The Role Played By Language In A Person S Life

Topics: Social class, Language, Dialect Pages: 5 (1064 words) Published: March 18, 2016
Samantha Meyer
ELED 320
Explanatory Essay

Language is used to communicate in so many different forms across the world. Everybody may not be able to understand it all, but language plays a huge role in a person’s life. Many different languages are spoken and written through out the world. Academic language, Standard English and dialects are just three types of languages that exist. Languages come from different origins, represent different social classes, and according to certain people, the type of language used can define a person’s intelligence.

Different languages can be defined in different ways. Academic language is explained as complex, versatile and diverse. Academic language can be difficult to grasp. Academic language relates complex ideas and information and recognizes features of different genres. It has the ability to construct meaning from oral and written language, relate complex ideas and recognize feature of different genres. Standard English is conversational and formal language. It is the form of English that is accepted as the national norm. Standard English is taught throughout education. It is usually considered to have correct grammar, vocabulary and spelling. Dialects are considered to be versions of English that violate the rules we often mistakenly call grammar. What needs to be understood is that children or even adults, are not making errors, instead they are speaking correctly in the language of their home or community.

Language originates from all different places and has different functions for different people. Academic language makes complex and abstract ideas easier to understand. Academic language uses sets of words, grammar and organizational strategies that help describe complex ideas as clearly as possible. Academic language is abstract and shows the idea or relationship that is not easily seen, pointed out, acted out or illustrated easily. Academic language is not usually used in conversation, but instead in writing. An example of when academic language would be used orally would be a professional speech. Academic language originated in schools as a way to talk about complex ideas in an educational setting. Standard English originated from power. Historically, people in power were white and middle class. Therefore, Standard English is used in places like schools and professional jobs where white and middle class people are more likely to be found. Jobs like politicians, business leaders and in the media all use academic language and Standard English in their daily lives. Standard English can be used to communicate with family and in the community. Dialects originated from different regions, social groups, ethnic groups and communities. Dialects are used within different cultural communities and similar to Standard English, dialects are also used to communicate with family and in the community according to location and region.

The types of language people use to write or speak can socially or academically define a person. The language that is used can vary on the place people live or work. People who use academic language make people believe they are educated, proper and professional. Standard English is also looked at as educated, proper and professional. Standard English can be looked at as privileged. People who speak dialects are seen as uneducated, lower class and improper. This is because people who do not speak the dialect do not understand or appreciate it. Stereotypes exist everywhere, even in language. Some people believe dialects are improper and are associated with lower class people but dialects are not inaccurate. People are bias to what they believe about language and devalue dialects and Non-standard English. Dialects are not incorrect. They are just different versions of language.

Language, like ethnicity, and social class, is a status predictor in the country, which can raise or lower people’s expectations and self-esteem. Standard English is...
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