What Is Language? And Other Teaching Units for Grades Seven through Twelve

What Is Language? And Other Teaching Units for Grades Seven through Twelve

What Is Language? And Other Teaching Units for Grades Seven through Twelve

What Is Language? And Other Teaching Units for Grades Seven through Twelve

Excerpt

PHILIP B. DAGHLIAN PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH INDIANA UNIVERSITY

For some years now it has been traditional to divide the study of "English" into three component parts, literature, writing, and the language. Language has unfortunately been the most difficult part to communicate, chiefly because its teaching has for so long been complicated by a "totally prescriptive outlook on English usage" and a widespread "subscription to a Latin-oriented grammar." Too often language study has been merely a series of rigorously applied rules. This practice has had two unfortunate results: the rules seem to have had no effect whatever on the quality of student writing, and many informative and fascinating aspects of the study of language have been ignored in the classroom.

Professor Edward Jenkinson's aim in What Is Language? has been to make available to teacher and student alike materials demonstrating some of these interesting aspects of language. At the start he suggests procedures by which students may speculate on the nature of language and formulate their own definitions of it. In connection with a unit on the uses of the dictionary he presents the concepts of denotation and connotation. The next unit proceeds to the formation of words, and the following unit to the process of change of meaning considered both historically and contextually.

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