Critically Evaluating the Relationship Between Language and Social Processes and Analysing the Significance of Language Change and Variety for Literacy Learning and Development.

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The development of language and how these changes have impacted on learners’ literacy will be discussed throughout this essay, conveying factors such as the relationship between language and social processes, how language and literacy is influenced by personal, social and cultural factors also relating to the effects that barriers to learning have as well as shared contextual knowledge of language that learners’ have. Various other reasons for language change and development such as accents and dialect, differences between spoken and written English and the influences the internet has from social networking sites, the use of text messaging as a form of communication and the effect it has on literacy will be discussed and argued.

Language is always evolving; this could be due to an array of factors such as the personal, social and cultural influences that have impacted on learners’ literacy. There are many personal factors that barrier learning. One of the main barriers that impact a learners’ literacy is gradual disengagement, this indicates that decisions to participate in learning post 16 are heavily influenced by their prior experiences of education. Poor experiences are linked to lower participation rates. Engagement is not a simple choice for all learners; disengagement can be for various reasons, mild or severe. Disengagement is a cumulative process that can start from early education and increase throughout, in some cases it can be powerless to stop. In relation to this, motivation to learn is an important factor that influences engagement. The importance of motivation in order for meaningful learning to occur is well documented in their literature. Distinctions are made between learners who are motivated to learn and those who may be motivated but have many factors working against them. Both result in the same outcome, namely disengagement. From this can come a lack of self-belief, learners can develop unrealistic aspirations fuelled by a focus on the lifestyle of celebrities. The belief that becoming a celebrity as a realisable ambition can prevent people from engaging in learning because they neglect to focus on academic goals or developing life skills. Some learners develop an ingrained sense of failure. This can be due to the emphasis on academic achievement and measuring success by test results and levels of qualifications. (Jackson and Hudson 2009) Self-belief can also interlink with bullying, there is an increasing awareness of how bullying can have a detrimental impact on peoples engagement with learning, bullying is a key barrier in disengagement from learning.

Family and social circumstances affect learning such as living in areas where incomes are generally low. Socially deprived geo-demographical areas has a large influence on language and literature, there is long standing concern by the government that people from deprived socio-economic backgrounds have lower rates of participation in education. People from deprived neighbourhoods are less likely to develop ambitions and achievable aspirations, however this is not always the case. People from lower socio-economic groups face increased barriers to learning compared to those from higher socio-economic groups. (Forsyth, Furlong, 2003)

Barriers to learning for disabled learners may be attitudinal, organisational or practical. The Disability Discrimination Act 2010 has a vital role to play in dismantling barriers and delivering equality of opportunity for disabled people in education. A physical disability may happen to any person at any time. It can be temporary or permanent, fluctuating, stable or degenerative and may affect parts of the body or the whole of it. There are 3 main groups of impairment that will impact learners’ literacy; congenital disability occurs during pregnancy at the birth e.g. Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy. Inherited Conditions are passed from parent to child e.g. Haemophilia, muscular dystrophy. Impairments acquired...
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