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Old english language - Essay Example

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Summary
The creation and knowledge of a language is akin to the art of knowing about an entire culture, nation and people. The forces of society and its basic structure also contribute the definition and alteration of language. Language may be defined as a form of expression that reveals a person's identity and gives him or her a sense of belonging…
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Old english language

Download file to see previous pages... To begin with, the role of language in one's life is one that fulfils the need to belong. (Crystal, 2005) This sense of belonging springs from one's immediate environment where there is focus on the language one speaks along with complementary elements like accent, nuances and other such features that form the general social and cultural terrain of the particular place. Language offers people first hand knowledge of a variety of symbols that one comes to associate with a place. This in turn generates a more enriching quality to one's experiences. Experiences in various spheres helps in understanding the forces within society and how these forces define and alter language. (Mercer, 1996)
In knowing and learning a language, whether by birth or subsequent settlement, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that helps contribute to one's sense of identity. This also has certain mental implications as it shows the person's basic aptitudes, besides brining him or her face to face with the challenges of implementing the language. This makes a person draw from experiences of the past, learn from present experiences and contribute to future experiences, which will shape his or her overall life experiences. This also renders a certain amount of creative and communicative competency to a person and his or her sense of confidence with which he or she carries out interactions with people. This creates a working relationship between centrifugal and centripetal forces in society towards the definition and alteration of language. (Crystal, 2005)

Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces

Formal and Informal Means of Learning: Centripetal Forces
Within every society there are formal and informal means of learning that support the definition and alteration of language. Let us stop for a moment and consider the word "formal". This word has been used above in the context of generating the difference between theory and practice as it may be seen from a variety of perspectives. To begin with, a person's formal education begins at school and goes on into college and higher institutions thereon. Yet, there is a strong play of "informal education" in a person's life. (Byram, 1994; Pp 15 - 31)

Informal education begins in a person's life from the time he or she takes birth. Many studies and scientists believe that informal education or orientation towards one's basic belief and value system begins once a child is conceived in a mother's womb. According to numerous studies, a foetus responds to every little sound while in the mother's womb. This is but a small example of informal training. Informal education by no means stops once a child enters an educational institution. Formal education through an educational institution simply sharpens the brains and prepares it to recognise those symbols that will bring a person towards actual worthwhile learning through external experiences. No theory is complete without practice. In fact, any theory that has been propounded without practice is a failure towards imbibing competency of any kind within any individual. According to Lea, "In efforts to help inform educational theory they (philosophers) have dealt extensively with concepts like knowledge, teaching, learning, thinking, understanding, belief, justification, theory, the discipline, rationality and the likes." (Lea, 2001; Pp 16 - 37) The power of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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