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Discovering Language

In: Social Issues

Submitted By bnatty
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I was required to take English 160, or discovering Language as a freshmen here. A first I didn’t know what to expect from the course, but I learned some pretty interesting things. And some not so interesting things. I would have to say the most surprising thing I learned from this course was when we talked about peoples feelings towards people speaking different languages aside from English. After watching the videos and actually interviewing a few people, I was surprised to learn that so many people really are against foreign languages being spoke in a public setting. One of the most meaningful articles assigned to read in this course was the article on the Chinese students who came to America and tried to learn English. Before reading that I never understood how difficult it would be to come to a different country and try to learn the native language, without really any help at all. We learned a good amount of useful things in this course. It is hard to really pick out what I feel was most useful but if I have to choose I think the most useful thing we learned was the different dialects that are spoken around the United States and around the world. I think it is useful to know how people from different areas other than the one you are from speak. Although I believe this subject was the most useful one taught, I also feel it was the most difficult to accept. It was hard to accept the many stereotypes against people who speak in a southern, or a New England or midland accent. It was also very difficult to understand all the areas that drop certain letters in their words. Since I had such a big interest in psychology in high school and took many courses in psychology I learned a lot about how people learn language and which parts of the brain are used to develop a language. Therefore I found the article we read on Jennie had the most connection to an area I already knew about. I had already know about Jennie prior to when we read it in class but it was still interesting to re-read, and re-analyze it. Along with that, in psychology we also learned about how primates learn to acquire our language. So when we were taught in this course about the numerous apes that learned our human language, and how they learned it I was able to connect that to some things I had learned in the past. Although we did learn a lot of pretty interesting things in this class there were also some things I found not so interesting. I didn’t think the guest speakers who spoke different languages were very useful to me. The sign language girl was pretty cool but the Arabic speaker, and the Chinese speaker didn’t really teach me much that I would use outside of the classroom. All in all I found this class to be pretty interesting and I enjoyed it. I really liked how relaxed and chill the environment of the classroom was. It was a nice break from the stressful conditions of my other classes.…...

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