Language is a form of human communication either in written or spoken form. Language can be defined as a rule-governed system made up of signs and symbols, used to express communicable thoughts and feelings and is designed for human understanding. Man differs from animals because man is the sole possessor of language. People from different parts of the globe speak varied languages. However, efforts have been made to promote universal language that has helped remove cultural barriers and uniting mankind and serving the cause of international understanding and corporation. The importance of language in our society is inevitable. Language is not only a mode of communication between human beings but also a way of expression of our personality.
In as much as language gives me the capacity to convey ideas about a great variety of things at times, there is difficulty in a clear expression of states of emotion or events. I have come to learn and observe that in many cases non-native English speakers speak and write English to a far higher standard than native speakers. Each is capable of making mistakes; we find ourselves excusable situations where we find it hard to spell accurately, or we are hampered by our accent. I once thought it clever to write and talk like Jamaicans (Yardie slang) not knowing that it was really affecting my grammar until I found myself with lots of spelling mistakes in my essay writings and I eventually learned.
According to Anon (386), language awareness is a collection of contemporary and classic readings about language. It is aimed at making students more aware of language use and enhancing their capability of analyzing its effects and deploy language mere effectively in their own writing. Conscious perception and sensitivity in language are enhanced through language awareness. By increasing language awareness, we are better able to understand, appreciate and use the language effectively.
According to Sword (2), we can learn concepts through examination of our language structure and use. Language awareness can be increased through various activities that include; correct use of grammar, utilizing errors to detect a problem, indulging in tasks that develop our ability to deal with language analytically. When language awareness is put into action in the classroom, it implies that all such theories of learning and teaching and activities that make the language more accessible and more alive are made available to the learner. It is not only enough to make learners aware of language only but to make it more interactive and culturally aware.
Language can be expressed in written or oral form. Oral language involves a one on one communication between individuals in a far or proximity. Written language is the expression of ones thoughts and feelings through a medium. Written language is a fascinating form of linguistic expression. In our generation social networking, texting and email have taken the place of phone calls.
Lamott (21), it takes great skill and consciousness to become a good writer. Unlike spoken language writing is a complex process and involves some stages. According to Lamott (22), pre-writing is the first stage, and it involves the collection of ideas and piecing them together on a rough sketch also known as the shitty draft. This is the followed by actual writing where the writer becomes more logic in the presentation. As soon as they are done writing revision follows and here the writer adds, rearrange, remove and replace necessary or unnecessary information. The last stage of this process is editing. While editing the writer proofread their work to fine tune and avoid mistakes. Here, they check for clarity, punctuation, spelling and grammar.
Communication is a two-way process. It involves a speaker and a listener. The speaker acts as the source, or the origin of the message while the listener is the recipient of a message. Communication can also be within oneself; interpersonal. During a conversation these roles of the speaker and listener are usually altered. At one point the speaker becomes the listener and vice versa. Besides proper language, a good communicator must process good listening skills. Before you speak listen, is a common phrase. It is common sense to let others speak without interrupting. The ability to listen and comprehend is a great skill. Effective communication takes place only when the listener clearly understands the message.
Language is a crucial part of our being. The importance of language cannot be overlooked. Understanding my language has enable me evolve as user in many ways. This has enhanced my ability to listen actively, to be attentive and observant. My ability to frame a message clearly, concise and directly has also improved. My grades have also improved with the application of the newly learned writing skills.
To prepare ourselves to be the future generation of journalists, entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, teachers, politicians and doctors we must foster an environment that promotes proper use of language and language awareness. The communication skills both writing and speaking we learn now are the foundations of our communication abilities in the future. As such, good or efficient linguistic skills are a valuable asset that will promote a lifetime of effective communication. If we were to lose our language we would live in the world, not of our own. We would lose a part of ourselves.
Anon, Daniel. Springboard Student Services: Which Degree Directory Series. London, England: Hobson, 2007.Print.
Lamott, A. Bird by bird. New York: Anchor Books, 2007. Print.
Sword. H Pedagogy; Critical Approaches to teaching Literature Language, Composition and Culture Volume 7, Number 2,
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