Week 7 Blog: Lindsey Kaiser

I believe language is something many people take advantage of. We are exposed to language from birth and it is something that it expected of us to learn. I believe especially in the U.S because of the exposure to language and the commonality of it, it is not really considered or valued as it should be. Many people in the U.S speak English and even though it is not the official language of the U.S. it is challenging to live here without the knowledge of this language. I believe this along with the lack of value, make many people not realize or understand the importance of other languages. With the extinction of other languages other things are lost as well. As mentioned in the lecture, with the loss of a language comes a loss of different and unique understandings of the world. I like how the lecture mentioned that different languages allow people to understand and adapt to things differently. By having access to a multitude of languages different perspectives can be given about different aspects of life which can be very helpful to have. I do believe that the world benefits greatly because of the diversity in language. Every language has something new to offer, and can help tell a part of our worlds history, therefore the importance of all languages is immense.

I will say, I do believe it would be easier if everyone spoke the same language, however, I have found here along with many other aspect of life just because something is easy, does not mean that it is right. The things that we would lose due to the loss of other languages is far too great to give up just for the ease of everyone speaking the same language. In addition, using only one language, such as English, would only benefit those who already only speak English. It would strip those who speak other languages of their identity and culture, this again is not worth the ease of all speaking one language.

I also believe that if English was the minority language everyone who spoke it would feel the same way those who speak minority languages feel now. I know thinking about not being able to communicate or express myself the way I want through language would be extremely frustrating and I know I would think it would be unfair if my language was at risk of become lost or if I was forced to learn another language and not use my native one. In order to protect my language I would be sure to teach it to my children and those around me who were willing to learn it. I would fight for it to be taught in schools and to have people exposed to it. Language is something that is so important to everyone and so big steps need to be taken to protect it.

I feel like if more people thought about the possible loss of their own language (piece of their identity) they might be more understanding as to why others would want to fight to protect their native language.

Overall this course was along the lines of what I thought it to be. I really enjoyed taking this class and everything I learned. I took this class with LLT 361 and it was really interesting to see some similarities between the two. I now have a new understanding for language, how it works and the importance of it. I believe I will be able to use what I have learned as a teacher. I know I will have students who do not speak English as their first language. Because of what I have learned in this class I now know the importance of incorporating the child’s native language in addition to teaching them English. Just having a more knowledge about language can help me teach children overall as a teacher.

2 thoughts on “Week 7 Blog: Lindsey Kaiser

  1. Hi Lindsey!
    I really liked reading your blog post, and I think we definitely shared some similarities in our thought processes. I totally agree with you that language in our society is undervalued. I recently traveled to Europe this summer, and it was very eye-opening to me to see how many people were bilingual compared to the United States. In other countries, language is placed in an elevated position in school systems, and it is very common for people to not only speak their own language along with English and possibly a neighboring language as well. In America, our school systems do not provide a stable setting for learning languages, since we start our children too late in their development for them to be truly successful at learning a language, or developing fluency. I think we take for granted how English is the “majority,” and we pay no attention to the struggles that minorities go through to learn our language since we are so obsessed with conforming to the American culture. I think if we learned to empathize when it comes to culture and language, the world would be quite a different place.

  2. Hello!
    I also really enjoyed reading your post. I loved the point you brought up about multiple perspectives being offered with multiple languages. I think in relation to the idea of having a language have verbs being used as nouns and nouns being used as verbs, this is especially true. I honestly can’t even imagine a language doing that and describing things like running or sleeping would be so much different. I think it’s also interesting that you brought up it being easier to have one language. I agree with your thought that by only having one language, it wouldn’t benefit anyone but the speakers of that language, but I also think that if we only had one language it would make it especially difficult for these people to assimilate and carry on with life as normal. If someone used nouns and verbs opposite of how we used them, I think those people would have the toughest time because they would have to change their grammar as they know it; or if people didn’t have words for things we say, have, eat or do in English, it would be difficult for them to have a normal life because it would be harder for them to grasp the concept of certain things. I also wonder what you think of the idea of social dominance in this context of a single language. I talked about this concept in my blog; I feel that social dominance would be prevalent in this type of a context because there would be this aspect of power with the people who originally spoke English and those who are transitioning to the new universal language. What do you think about this idea?

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