This chapter really helped me understand the development of language over time. I enjoyed the way we broke up the chapter in class and took pieces and made a paragraph timeline. This is something I could use with my students and just make it simpler. The interesting thing for me was the “me Tarzan” stage of the paragraph could still be read and made sense of. The epilogue really just wrapped up what they talked about in the book and restated the main points in the book. We watched a funny Big Bang clip and this related to the why we say words. My class could create a timeline and each do some research on there period in time to help them further understand the concept. we could also spend some time talking about why we say words in a certain way could create good discussion within the classroom.
in chapters 5 and 6 the book talked a lot about a discussion between an author and members of the audience. the author is talking about his book and the challenges that come with grammar. The discussion turns up a lot of questions from the audience and the author really tries to answer but his main point is that language is a forever changing event and the destruction of our language. The chapters go on to explain some examples of words that have formed from others and what they are today. The next chapter discussed a lot of different languages and how they relate to each other but are different in a lot of ways. I can talk to my students about this through seeing and showing them there own language they use everyday and comparing where that word came from.
The great vowel shift was when we started to say vowels differently then they did in middle and old English, this is caused by phonetics. This broadcast talks a lot about how we say vowels and how different dialects say them. In class we watched some short videos to help further understand the Great vowel shift like looking at the shapes of the mouth when the person says different letters and were there tongue and the sound comes from. We also looked at the chart of phonetics. Using the shapes of the mouth and how we say and write the vowels will play a big part in the grades I want to teach. Students should also know about the different accents that sometimes effect the vowels.
In the broadcast we listened to on the Norman Conquest they talked about the history of how old English changed and how Williams’s conquest hadn’t worked out, language itself could be completely different today. In the podcast the narrator reads the line in both English now and old English this is interesting because you never really get to hear the old English spoken you always read it. We watched some videos in class about the conquest to help us further understand. I think the idea of podcasts are a great tool to bring into the classroom. It allows students to change their mindset and think about listening to something instead of having to read it. I personally love to listen to books on tape and podcasts and I think it’s a great way to learn something new without having to sit down and read the story out of the book. bringing this style of learning into my classroom is important to give students diversity in there learning skills. this could also be integrated with history and can teach two things at once.
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. Teaching my students about the different dialects and idioms could be integrated with a history lesson or about geography.
Podcast_The Norman Conquest of 1066
This podcast was very interesting to me. First of all, the fact that they used the story and history of the English is entertaining and intriguing. The way words form from different relations is interesting like the words summer and autumn they are borrowed words from other languages. Some of the words started as War terms and originate from the army to the English language. Hearing the old English spoken after the reading was really cool to compare the way they were pronounced. This reminded me of this show I was watching on Netflix called Reign which is all about France and Scotland. Some of the words they use related to the Middle English. The podcast idea was very interesting to me because I enjoy listening to books on tape so this was perfect to listen to while walking to class and cleaning. Using the different ways for students will make them more interested in the subject. I will bring this into my classroom by entertaining my students with other forms of learning like podcasts.
4 stage model
Old English 500-1100 Germanic settlement of Britain
Middle English 1100-1500 Norman Conquest of Britain
Early modern English 1500-1700/1800 printing press
Modern English 1800-present American independence
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.