true, most especially for cultures that are heavily rooted from extreme conservatism. Significantly, there is a certain degree of interlocked relationship between language and culture considering that language is basically moulded from the dynamics and general consensus of a particular community. For instance, accent variations tell a lot about a person’s nationality or regional affiliation such that New York residents pronounce the word car differently from residents of Michigan or Boston area for that matter (175). Furthermore, in the context of religious conservatism, there are countries that are very strict when it comes to using certain terminologies such as the world “Allah” – Muslim for “God” – which is prevalently agreed to be used only by Muslims. As a student, having knowledge of the social and cultural significance of a certain language will help establish smooth and amicable communication with people of different nationalities, language or culture; it encourages dynamism and flexibility. Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 make tessellated points in so far as the importance of understanding the context in which a language is being spoken and used is concerned. Politeness is substantial for the language learner because the standards of certain virtues like politeness are “determined by a given culture based on assumptions about what it means to be polite in that society” (194). This point provides a great deal of learning: it allows the language learner to understand the array of differences in which the essence of politeness in a certain language can be carried out or manifested. As a student, this will surely help in ensuring that language ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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