Welcome to the Subject English 1. In this module you will have the
opportunity to acquaint yourself with the further features and
structures of the English language.
Exit learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module you should be able to:
• Explain how to develop further reading skills.
• Describe how to develop preparatory writing competencies.
• Describe how to develop learners’ further writing skills.
• Explain learner support for writing difficulties.
• Explain methods and materials to teach and assess these outcomes.
• You will be required to do one assignment of 130 marks which must
be submitted for this module.
• A pass mark of 50% is required in this assignment to get admission to
• The examination question paper will have the same format as the
assignment. It will count for 130 marks and has a 3-hour duration.
• A final pass mark of 50% is requires (60% of the written examination
PLUS 40% of the assignment/ semester mark)
Units covered in this unit
• Unit 1: Forms and levels of language learning
• Unit 2: Theories of language development in learners
• Unit 3: Issues of developing learners’ listening skills
Primary and Secondary language
• Primary language is the main language in which instruction is given.
• By contrast, a second language is any language that one speaks other
than one's first language.
• The language which you learn first, your mother tongue, is referred to
as the Primary Language.
• A Secondary language is any other language which you learn later.
The five basic areas of language skills which
most children acquire before entering school
• Is the study of the sound patterns that occur within languages.
• Some linguists include phonetics, the study of the production and
description of speech sounds, within the study of phonology.
• Phonology deals with sound structure in individual languages: the
way distinctions in sound are used to differentiate linguistic items,
and the ways in which the sound structure of the ‘same’ element
varies as a function of the other sounds in its context.
• In general, the basic unit of phonology is the phoneme, which is an
individual speech sound (such as /p/) that can often be represented
by a single grapheme, or letter (such as the letter p).
• It is the study of the internal construction of words.
• Languages vary widely in the degree to which words can be analyzed into
word elements, or morphemes (q.v.).
• In English there are numerous examples, such as “replacement,” which is
composed of re-, “place,” and -ment,
• Morphology includes the grammatical processes of inflection (q.v.)
• Inflection marks categories such as person, tense, and case; e.g., “sings”
contains a final -s, marker of the 3rd person singular.
• Derivation is the formation of new words from existing
words; e.g., “singer” from “sing” and “acceptable” from “accept.”
• Derived words can also be inflected: “singers” from “singer.”
• In linguistics, "syntax" refers to the rules that govern the ways in
which words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences.
• Syntax is the proper order of words in a phrase or sentence.
• Syntax is a tool used in writing proper grammatical sentences.
• The complexity of a writer's or speaker's sentences creates a formal
or informal level of diction that is presented to its audience.
• Semantics has been defined as the study of how languages organize
and express meanings.
• Semantics looks not only at grammar and meaning but at language
use and language acquisition as a whole.
• Semantics is an attempt to explicate the knowledge of any speaker of
a language which allows that speaker to communicate facts, feelings,
intentions and products of the imagination to other speakers and to
understand what they communicate to him or her.
• Pragmatics is the study of how both literal and nonliteral
aspects of communicated linguistic meaning are determined by
principles that refer to the physical or social context (broadly
construed) in which language is used.
• “He was poor but honest” conventionally implicates an unspecified
contrast between poverty and honesty). Other aspects
include metaphor and other tropes and speech acts
Formal and informal language
• When we refer to “formal language” we refer to the language used
when we are in a situation which requires language which denotes
respect and sophistication, e.g. When you are in an interview, a
debate or writing an essay or composition for academic purposes.
• Informal language is the form of language which we use in everyday
communication. This form of language usage indicates that less
formal language is required, e.g. when we talk to friends or family or
a parent talks to a child.
Forms of informal language
• Colloquialism is an informal, casual and conversational form of the
language which is used in ordinary, everyday speech. Contractions
such as we’re, I’m and you’ll are used which make the language
sound natural, casual and conversational.
• Slang is an informal, made-up language that is known to a particular
group of people in a specific location. For example cool, chick, dude,
• Jargon is the “inside language” of words, phrases or expressions used
exclusively by particular groups of people or professions.
Denotation and conotation
• Denotation is the strict, dictionary use of the word – it is literal and
• Connotation is the emotional and figurative association which we
give to a word. It is what the word implies or insinuates for personal,
political and cultural reasons.
• Denotation: The stars twinkle in the sky.
• Connotation: Her brother’s surprise visit to the party made her eyes
twinkle with happiness
• Language development is different for every child. There are many
factors that influence language development in each child. While
many argue that language development is a matter of nature versus
nurture, there are definite factors that influence the development of
language. Social, cognitive processes, linguistic, as well as perceptual
and conceptual skills are factors that directly influence language
development in children. Whether these factors are controlled by
parents or nature, they are a serious factor in the development of a
Stages of language development
• Early one word stage (12 to 19 months)
• Before the emergence of the first “adult” words the child will use specific
sound combinations in particular situations.
• The sound combinations are not conventional adult words but they appear
to be used consistently to express meaning.
• if the child says ‘Bibi’ each time it is given a biscuit, even though the sound
combination does not represent an exact adult word, it would still be
considered an early word. These early words are called protowords.
• The child will also be using gesture together with these specific
vocalizations in order to obtain needs, express emotions, etc. the
important point is that the child is consistent in the use of a particular
Later one word stage (14 – 24 months)
• The words used by the child are now more readily identifiable as
actual adult words.
• A variety of single words are used to express feelings needs wants etc.
This is the stage at which, amongst other things, the child begins to
label the people and things around them. Examples of these include
common nouns, e.g. cup, dog, hat, etc
• The child will not have developed all the adult speech sounds and so
the words are unlikely to sound exactly as an adult would say them.
However, they are beginning to approximate more closely to an adult
model and they are beginning to be used more consistently.
Two word stage (20 – 30 months)
• It is at this stage that the child begins to produce two- word
combinations similar to the following: Daddy car, shoe on, where
• In fact a high percentage of these two-word combinations incorporate
nouns. This is not surprising, as the child spends a lot of time learning
the names of objects and people.
• These are the important things in the environment of the child and
the things that are most likely to be manipulated, talked about
Three word stage (28 – 42 months)
• As its name implies, at this stage of development children extend
their two-word utterances by incorporating at least another word.
• In reality children may add up to two more words, and so create
utterances as long as four words.
• The child makes greater use of pronouns (e.g. I, you, she, they, me) at
this stage, e.g. ‘me kiss mummy’, you break toy’, he hit ball’, etc
Four word stage (34 – 48 months)
• From about 34 months the child begins to combine between four to
six words in any one utterance.
• There is greater use of contrast between prepositions such as in, on
and under and adjectives such as big and little, e.g. ‘mummy in little
bed’, ’daddy under big car’, ‘daddy playing with little ball’.
Complex utterances stage (48 – 60 months)
• This stage is typified by longer utterances, with the child regularly
producing utterances of over six words in length.
• It is at this stage that the concept of past and future time develops
and this is expressed linguistically in a child’s utterances,
• e.g. ‘we all went to see Ryan yesterday’ (past time), ‘Daddy is going to
get a shoe’ (future time), ‘Robert stopped and kicked a good goal’
• Listening does not mean hearing what the other person has to say.
Hearing is not the same as listening. When we say listen, we mean to
hear and understand.
• The speaker will know if the person he is speaking to, is listening or
not by randomly asking indirect questions about what he just said.
But if he learns that the receiver was able to understand what he has
just conveyed, then the process of interpersonal communication is a
• Listening is actually a two-way communication and not one way as
others believe or perceive to be.
• When two persons are communicating with each other, an effective
process of interpersonal communication will require the use of asking
questions while the other person is speaking.
• This will make the conversation richer and more interesting. Also,
asking questions will keep the conversation in the right direction.
Listening involves three basic processes:
• First you hear what is being said. To hear simply means to be able to
“get” what the speaker is saying.
• Secondly you have to understand what is being said to you. you have
to be able to make meaning of what was said.
• Thirdly you have to be able to evaluate what was said and to be able
to reason about what you heard.