Generally, there are seven main functions of language, which are expressive, evolutionary function, preservation function, informative, directive, interaction, and communication. Any language is determined by several factors, such as social background, attitudes and origin of people. Language is always related to the situation it is used within. Every person has a certain social background, and this is what determines one’s language.
As we mentioned above, language is used in every part of our lives, and it’s the most important part of communication. We use language in every situation, every time we need something. In turn, our needs determine our language, since we choose a type of language that is most effective for our needs.
The expressive function:
We need such a function every time we want to express our feelings. Some words are used to express attitudes and feelings, which don’t deliver any particular information. Obvious examples of such words as swear words, as well as various exclamations. This function of language is used not to deliver a message, but to express feelings and impressions. Due to the expressive function of language, we can understand the personality of a speaker, and his or her emotions.
The informational function:
It can be considered most important since it helps us deliver messages, describe things, and give our listeners new information. The message is a word that describes this function best. The informational function is also related to such terms as truth and value.
The directive function of language:
It is used to induce certain actions or reactions. An example of such a function is a command. Another example of this function is a request. Here effective and situational meanings of a phrase are more important than a general meaning, which makes this function somewhat similar to the expressive function. The directive function is a function of social control and interpersonal interaction.
The function of Interaction:
Language is not one-way communication. It has both ways of communication. Both ways of communication are known as interaction. The radio and television are the media of one-way communication while the telephone has both ways of communication. In classroom teaching interaction between teacher and students is two-way communication.
The function of Communication:
Language is the means or medium for sending information ideas, and feelings to others. Daily newspapers communicate events and developments in written forms. The radio and television news item also communicates the news in speech form.
The advancement of a country depends on its economic, social and technological development. The evolution of the country is governed by its National Language. Literature is the mirror of society.
The function of Preservation:
Language is the God-given gift or boon for human beings no other animal and species has this privilege. Man alone uses language for interaction and communication. Man can preserve his knowledge, observation and experiences in written form. Thus, acquired knowledge and experiences are formed edifices of human knowledge.
Thus, language has the most important function in preserving knowledge ideas, feelings, and views in original forms.
How Learners use it as a Tool:
- Learners maintain their relationship with society and share their culture by interacting with the help of their language.
- Learners apply the words and sentences listened to places to communicate with others. They come across with their aesthetic values in the form of written records in terms of stories and poems.
- Learners used words as a tool by which they store information.
- Learners develop their thinking abilities with the use of language which helps in generating new ideas.
Functions in a Nutshell:
|Instrumental||to express their needs|
|Regulatory||to influence the behaviours of others|
|Interactional||to form a relationship|
|Personal||to express opinions|
|Heuristic||to seek information and ask questions|
|Imaginative||to express creative language|
|Representational||to give information|
|Serial No.||Book Name||Author Name|
|1.||A Complete Resource for CTET (Language I): English and Pedagogy||Geeta Sahni (Author), Pearson Publication|
|2.||CTET & TETs English Language & Pedagogy Paper I & II||Arihant Experts|
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