Chapters 3 and 4 talked about how linguists can’t find the golden age and about idioms and clichés. The book talks about destruction of language but I don’t believe it’s really destruction. I feel that language is constantly changing that I’m not sure if there was ever a real golden age when language was at its prime. Our language will forever continue to change because there is no law saying what the rules are and how we should speak. Chapter 4 talked about metaphors and how people use them. We read a children’s book in class about idioms and clichés and this is a great way to get students to understand what they are and familiarize themselves with the language. The book had illustrations that attract the student’s attention. Also the movie we watched in class was really relevant to the class. Learning about the different dialects was fun and interesting. I have family from the east coast and learning why they talk like that and how it sounds to others is fun. These things are what interest students and can make learning fun and exciting.
The structure of language cannot be built on just words it’s how they are organized and the complexity they are formed in. The example with the army and the hierarchy system is how language is formed as well. The fact that some languages can be translated to be the exact reverse of ow a sentence is said in English amazes me. No wonder it’s so hard to learn a new language. Reading chapter 2 made me think of a thought process I always would have while lying in bed at night. I would say the word like spoon over and over until it sounded strange to me then I would wonder how we decided to call a spoon a spoon. Another thought I had about the bible example was that if we re wrote the bible in today’s language what would that sound like. To see the progression of language throughout 4 centuries was interesting as well. Breaking down words and explaining how they came about could be really interesting to students because they always ask the question “why”. In my classroom I could have a poster about how words became what they are today.
What struck me is that there is no true beginning of language. It’s the ultimate unanswered question and for me it is satisfying that the only plausible solution is the tower of Babel, that god is the only reason for the formation of language. Another part I found interesting was the chimpanzees, the mother was being trained to learn from words and cues and was only able to learn a few but her baby was able to learn over 500 different cues from the scientists and his mother. Their brains are not as developed as humans therefore they can never communicate and speak like we can. The baboons that were taken from their mothers at birth still grow up like baboons and not like human children because their brains don’t work like that. Being able to know where language comes from is the point of this book even though it’s the unanswered question. Helping students understand that we really don’t have a true start of language could be hard but giving our students some evidence and getting them to wrap there brains around how language formed could be a interesting lesson.