ERIC Number: ED249533
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Language Learning and the Practical Use of Language in School.
Although the practical applications of language contribute to the development of language proficiency, United States schools have persevered in a formal language over a language-in-use emphasis in the language curriculum. A focus on gaining isolated language skills has led to a serious neglect of the social aspects of language. Public concern grows over low test scores and the inability of students to apply language skills, and so the remedy prescribed is largely more of the same. This continuance of a formal language emphasis also tends to reflect and legitimize the dominant culture. By disallowing personal (nonschool) knowledge and emphasizing public (school) knowledge, language instruction not only limits language learning, it limits the content of that learning and its challenges. However, control and autonomy among those students and teachers who do not accommodate to the status quo can take the form of resistance, and this can lead to the formulation of alternatives and change. Receptive and expressive language skills are crucial, not only because they are central to all school learning, but because they establish the basis for lifelong communicative competence. The ability to put language to practical use to expand knowledge, apply what is known, and establish creative alternatives and resolutions to problems has implications for cultural production and reproduction. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).