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ERIC Number: ED043028
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Varieties of English.
Belmore, Nancy Fargo
"Variety" is defined as a "unique configuration of linguistic features." These features characterize the language of conversation, unscripted commentary, religion, newspaper reporting, and legal documents. Everyone learns many varieties of at least one language. The ambiguity of usage labels like "slang" and "colloquial" indicates that we know very little about the full range of non-linguistic features which motivate certain vocabulary choices. To tell a foreign student of English that a word is "colloquial" or "slang" is to tell him nothing. He needs to know sets of words which are appropriate and inappropriate in the same contexts. Our notions of phonological and grammatical features in terms of language variations are even vaguer. Although modern texts usually claim to stress patterns which are realistic and adapted to current needs, a student may never be exposed to actual samples of language in use. The fact that the varieties of English we listen to and read are not necessarily the ones we speak or write suggests that language texts should illustrate more often than they do spoken and written English which would be natural for the student to use productively. It also suggests that there is a need for drills in which he is asked to change a spoken or written text from a variety he would normally read or listen to into one he might actually speak or write. (AMM)
Etudes Anglaises, Universite de Montreal, C.P. 6128, Montreal, Quebec
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: To appear in ATEQ (Association of Teachers of English of Quebec) Journal (Special Issue No. 1, Teaching English as a Second Language), III.2, 1970