Properties of Human Language
1. Creative and dynamic
In Filipino, new words like "tapsilog", "pogi", prove that language is indeed creative and dynamic. Our emerging Filipino language accepts the influences from other languages and so is very dynamic and continually evolving. To express all of our thoughts (and probably some that we will never have), we combine a limited (20,000 to 200,000) words into sentences. The number of possible sentences is unlimited (infinite in number) so we cannot have memorized any but a few stereotypic phrases 2. Structured
Not any stream of words makes a sentence. The string of words is only meaningful to listener's sharing a set of conventional rules about the structure conveyed by that string of words. (Many strings have more than one structure, hence are ambiguous.)There are grammatical rules to follow. 3. Meaningful
There are many functions of language; all require that the utterances (movements) express a meaningful idea. Learning speak includes learning the meanings associated with each of the utterances in the language. It can be understood by other users of the language. 4. Referential
Reference is one of the major uses of phrases and sentences -- describing and picking out objects --real, imagined, and abstract. I can essentially "name" or refer to a particular thought I'm having--e.g. the thought that this is a very hot day to be grading 401 exams -- and you all know which thought of mine that I am referring to. While it isn't quite mind reading, it is movment reading Thing referred to a thing or word like evening star. 5. Interpersonal
Obviously for the meaningful reference like the above example to work, my description has to be understood by my listeners and tailored for their consumption --after all, I already know what my thought is in this case. Thus the audience and context must be considered in forming the appropriate movement, as well as the content of the thought itself. My description has to be understood by my listeners.
Purposes of Language Teaching
After the initial phase of teaching the structure of the language (in our case the Filipino and English languages), we teach our students how to communicate effectively. This means that we engage ourselves in teaching the language arts - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our focus in teaching communication is to help our students develop communicative and academic competencies. The use of the multidisciplinary approach in teaching language is very appropriate. In the first two grades, Science and Health concepts may be used as content in English in addition to the English content for the Grades. The same thing applies to the teaching of Filipino where the concepts from Sibika at Kultura serve as content for Filipino from Grades I to III and content from Araling Panlipunan integrated in high school Filipino. In other words, content knowledge and literacy development go hand in hand. In our language teaching, we should get hooked not only in the development of cognitive and academic competencies but also with the development of cultural enrichment and aesthetic appreciation for both English and Filipino. This is the rationale beyond the current practice of interspersing our language lessons with literacy study especially at the secondary level.
Principles of Teaching and Learning Language
1. "Begin with the end in mind."
"With a specific objective in mind, our...