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ERIC Number: EJ938381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 103
ISSN: ISSN-1542-7587
Objectification, Positivism and Language Studies: A Reconsideration
Reagan, Timothy
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, v1 n1 p41-60 2004
Linguists and language specialists, as well as the lay public, have generally viewed language from a perspective that is fundamentally positivist in orientation. We tend to assume that language as an abstract entity exists as just such a knowable entity. More problematically, we assume that particular languages also exist as knowable entities which can be described and analyzed. Such assumptions are embedded in our discourse, and in turn have important implications for applied language studies. We commonly make claims about English, Spanish, etc., just as we make claims about the nature of human language more generally. When we engage in teaching languages, our goal is to move the student's linguistic behavior in the second language closer to the norms of the singular reality of that target language. What we do is to engage in the objectification of the construct of "language," which then leads us to misunderstand the nature of language and to accept technicist views of the teaching and learning of languages. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A