Language and communication
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Language and Communication. Lynn W. Zimmerman, PhD. Linguistics. Two Subdivisions of Linguistics Psycholinguistics psychology + linguistics Sociolinguistics context. Contexts for Language. Social contexts school shopping peer interactions work entertainment.

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Language and Communication

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Language and communication

Language and Communication

Lynn W. Zimmerman, PhD



  • Two Subdivisions of Linguistics

    • Psycholinguistics

      • psychology + linguistics

    • Sociolinguistics

      • context

Contexts for language

Contexts for Language

  • Social contexts

    • school

    • shopping

    • peer interactions

    • work

    • entertainment

Language for social contexts

Language for Social Contexts

  • Standard American English

  • Shopping English

  • English of their peers

  • Work English

  • Academic English

Registers of english

Registers of English

  • Formal English

  • Informal English

    The degree to which they become more proficient in Standard American English, the wider the range of options available to them in their lives.

Functions of language

Functions of Language

Functions of language 2

Functions of Language (2)

  • Interactional – used primarily to establish and maintain social relations

  • Transactional - to transmit knowledge, skills or information

  • Direct communication – intentional – often direct factual type statements

  • Indirect communication – inferential – involves metaphors and idioms

Context of language

Context of Language

  • the degree to which the environment gives meaningful clues to help the language learner decipher and interpret the language being used

  • Contextualized

  • Decontextualized

Language and education

Language and Education

  • Characteristics of standard American education

    • label objects

    • answer questions

    • create extended narratives

    • predict and maneuver events through imaginative storytelling

    • build on and extend already existing schemata

Teacher interactions with esl students

Teacher Interactions with ESL Students

Interactions often brief

Interactions often more managerial than instructional

ENL students often seated at back of class

Teachers often afraid of embarrassing the student

What teachers can do

What Teachers Can Do

  • Examine and recognize your own perceptions and behaviors toward children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

  • Recognize how your own culture is reflected in your communication and interactions.

  • Be sensitive to the kinds of language uses you are offering students and the linguistic demands you are making of them.

  • Use activities that include listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

  • Have conversations with students – not just the teacher talking.

  • Integrate language teaching with content learning

  • Realize that not all ENL students are alike

  • Use cooperative learning which improves academic achievement and improves inter-group relations.

  • Enhance your skills.

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