Language use

Languages are diverse commonly used across the world. Most speakers do
not use the languages they speak as a first language. The English
language, for example, is used for international communication across
the globe, and this has contributed to its spread across the continent.
This is boosted by the fact that it is the most commonly used language
across in the United States, the most influential country in the world.
Thus, even most non English speakers know a few English words. This is
because English words heavily borrow from the English language. This
makes it easy for non- English speakers to understand the language.
However, English is currently used more as a second language than first
language. Most writers prefer to use English so that they can reach a
large audience. This makes it necessary for most writers to translate
their work if they cannot write in English.
There are two main methods of teaching and writing languages direct
teaching and grammar translation teaching method. Direct teaching method
involves writing the original work in a particular language, using the
language’s grammatical and linguistic writing. This requires the
writer to have a good command of the language. Direct writing makes is
only favorable if the writer can sufficiently express his or her ideas
in the language chosen. Direct writing ensures that the writer’s
ideas, and thoughts are well expressed because the meanings expressed
are well conveyed. However, this is only possible if the writer
understands the language used well.
Grammar translation method is a new teaching style that has been used
in the twentieth century in order to unite non- native speakers with
native speakers. This is a process where works written in other
languages is translated into the native language while obeying
language’s grammatical rules. This process is carefully carried out so
as to ensure that the original meaning of any piece of work is not lost
(Johnson p. 15). The challenge is, however, that some words and phrases
may not be found in the original language, and thus, there is a loss of
meaning. Additionally, some words and phrases cannot have the same
intensity of meaning if translated.
The direct method of expression is the preferred mode of expression in
teaching. This is because it enables the instructor to express his or
her ideas directly and no meaning is lost. Thus, the work retains its
intended meaning and impact on readers and learners. Teachers favor the
direct method because instructing learners is easier if the direct
meaning is maintained. Teachers prefer works in the direct language
because the meaning and grammatical expressions remain as intended by
the writer. The teacher communicates with the learners intellectually
and emotionally. These are very important in communication because they
enhance how learners understand what the writer expresses.
Grammatical translation is usually discouraged by teachers. This is
because, according to teachers, it more often than not, leads to some
degree of loss of the intellectual and connection that is an integral
part of communication. Teaching involves enabling the learner to
understand the content in the most basic form so as to be able to use
the learning appropriately. The teacher ought to thus, be a person who
directly understands the language because those who teach through
grammatical translation, often lose the meaning during translation (Cook
p. 150). Thus, teachers encourage learners to use the language they are
most conversant with, when expressing their ideas.
Intellectual and emotional communications are important especially for
people who are culturally and socially separated. Direct use of language
is important in cross cultural communication especially if both the
reader and writer understand the native language. The writer can express
his world in depth with vivid analysis of events and concepts while the
reader can intellectually and emotionally connect with the writer (Brown
p. 87). Direct writing is very helpful in this process because the
meanings are retained as initially expressed. Thus, teachers prefer
direct method of teaching and writing because it retains meanings and
this enhances the writer’s ability to communicate with people from
other social and cultural backgrounds.
Different languages have many users across the world, and it is
imperative for writers and other communicators to reach the diverse
people across the globe. However, as noted earlier, a person can easily
express himself in a language that the person has a good command. Thus,
most writers will write in their native languages because this gives
them more vocabulary to use so as to express their ideas with precision.
However, based on the need to communicate with non- users of the
language used by the writer, many literary works have been translated.
These works maintain grammatical correctness and a lot of care are
observed so as to retain the meaning of the original works (Stern p.
18).
On of the most important things taught in communication is the ability
for the teacher to create mental images to the learners through vivid
description. This is done through the use of direct language because the
words and phrases used are put together carefully, to enable proper
expression. For example, if a writer wishes to write about the Arab
spring with the aim of communicating with the international community,
the writer has to be able to tell the events in the most vivid manner.
This enables readers to understand the events although they did not
witness the events. Thus, teachers encourage the use of direct language
so that the writer can create vivid images in the minds of readers.
There are two groups of learners of the any language. These are
students who learn the language for a set of purposes and those who
learn those who learn the language for general purposes. Those who learn
for a set of purposes use it to achieve particular goals. For example,
learners may choose the English language for purposes of expressing
themselves if they travel to English- speaking countries. This means
that the learner learns the basics of the language that can enable them
to achieve a set of goals (Brown p. 127). This is a direct use of
language so as to facilitate communication. Such learners are of the
opinion that direct use of language facilitates communication of
emotions, as opposed to using a translator.
Then there are those learners who learn the language for general
purposes. These are students who learn the language for speculative
purposes. The learning has no set of goals, and it is learnt so as to
enable the learner use it if the need arises. For example, most English
learners across the globe learn the general rules of the language with
no focus on particular areas. The learners are equipped, with general
English language rules of usage to facilitate communication when the
need arises. The learning is generalized, and the learners understand
the language well, but with no depth.
Grammatical translation is important for learners. This is because it is
best to understand the meaning of language from a familiar perspective.
This is very helpful to learners who are classified and specific purpose
learners. These learners understand the native language well if words
for their intended use can be expressed in their own languages. It
enables them to carry the meaning of words and expressions as intended
and thus, the meaning is not lost in translation (Richards & Theodore p.
118). In grammatical translation, the age, sex, and context of learner
also influence how the translation is done. This is because certain
words and expressions are heavily dependent on age, sex, and context for
appropriate use. Thus, the translator must take these three factors into
consideration.
Learners of a language are influenced by age, context and sex. This is
because language is used for different purposes (Harmer p. 29). Thus,
for a person to be a direct user of the preferred language it is
necessary for the learner to have the appropriate vocabulary to express
him or herself appropriately based on age, context and gender. Thus, the
learning process has to be appropriate so as to observe proper
grammatical rules. Complexity of language is also influenced by the
learner. This is categorized into basic, intermediary and complex
learning.
The general user of language can translate language appropriately.
Usually, these users can carry the meaning of vocabulary and expressions
with precision because they understand the syntax and morphology of the
language. However, the person ought to have a good command of both
languages so that he or she can retain the precise meaning during
translation. The person can also use non- verbal means of communication
appropriately during grammatical translation. This is because proper
language use is influenced heavily by non- verbal forms of communication
because they enhance the meaning of the language.
Language is also important for various activities. For example, the
English language has become the preferred language for Business
communication. The world has become a globalized institution with trade
and commerce being the most unifying factors. This means that most
people are nowadays carrying out trade on an international scale, and
this leads to interaction of people who cannot express themselves in the
same language. The English language as the most wide spread language
across the globe has, therefore, become the preferred language for trade
activities. Trade is crucial, and most people prefer to communicate
directly and thus, the need to learn English for trade purposes. This
involves learning appropriate vocabulary to suit the context.
Activities also influence grammatical translation of a language.
Activities are those intended uses of the language. Grammatical
translation should ensure that words and expressions used are
appropriate to the activities of the language use. For example, business
English is the most common use of the English language. Thus, most
business people learn the language for business purposes. The users must
translate the English language appropriately in their activities so as
to retain the intended meaning (Cook p. 288). Thus, the grammatical
translation of words and expressions in business English ought to be
precise by using correct words and expressions so that meaning is not
lost.
The materials used in any communication depend on the purpose of use
and the context. These materials include vocabularies and expressions.
These materials depend on the user’s command of the language. Those
who use it for general purposes are likely to have more material to use
than those who use it for a set of purposes. The general learners and
users have more content than those who use it for a set of purposes. The
general users know the morphology and syntax well enough to manipulate
the language appropriately in different circumstances. On the other
hand, the specific users usually focus on the morphology and syntax that
is appropriate for the particular usage. Thus, the materials are based
on the purposes of use.
Additionally, the material is dictated by the form of usage. This means
that the material is either used for speaking or writing. The rules of
grammar are stricter in writing than speaking and thus, the direct user
ought to establish the purpose of the language so as to observe
appropriate grammatical rules. Thus, though the language is used for
different purposes, all the users ought to be familiar with the form of
use so as to observe proper grammatical rules of usage. Grammatical
rules are diverse, and most are known subconsciously (Johnson p. 91).
The general users are better placed to observe more rules than specific
users. Specific users are usually only aware of the rules that govern
their purpose of use.
The types of materials used in grammatical translation are those that
have a high possibility of retaining the intended meaning. These
materials include morphemes and expressions that are commonly used in
the chosen language (Harmer p. 215). They must maintain grammatical
appropriateness and rules so as to retain the meaning. Such materials
are dictated by the age, sex, and context of users. This is because
different materials are perceived differently based on age, sex, and
content. For example, the word sex can be translated differently based
on age and context. Younger people may translate the word to mean the
act of intercourse while older people may translate the word in terms of
biological make up. Additionally, the word can be used, in medical
circles to mean biological make up while, in social contexts, it means
sexual intercourse.
Theories of learning suggest that the best approach to learning
language is through discovery learning. According to this theory,
learners learn a language best, based on needs. Thus, a person will
learn appropriate vocabulary and language use based on the need to
express particular meanings. Thus, the learner embarks on a discovery
experience that will enable him or herself adequately express him or
herself. This makes it easier to learn as the learner discovers
different language and vocabulary uses so as to express his or her
intended ideas. Thus, discovery learning favors both general and
specific language users because both users are interested in expressing
their ideas adequately (Stern p. 24).
The direct method is an improvement from the grammatical translation
because it ensures that the writer or user of the language retains the
intended meaning of the ideas expressed. In grammatical translation, the
intended meaning is usually lost especially if there are not direct
words or phrases that match the language of translation. Direct use of
language also facilitates intellectual and emotional connection, which
is an important part of communication. This is usually lost in
grammatical translation because words and phrases used in the original
language may not carry the same intensity when translated. Thus, the
direct use of language is an improvement of the grammatical translation
method because it facilitates intellectual and emotion connection, in
addition to retaining the writer’s ideas.
In conclusion, language use is very important in communication. Though
words are accompanied by non- verbal forms of communication, it is best
to learn how to use words appropriately. The English language is the
most popular language in the international stage due to its spread. The
language is also easy to learn and use for people from different
cultures because most vocabulary and phrases trace their origins from
other languages. The most common English use is business English. This
is because most interactions at the global stage are based on trade and
commerce. Any language is used by two main groups of people. These are
specific purpose language users and general language users. The use of
any language is influenced by age, context and sex. The use is also
guided by grammatical rules, and these are morphology and syntax.
Works Cited
Brown, Doughlas. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to
Language Pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Longman, 2001. Print.
Cook, Vivian. Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. London:
Hodder Education, 2008. Print.
Harmer, Jeremy. The practice of English Language Teaching. A 3rd
Edition. New York: Longman Publishers, 2000. Print
Johnson, Keith. An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and
Teaching. Harlow, Essex, London: Longman, 2001. Print.
Richards, Jack C, and Theodore S. Rodgers. Approaches and Methods in
Language Teaching. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001. Print.
Stern, Hans H. Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching. Oxford [u.a.:
Oxford Univ. Press, 1983. Print.
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