History of Language Acquisition in Jamaica

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History of Language Acquisition in Jamaica

By | June 2011
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Language refers to a system of units in which meaningful communication is provided and these units may be words, sentences or whole text, (Thompson, 2003). It is used to communicate ideas, understandings, and feelings and to assist personal and social development. Language is a learned system of sounds and meanings of arbitrary vocal symbol; because it is arbitrary it is also flexible. There is no reason why one word may be used instead of another. Language is the source of human life and power. It is one of the most important features that distinguish us from other creatures. Auditory challenged persons get along well without the verbal aspect of language but they still need to communicate using other units of the language. Thus it is safe to say that we can live without it but it makes communication quite easier. Therefore one can say that language is indispensable. To know a language: is understanding that certain sound or sound sequences signify or represent different concepts or meanings. For example an English child knows that there is a difference between “toy” and the word “boy” knowing the sound patterns also means knowing which sound may start a word, end a word and follow another sound. Knowing the system that relates sound and meaning- sounds and words are given meaning only by the language in which they occur-phonemes (small units of sounds) are incomprehensible if the language is now how to combine words to form phrases. Being able to produce new sentences which were never being spoken before and to understand sentences never heard before. The first English colonies established the spread of the English language during the seventeenth century and it has now become the most widely used language in the world (Christie, 2003). The English invaded and captured Hispaniola in 1665, they found the country well fortified and thus aborted their invasion. Jamaica, however, was not so ‘fortunate’ and was eventually seized as it was poorly...

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