Language and culture.Writing skills
Culture and language are deeply related in that language can be used to reflect the culture of a particular society or the language can reflect the culture and its world view. Language is used to express and sustain culture and cultural associations that exist in a given society. Different ideas result from the use of different languages within a culture. World view is a structure consisting of ideas and beliefs through which a person interprets the world around him and also the world view determines how the person interacts with it. World view can be shaped by the culture and language that is common in a particular society. This is because people in a society use their language to express their culture thus expressing the world view in that society.
Language and culture are NOT fundamentally inseparable. At the most basic level, language is a method of expressing ideas. That is, language is communication; while usually verbal, language can also be visual (via signs and symbols), or semiotics (via hand or body gestures). Culture, on the other hand, is a specific set of ideas, practices, customs and beliefs which make up a functioning society as distinct.
A culture must have at least one language, which it uses as a distinct medium of communication to conveys its defining ideas, customs, beliefs, et al., from one member of the culture to another member. Cultures can develop multiple languages, or "borrow" languages from other cultures to use; not all such languages are co-equal in the culture. One of the major defining characteristics of a culture is which language(s) are the primary means of communication in that culture; sociologists and anthropologists draw lines between similar cultures heavily based on the prevalent language usage.
Languages, on the other hand, can be developed (or evolve) apart from its originating culture. Certain language have scope for cross-cultural adaptations and communication, and may not actually be part of any culture. Additionally, many languages are used by different cultures (that is, the same language can be used in several cultures).
Language is heavily influenced by culture - as cultures come up with new ideas, they develop language components to express those ideas. The reverse is also true: the limits of a language can define what is expressible in a culture (that is, the limits of a language can prevent certain concepts from being part of a culture).
Finally, languages are not solely defined by their developing culture(s) - most modern languages are amalgamations of other prior and current languages. That is, most languages borrow words and phrases ("loan words") from other existing languages to describe new ideas and concept. In fact, in the modern very-connected world, once one language manufactures a new word to describe something, there is a very strong tendency for other languages to "steal" that word directly, rather than manufacture a unique one itself. The English language is a stellar example of a "thief" language - by some accounts, over 60% of the English language is of foreign origin (i.e. those words were originally imported from another language). Conversely, English is currently the world's largest "donor" language, with vast quantities of English words being imported directly into virtually all other languages.
For many people, language is not just the medium of culture but also is a part of culture. It is quite common for immigrants to a new country to retain their old customs and to speak their first language amid fellow immigrants, even if all present are comfortable in their new language
Linguistic differences are also often seen as the mark of another culture, and they very commonly create divisiveness among neighboring peoples or even among different groups of the same nation. A good example of this is in Canada, where French-speaking natives of Quebec clash with the English-speaking majority. This sort of conflict is also common in areas with a great deal of tribal warfare. It is even becoming an issue in America as speakers of standard American English - mainly whites and educated minorities - observe the growing number of speakers of black English vernacular.
No one in other majors will be more sensitive than us about the relationship between language and culture since we are English majors. The exact nature of the relationship between language and culture has fascinated, and continues to fascinate, people from a wide variety of backgrounds. That there should be some kind of relationship between the sounds, words, any syntax of a language and the ways in which speakers of that language experience the world and behave in it seems so obvious as to be a truism. It would appear that the only problems deciding the nature of the relationship and finding suitable ways to demonstrate it
The post 1 said that language and culture are almost inseparable, it does not say that these are fully inseparable.
Language plays a great role in culture. I think language is the most important role-player in cultural system, since, language is the medium of expression. And, when you're forcefully and deliberately compelled to speak in a foreign language against your will, your condition would not remain the same what it is now, where one is inherently speak in another language in lieu of mother tongue, because s/he is accustomed to that language while staying in that region for many days.
Language used as a native language reflects also reflects the culture of the society. It is better able to express the beliefs, and values promoted by culture of the society. In this way the language used by people affects the ease of understanding and internalization of cultural values and beliefs. For example, the English words cousin represent a family relationship quite different from the relationship represented by the words brother or sister. But as per Indian culture cousins represent a relationship very close to those of brother ans sisters. To reflect this aspect of family relationships Indian languages use terms for cousins that include the term brother or sister qualified by the exact relationship. For example, a literal translation of these terms in English would be phrases such as paternal brother, paternal sister, maternal brother and maternal sister. It it will be interesting to note that Indians have introduced phrases like cousin brother and cousin sister in the English language spoken by them to serve the needs of local culture better.
Writing is the major means of communication within an organisation; paper is thought to be the major product of professional engineers; some estimate that up to 30% of work-time is engaged in written communication. Thus it is absolutely vital for you as a Professional Engineer to actively develop the skill of writing; not only because of the time involved in writing, but also because your project's success may depend upon it. Indeed, since so much of the communication between you and more senior management occurs in writing, your whole career may depend upon its quality.
Writing skills can be the ticket to better college grades and greater academic achievement. This article introduces a few techniques for applying writing skills to college success. But this good advice will be lost on you if you don't believe writing skills are important and can help you achieve academic mastery. Our job is to convince you. To begin with, the overwhelming majority of instructors we surveyed said that writing skills are critical to academic success.
And if you see yourself as one of those college students who will say "Phew" when the syllabus reveals only exams and no papers, what happens when those exams turn out to be essay tests? This article suggests a few ways to raise your grade on those exams simply by employing the principles of good writing -- even if you study no harder and know the material no better than you do now.
Perhaps you've heard that no one cares about your grades once you leave the halls of academia. While that notion holds some truth, it is equally true that most potential employers do care about writing skills. They care so much that they bemoan the poor preparation of the entry-level pool of grads. In a labor force full of mediocre writers, someone who writes well is bound to stand out and succeed.
Academicians and business people view writing skills as crucial, yet increasing numbers of these professionals note a steady erosion in the writing abilities of graduates. The summary of a study published in Personnel Update states: "Writing skills ... of executives are shockingly low, indicating that schools and colleges dismally fail with at least two-thirds of the people who pass through the education pipeline coming out unable to write a simple letter."
Good writing skills are essential for thinking and sharing ideas development. Although conversation takes the major role in sharing human experience, knowledge and new ideas it refers to present times only. Speaking, whatever good it is, does not work when we need to leave valuable information for our descendants.
Good writing is mainly based on close interrelation writer-reader where reader is to be the primary person. This reader-oriented approach breaks down some strict rules which usually cut down writer's freedom and fresh ideas in writing. However, the general knowledge of structure, content, style, referencing, spelling and grammar are still very important.
An essay content is the primary step to start writing. Usually work comprises ideas statement, problem question and its definition and author's arguments for this question. The statement and problem mainly come from available resources: books, reviews, journals, magazines which can be easily found in libraries and electronic sources. When a writer gathers all needed materials his next step is to construct an appropriate scheme which is usually called a plan or outlines. Both composing and structure are aimed to produce qualitative link of chains which are closely connected and reflect the initial statement. Thus, essay structure consists of three parts: introduction (beginning), body (middle) and conclusion (end) which must have smooth transitions between each other.
Introduction must clearly show the subject and its back ground in order to explain a reader what you are going to write about. Sometimes questions are of great help to set up your subject clearly. Many instructions recommend such sort of questions: What is the important thing for your reader to consider? What can your reader learn? According to the reader-oriented viewpoint it is necessary to explain all the terms that a writer is going to use because some of them are difficult to understand by a reader. The subject appointed in introduction must be developed in the main part ? body.
The classic guides demand three paragraphs of the body. This number should vary because paragraph is not a structural part but a writer's completed thought which is included into the whole subject. The aim to complete your whole idea or statement may demand different sizes and even numbers of paragraphs. Thus, the only thing that should not be neglected is a sentences completion and logic interaction between them. One of the most valuable and reliable things to not loose logic link is avoiding long and complicated sentences.
Conclusions are aimed to: 1) summarize all previous information; 2) sum up and point out the most important things; 3) introduce a new question or idea for further researches. Successful combination of summary and closure with new suggestions is considered to be 'the very best endings'. Summarizing helps to emphasize the most important argument and therefore, to identify gaps or uncertain arguments in the subject. This identification of problem opens new direction for further research. The new fresh ideas can be expressed by questions which a writer sets in the last sentences of his work.
The students' essays are usually assigned with necessary styles. They can be MLA, Harvard, APA or any other styles which are widely used in modern writing. They vary in citation and reference presentation but these differences are easily available in Internet resources. Different styles and assignments can bring some variations into structure, grammar usage, syntax and morphological features. The only thing that should not be omitted is the whole picture of completed and easy understandable work.
It is a very good idea to remind your reader why you write this work and what it is about. Although the statement remains the same, the conclusion should develop it. According to the body content, which can approve or deny the statement in the introduction, the conclusion statement either confirms or opposes to the introduction. Certainly, conclusion, which is contradictory to introduction, draws larger interest because of intrigue. This intrigue encourages reader and involves him in further research.
What Makes Writing So Important?
- Writing is the primary basis upon which your work, your learning, and your intellect will be judged—in college, in the workplace, and in the community.
- Writing expresses who you are as a person.
- Writing is portable and permanent. It makes your thinking visible.
- Writing helps you move easily among facts, inferences, and opinions without getting confused—and without confusing your reader.
- Writing promotes your ability to pose worthwhile questions.
- Writing fosters your ability to explain a complex position to readers, and to yourself.
- Writing helps others give you feedback.
- Writing helps you refine your ideas when you give others feedback.
- Writing requires that you anticipate your readers’ needs. Your ability to do so demonstrates your intellectual flexibility and maturity.
- Writing ideas down preserves them so that you can reflect upon them later.
- Writing out your ideas permits you to evaluate the adequacy of your argument.
- Writing stimulates you to extend a line of thought beyond your first impressions or gut responses.
- Writing helps you understand how truth is established in a given discipline.
- Writing equips you with the communication and thinking skills you need to participate effectively in democracy.
- Writing is an essential job skill.
1. Bello, Tom. "Improving ESL Learners' Writing Skills." June 1997
2. Claire Kramsch and H. G. WiddowsonLanguage and Culture (Oxford Introductions to Language Study) 1998
3. Sonia Nieto Language, Culture, and Teaching: Critical Perspectives (Language, Culture, and Teaching Series) 2009