The essay is fine, but the only thing I would like you to talk more about is the role as an applied linguist , I mean as the point of view of the person. As an applied linguist what could be my roles and the way they could effect my teaching practice. Thanks
The study and use of language has got a variety of fields which need to be looked into. Applied linguistics is one of them and it is mainly focused on the usage of language in a professional way. It in a way offers an array of solutions to problems that stem from the use of language (Hall, Smith and Wicaksomo 2011). Some of the problems revolve around determining language proficiency, second language acquisition and many more. It encompasses areas like grammar, sound, meaning and even the spellings in the language in question. Applied linguistics therefore plays a very crucial role in the usage of any language and the teaching of it.
One of the very important roles that are played by applied linguistics is that of examining language structure of the language being studied in order to arrive at its role in communication. Communication is paramount and it can only be made possible by use of a language. It is important that the intricacies of the language be looked at in order to identify those structures that make it possible (Hall 2005). Some of the most important areas include phonetics, syntax and the semantics of the language. As a teacher, I will use this knowledge to understand all these areas of language in order to be proficient enough so as to instill in learners the most important aspects of language as a communication tool. Once they are understood, it is possible to understand the usage of the language and how appropriate it is. Understanding structure is part of understanding the language and communication by use of the language will be made easy for me.
Applied linguistics is also used in exploring how learners of a second language get to understand and learn the language after their first language. After a person mastered their first language, it is proven that acquiring the second language can be taxing. This is so because there might be some confusing elements in the two languages. As the skills of the second language develop, it is good to always study them so as to get to understand how the process goes on. Drawing the line between the simple and hard areas of the whole acquisition process in the long run help me, the teacher, develop skills and the knowhow of going about teaching the different aspects of the second language. This is to the benefit of both the learner and the teacher. Applied linguistics is therefore very important in the study and acquisition of a second language (Alan 2007).
In the study of how young children are able to acquire a language, applied linguistics is also very important. Young children learn language through observing and listening (Alastair 2001). They are normally exposed to the language informally and through exposure they get to learn. It gets to study and explain how this is made possible because the children are not put in an environment where language is taught formally. Whichever way the children learn it, is left to linguists to discern. The children will develop a system that is best understood by them that will aid their communication. The structures they learn eventually turns out to be what aids them understand and use the language in a formal environment where a teacher comes in. In this case, applied linguistics seeks to explain how this is done. I will therefore have to understand the intricacies of the first language which will aid me know how to go about language teaching so as to make the learning easier for the learners.
Applied linguistics is also a tool that helps in the examining and investigating how language is influenced by both social and cultural environments (Schmitt 2010). This means that it will seek into establishing the connection between society and the culture of the people and the language in question. As an applied linguist, I will get to understand the environment where the language I am teaching is used in order to understand the learners and the challenges they face in language usage. This as a teacher will be my point of entry so as to breach the gap between the language and the social and cultural environments.
It is important to understand whether speakers of a language are proficient in its usage or not and applied linguistics plays a very crucial role. This helps explain how native and native speakers of a language use it in order to establish their levels of proficiency in language usage (Schmitt 2010). This can make it possible to understand the problems and difficulties that both experience in order to come up with means and ways of knowing how to address them. An applied linguist will then get to know proficient levels of the speakers and learners and as a teacher, I will be able to understand and know how to go about proficiency and lack of it in the learners.
All in all, applied linguistics is very important in the study, learning and understanding of language use. Language study is the only way through which understanding languages is possible. This way, users of the languages will get to know the very important role that language plays in communication. It is therefore very important that teachers of language, users, translators and all other language professionals understand that applied linguistics is crucial and should be used in every aspect of language study and usage. Developing a very strong foundation in it will go a very long way in solving many other problems that are associated with language use.
Alan D. (2007). An Introduction to Applied Linguistics: From Practice to Theory, 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press
Alastair P. (2001). Critical Applied Linguistics: A Critical Introduction. New York: Routledge.
Hall, J. C. (2005). An Introduction to Language and Linguistics: Breaking the Language Spell. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group
Hall, C. Smith, P. H. & Wicaksomo, R. (2011). Mapping Applied Linguistics:A guide for students and practitioners . New York: Routledge
Schmitt, N. (2010). An Introduction to Applied Linguistics. London: Hodder Arnold