The study of language has existed for more than 40 years. We study language in the context of how we think, read, and comprehend, and how we derive meaning from words. But what about language from our social environment? A new area of linguistic research is the study of language in a social context. From this perspective, language is examined in terms of how people communicate, whether in person or on the Internet. People change their pronunciations, grammar, vocabulary, and styles of language for many different purposes. Given that, sociolinguistics are curious about how language is acquired and learned in the context of one’s gender, community, and society. Some of these differences are related to biology, others are related to the social environment, and some differences are related to both. (Do men and women speak different languages in our culture? Can misspelled words on a person’s Facebook wall hurt their employability?)
For this assignment, think about situations where you had to change your use of language to a different context. How did you change the language, what did you say or do? Feel free to use an example from one of the activities in the course. (For example, when two women are talking, they tend to stand closer together than two men do.)
In your written assignment:
Describe examples of events or situations where you changed your language because of the situation you were in or whom you were speaking to. Since these are personal examples, you can write in first person for this part. Use third person throughout the remainder of the work.
Find at least three peer-reviewed research articles that help you understanding language in a social context.
Describe the theoretical foundation for each study, including the psychological concepts that the researchers are using.
Summarize the research articles including the research questions being asked in each study, the methods and measures, and the conclusions reached in each article.
Address how the research findings on language apply in solving communication problems.
Apply the implications of the research to explain how people use language, and how the knowledge can apply to personal and professional life. (Think about how this information can guide individuals in communication in social contexts).
Describe one or more specific ways that the information can be applied in the workplace to guide and improve communications.
To adequately cover the criteria for the assignment, your paper should be approximately 6–8 pages, not counting the title and references pages. You should have a minimum of three scholarly sources. Strive to be as concise as possible and support your statements and analyses with references and citations from the three academic resources, as well as any additional scholarly or professional (not popular media) resources you might need to add.