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Social Factors in Language Learning Essay Example

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Social Factors in Language Learning

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Social Factors in Language Learning. People should abandon this prejudice and treat everyone equally.The next type of language variation is based on social factors. It helps speakers understand “what” or “who you are” in the English speaking society (Crystal, 1995b). Depending on people’s social identities, they use different types of language. There are many factors which predetermine the usage of certain constructions, words and intonation. They include the level of education, sex, occupying job and age. In some countries with English speaking population social variation of the language does not play a huge role. However, in Britain there was a distinct boundary between social classes and now the features of class dialects are more defined there (Crystal, 1995b).

Speaking about personal variation in English, it is caused by individual features of every speaker. Everything a person does can have its impact on his/her speech. Except for age and sex, several other factors matter, such as personal experience, hobbies, habits, skills and tastes. As a result, depending on circumstances speakers can have different voice qualities, use different constructions and even change their handwriting (Crystal, 1995b).The next type of language variation concerns gender. It is believed than men and women speak differently in many aspects. Men, for instance, tend to speak more carelessly and in a colloquial manner, while most women pronounce words correctly (Bauer, et al, 2006a). One of possible explanations of this phenomenon is that in formal situations women try to sound correctly, whereas men do not care so much about their speech. Above that, women turn to swearing far less than men, so their speech is considered more polite. However, in informal and relaxed situations this distinction is blurred. Many people believe the stereotype that women are more talkative, but in reality it all depends on circumstances. In public meetings and formal conversations men tend to take the lead, but in a relaxed atmosphere women talk more. (Bauer, et al, 2006a). Social Factors in Language Learning.

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Bauer, L., Holmes, J. & Warren, P. (2006a). “Do women and men speak differently?”. In Language matters (pp. 146-155). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bauer, L., Holmes, J. & Warren, P. (2006b). “Things ain’t what they used to be”. In Language matters (pp. 26-35). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crystal, D. (1995a). “Prescriptive Attitudes”. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (pp. 366-367). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (1995b). “Regional Variation”, “Social Variation”, “Personal Variation”. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (pp. 298, 306-307, 364-365, 394-395). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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