Role Does Language and Language Diversity Play Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1169 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication - Language

¶ … role does language and language diversity play in the critical thinking process?

Language and language diversity play very significant roles in critical thinking processes, of speakers and listeners alike (and also of writers and readers alike). This is because language and language diversity are never separate from the meanings, intended and unintended, driving those very critical thinking processes of both the speaker/writer and hearer/reader. Also, the relative ease or difficulty of way(s) in which language is expressed by, say, someone speaking English who is (or is not) a native speaker of the language, will influence both that individual's critical thinking process (es) and the way the communication is received and/r understood by hearer or reader. That in turn inevitably influences the hearer or reader's critical thinking process as well.

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Additionally, even when a speaker or writer is fluent across languages or language systems, nothing ever translates exactly as intended, or is received just as it was intended, in any language, either between two native speakers; a native and a non-native speaker; two non-native speakers, or even in a circumstance like hearing a question in one language (say English) and then answering it in another (say Spanish) in order (for example) for the language not to be understood by someone overhearing one end of a telephone conversation. This also goes for language systems like sign language, which must be rendered physically, instead of verbally or in writing, thus bringing into play a unique issue of speed of translation as well as accuracy of translation.

Another factor that influences roles of language and language diversity is stereotypic attitudes about various languages, accents, and diversities of linguistic expression within various contexts, even before they are uttered by a speaker. Here, I also mean social attitudes and relationships of power, where identities and roles of speakers and/or listeners play important roles, depending on environment and circumstance.

Term Paper on Role Does Language and Language Diversity Play Assignment

For example, accurately or not, an American high school teacher in Nebraska is in general more likely (initially at least) to give more credit, for good critical thinking skills, to a student in her class speaking aristocratic-sounding British English (whatever the true content of the expression), say, a foreign exchange student from upper-crust England than a Mexican-born student in that same class who speaks labored, broken, heavily accented American English. Arguably, this bias would have to do with both embedded stereotypes about the British upper class vs. The Mexican poor (e.g., that the privileged British are brighter, better educated, more cultured, etc., than are poor Mexicans) and with the teacher's own relative ease or difficulty of understanding the respective students' words and meanings in the first place.

Further, in such a circumstance, the teacher would also most likely expect for the British student's thoughts and words, to be more intelligent, thoughtful, accurate, etc., than the Mexican student's thoughts and words. However, in order to test the accuracy of this, the teacher's own critical thinking skills would next come into play: then, issues of how much (or how little) the teacher values diversity of language, and/or how well (or poorly) the teacher literally understood both students' words (and tried to understand them) would become important.

2. How does language empower or limit the expression of our thoughts?

There would be no expression of our thoughts (or at least shared expression of our thoughts, through words) without shared language. However, language itself does not, and cannot, exist in a vacuum. Instead, language always has its own unique context and its own unique… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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