The Teacher as a Language Supervisor (EN1 Reflection 10)
Right then, write!
The following is a reflection on Susanne Karen Jacobsen’s text “Right then, write!”. We must push our students towards a more abstract language. The future of L2 languages are pushing towards literacy and giving the students a greater written ability.
Today, English as a subject is just as important as the basic abilities we learn in school (calculation, reading, writing etc.). English is the most spoken language in the world, and builds bridges between countries and cultures.
The most important aspect of language learning is learning the language, and being able to practice and explore your literacy, where the student evolve towards becoming more abstract.
Susanne Karen Jacobsen finds the following topics challenging for the second language teachers:
- The teachers ability of scaffolding the students language development
- Special characteristics at professional language use.
She also makes the point that written language have come into focus, based on the written test after 9th grade. There are several advantages: you have the time to look up words and grammar, and also to rearrange the different chunks of text, to fit in the most logical order. We can save written words for years, and communicate with many people over long distances. This advantages makes it more demanding on the students.
In spoken language, you are in a specific context that needs explanation in written words. The teacher must use the professional terms when communicating orally with the students, for them to be able to use it in written language. The ability to talk about the subject with each other with help from the teacher gives a comfort that is necessary for the students to dare to venture into previously unknown land.
Nominalising is when an action (verb) becomes an object (noun), making it more abstract, and is often used in adult professional language. You can use games to help the students be aware of these, such as “sentence match” & “crosswords”.
Nominal groups or noun phrases are used to cluster information together, describing the same thing.
Both Nominalising and nominal groups are used to compromise information like a zip-file. It is the teachers job to help the students extract the information, and be able to compress their own.
Advanced language gives a higher grade in our education system, and we as teachers have to teach it explicitly unless we want the students to be left behind on the socioeconomic ladder. Language is central in gaining knowledge, not just as the medium but the internalising and constructing of thinking and ideas. The teachers need to create contexts for the students to produce the language that promotes learning (Derewianka, 1990).
She ends on the note that the precise, complex and advanced language gives access to precise, complex and advanced realisations and learning.