Language in use

Language is the primary vehicle of teaching and learning. The linguistic competence of all children grows as a result of the teaching and learning process. As children use new words, new forms, and new ideas, these become part of their developing repertoire of complex forms and functions. Second language learning takes place much the same way. The linguistic system, the rules, subtlties and nuances of that system, are developed through use of the language. When ESL students interact with their environment and the native English speakers in it they are acquiring English by using it for specific and meaningful purposes. Lindors has termed this linguistic interaction within a learning community "living language". She contrasts this with older methods of language instruction that were comprised of "doing language"; that is, studying language like a subject area or objective content rather than using language and learning through use (Lindors, 1989).