In this assignment you will collect examples from everyday communication in whic

In this assignment you will collect examples from everyday
communication in which you participate to underscore the point that
language is about CULTURAL COMPETENCE (knowing what to say and when to
say it, and to whom to say it – with “say” being used here to include
both speech and Sign) as much as it is about LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE
(being able to construct an utterance that uses grammar flawlessly) 3 pages
The categories of communication you might pay particular attention to include:
of learning a new word or phrase, or a slang term. Is it enough to be
able to recreate it and insert it into a sentence in a grammatically
correct way? What cultural and social cues are important to know as
Examples of people making mistakes in what they
communicate, not because they cannot be understood, but because their
intentions are misread, or because they don’t assess the situation well
enough to know what to say or how to say it (think of children, or
people unfamiliar with English – or any other language you choose to
What about gesture and body language? What kinds of
social and cultural expectations attach themselves to visual and
kinesthetic components? What is acceptable and not acceptable (and in
what contexts) in terms of how one uses one’s hands, body or face in
speech communication? If the modality is Sign, what is acceptable and
not acceptable visually and kinesthetically there?
Finally, how
does tone of voice, or how fast or slowly one speaks factor into all
this? What meanings flow from how a person sounds when they talk?
Use at least two of the above suggestions for your study.
your observations, taking careful notes. Then compose your examples
into a short essay (around 3 pages in length, double-spaced, 1 ” margins
etc. etc.) in which you argue for the anthropological view of language
as a socio-cultural as well as a cognitive/technical achievement.
A possible outline of a good essay is as follows:
linguistic and cultural competence. Explain how they differ from one
another. (You can jump straight into this, there is no need for a
separate introduction).
What situations or events did you observe?
describe how each situation illustrated the difference between
linguistic and cultural competence. (There is no real need for formal
conclusion either, so just finish up with your last example).
don’t use formal rubrics but the table below may be helpful to you in
setting out what I look for in a successful (versus an unsuccessful)
Needs improvement
Addresses the question, the whole question and nothing but the question
Does not address all components, or answers incorrectly, detail missing, scant examples.
Addresses all components, minimal examples, small errors of understanding acceptable.
Addresses all components, understanding of components is evident, gives a number of examples.
Addresses all components, gives many examples, shows deep understanding of issues.
Spelling, grammar, style
Incomplete sentences, meandering prose, many errors of spelling and grammar, no paragraphing, poor layout.
sentences but several grammatical and spelling errors. Some meandering
in the prose. Minimal paragraphing. Acceptable layout.
Complete sentences and minimal errors in spelling and grammar. Minimal meandering in prose.Proper paragraphing and layout.
Sentences are well constructed and there are no errors of spelling and grammar. Paragraphing and layout are clear and logical.
Makes a clear argument in response to the question
of clarity over what linguistic vs. cultural competence are, suggesting
writer doesn’t understand them. No decisive argument to which examples
are attached.
There is an answer to the question but it
is lacking in some points of clarity or comprehension (suggesting writer
is unclear on details of what these terms mean).
Answer to the question is clear and is supported by examples.
Answer to the question is clear and particularly well argued, linking answer to examples in an explicit and well-organized way.

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