Who said language study was boring!

I’ve just had an email from Matthew Moss High School in Rochdale, which has introduced Breakthrough to Learning into every class in the school. This is how some pupils responded to the first lesson:

We observed some year 10s in BTL today and it was marvellous. They are doing the fast track course. The promo video had really inspired them and they worked brilliantly, making some lovely observations along the way, such as “It really makes you think Miss!” and “I’d never thought about language in layers like this before Miss.” It was so exciting and rewarding! It was Mark Moorhouse’s, the deputy head’s, class and he was amazed at how they got stuck in! One boy, a reticent learner called Luke, was excitedly babbling about complex sentences and connectives etc – it was great! He said “This is miles better than normal English Miss!”

Growing scope of Linguistics

I’ve been looking at introductory books on Linguistics for people wanting to learn about it from scratch and have been, once again, startled to see how the academic understanding of the subject is growing.

Here are some of the branches, which each have their own fields of development:

semiotics, phonetics, phonology, intonation, morphology, semantics, grammar / syntax, discourse analysis

language variety, world Englishes, multilingualism, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, conversational analysis, pragmatics, language extinction, forensic linguistics, stylistics, language in education, Teaching English as a Foreign / Second Language

historical linguistics (philology), language families

Each of these branches of Linguistics (and all the others I haven’t spotted) has University Departments specializing in them. Not only is our theoretical understanding of language burgeoning, but the applications of the new insights is also proliferating.