SKILL Sub-competency

Exploring and Analyzing Linguistic Phenomena and Applying
these Analyses to Teaching Context(s)

Language Intersections

Language Intersections

2_SLA _
writing exercise

Analyses and application of linguistic phenomena provide students with deep learning experiences. Arising out of cultures, identities, registers of communication, and language intersections, analyses create scaffolding which can support students’ and teachers’ language bases. Student progress through Vygotsky’s "Zones of Proximal Development” (see illustration below, using it to learn knitting) can become a multi-layered, three-dimensional journey to fluency. Teachers can acquire greater depth to their teaching as companion and guide to the student’s progress.


Linguistic phenomena can create powerful reactions in those who understand them and enjoy them. Or, they can be baffling to students of that target language. 

Inference in text is a form of linguistic phenomena. Analysis of this requires active listening to and study of the student’s background and personality. Corpus linguistics study yields data that can be revelatory to the language teacher and learner. (Not everyone has access to computer databases, but if internet is available, there is data in most university websites.)

A student may adapt words from their first language into specific words in the target language. Analyzing this usage provides a learning experience for the teacher. Doing this with the student becomes an exploration and discovery in language, in discourse, in cognition.

Metaphors: models of what the words mean, not the actually meaning, often require socio-cultural knowledge. “He’s the son of a donkey.” (If you know enough English to read this, I need not explain.) Similes: comparisons of different things. "He’s as big as a barn,” (Do you know what a barn is?) Ellipses: omitting words in completing a phrase or sentence. “I gave the book to him and... (I gave the book) to her.” Procatalepsis: a manner of almost simultaneous speech in conversation by polychronic people  -  to the dismay - and sometimes fury - of monochronics, who wait to speak until there is a pause in the conversation. (Thanks for the fun in SLA, Elka.) Meiosis: understatement for emphasis. This is a common New England - and English - manner of speech. Eg., looking out at a storm with lighting and thunder: “Hmmmm, looks a bit wet.”

Engaging in these explorations leads to fluency and love of language. 


The Subjective Subjunctive

If I were she, would you be he?

Be me? said he.
I should. Certainly!

If you were certain, could you be free? 
Is that indicative of your mood?

Should you ask me as if you were she?
Would that be indicative of your temperament?
And if so, should you ask?

Ah, me… said he.
Be you she, should I be glad to have this mood?
Could I be free with thee?

Ah, said she.
Indicate some subjectivity, and kiss me.

_France Menk