Semantics

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The 9th quantity in Professor M.A.K. Halliday's accumulated works is devoted to the topic of language and schooling. Professor Halliday sums up the scope of language schooling less than the subsequent 5 headings: mom tongue schooling; moment language studying; multilingual societies; contexts of language schooling; and academic linguistics. as well as the formerly unpublished ‘Applied Linguistics as an Evolving topic’ (2002) initially offered through Professor Halliday at the social gathering of his being presented the 1st Gold Medal through the foreign organization of utilized Linguistics (AILA), this quantity comprises one other nineteen papers masking a accomplished breadth of themes in language and schooling addressed through Professor Halliday over the process his occupation. The chapters conceal language improvement, language educating, multilingualism, useful edition in language, and where of linguistics in schooling.

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But this should not be taken as justifying an unthinking acceptance of direct teaching about the language as an essential component of the English syllabus. Many teachers who are aware of recent developments in linguistics are understandably eager to bring the fruits of these into the classroom as quickly as possible. There are two causes for alarm here. 32 LINGUISTICS AND THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH One is that some superficial or partial description may be introduced under the banner of a "new grammar", some representation of the mechanisms of English that, however accurate and explicit, may fail to reveal the underlying patterns of the language.

This has penetrated into the classroom, so that the English class has become a time for drawing trees on the blackboard, the tree being now well established as the diagrammatic representation of a linguistic structure. Unfortunately linguists, and some teachers, seem to get so bemused by trees that they can no longer see the wood. A tree could almost be defined, nowadays, as that which a linguist cannot see the wood for. The tree, or more generally the notion of structure, is certainly appropriate as a means of revealing some of the internal workings of language.

Both Matthiessen and Fawcett construed the demands made by computational work of this nature into major sources of theoretical insight; and with each new advance in technology the potential of the computer for applying knowledge about language, and thereby for expanding such knowledge, has itself been continually expanding. Examples are the multilingual text-generation work by Christian Matthiessen, John Bateman, Wu Canzhong and others; software for teaching and research in systemic grammar, by Mick O'Donnell in Edinburgh and by Kay O'Halloran and Kevin Judd here in Singapore; grammar databases for language teachers such as that developed by Amy Tsui in Hong Kong, and Michio Sugeno's "intelligent computing" research at the Brain Science Institute in Tokyo.

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