Educational Level: Graduate, Master
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Prof. Min Ma
Language is a unique gift from God to create meaning and conduct communication. This course introduces key concepts and principles in the study of the social functions and context of language. We will focus on how language is relational and how meaning is produced, maintained, negotiated, manipulated and changed in the dynamics of social relationships. Students will design a poster to map a concept or a principle of their choice. They will then present the topic to the class. Students will also present a systematic analysis of a case study of language learning or teaching in the rich social contexts of meaning negotiation. By reflecting on the relational and dynamic change of meaning creation, negotiation and change, they will develop a framework to understand and articulate how language works and grow in professional knowledge and skills for their language learning and teaching practice.
How This Course Benefits Students:
The course is to help students gain analytic skills in language functions. The purpose Is to equip students with the basic skills to effectively learn C2/L2 for meaningful engagement and teach English as a language of empowerment. The adoption of a learner attitude is crucial in both courses to foster an open, humble and flexible attitude absolutely necessary not just for learning and teaching but for relating and witnessing.
Why This Course Is Important:
The field of sociolinguistics is important because it is a subject that looks straight into the nature of human society as created by God in His image with hugely creative powers. A good understanding of the function and use of language will not only help students better understand God and themselves but also equip them with a love for languages, passion for nations, an intercultural perspective and the global skills to engage with target groups as active participants. Potential impact for our students and for the community is huge and powerful wherever they go. The change we face in the world is dynamic, which requires both awareness and flexibility in thinking, methodology and practice. An open, learning perspective and humble attitude are necessary for effective engagement with culture and language groups. The learning of a target language and teaching of English language give our student immediate opportunities to encounter, experience, engage and explore the target people groups as servants. Being able to equip local ministers and global missionaries with training and knowledge to effectively reach and bless these target people groups is a highly critical need for us today.