Language In English Language

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Although human beings can learn a lot about language from reading books and studying grammatical conventions, purely analysing or studying a language as an object will not allow a person to submerge themselves in the true social process and complexity of the language. Grudgeon and Gardner (2000) use the analogy of language as a fish; the fish, itself is an organism to be studied, but its true marvel becomes apparent when it swims. The fish represents the written, structured conventional form of language, whereas human beings add another element as they shape and morph language to suit their social environment, representing the fish in motion. A person learning English as a second language may excel in a structured classroom environment, only to find themselves confused in a real-world environment when fluent English speakers converse dynamically using slang, sarcasm, jokes and inferred meanings. Children predominantly learn to speak from social imitation and interaction (Gee & Hayes, 2011). Inferred meanings or social semiotics are learnt through exposure and interaction, similar to learning the different meanings of the traffic lights from repeated experience, until it becomes instinctive to stop at a red light. Eventually, people react to the use of language subconsciously as opposed to literally interpreting what the speaker is saying. Different dialects and formalities also add complexity to understanding the use of language. A dialect is a variation of a language used
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