ERIC Number: ED030878
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Relevance of Linguistics?
Gleason, H. A., Jr.
The English Quarterly, v2 n2 p7-13 Jun 69
One of the central and defining features of man is language; there can be no deep understanding of man without some understanding of language. Linguistics is the "orderly examination of language in terms appropriate to itself." The central task of linguistics is grammar, the study of the patterning that brings together sounds or symbols with meanings. Such notions as "grammar is a simple closed system,""there are no open questions," or "grammar is simply an unorganized set of rules from which a curriculum planner can choose at will what he will teach" form a mould into which any kind of grammar can be forced. The same stultifying anti-intellectualism that has ruined traditional grammar is at work on its competitors. The best of the new "linguistic textbooks" can be used profitably; the worst are menaces. But ultimately it is not the textbook that counts. The students must be helped to look deeply at language, learn what to look for, and how to interpret what they find. Above all, they must look on language as patternings, interrelated, interacting, and intricate. Disciplined attention to language should begin near the start of schooling with children who are in, or have just emerged from, their greatest adventure with language--the learning of their mother tongue. (AMM)
Descriptors: Educational Change, English Curriculum, Grammar, Language Instruction, Language Patterns, Linguistics, Teaching Methods, Traditional Grammar
Canadian Council of Teachers of English, Miss Jennie Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, 441 Covert St., Oromocto, New Brunswick, Canada ($2.00 single copy, $5.00 annual membership includes subscription).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Ontario Council of Teachers of English Convention, Toronto, March 17, 1969.