Learning a language is not purely cognitive. Most people can’t just memorize vocabulary and rules of grammar and speak a new language. Rather, language is social. It occurs in a social context from which it is thoroughly inseparable. For teachers, it’s vitally important to realize that language’s social dimensions means paying heed to the social dynamics established in one’s school and classroom. Sociolinguist Vera Regan offers this excellent Ted talk on how the social and linguistic mingle. Enjoy the ride.
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