Function & Principle of English Language, Study Notes, Material – CTET Paper 1 & 2

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

In this article, we should read related to the Function & Principle of English Language Important for the CTET Paper-1 & 2. English Language Pedagogy is very important for the CTET exam. Approximately 15 questions are asked from the language pedagogy section. 

Meaning of Language:

Language is a medium through which one can express one’s ideas, thoughts, feelings, and messages. To teach language is somehow a difficult task as is basically conditioned by the nature of the subjects. The primary function of the language is communication, Self- expression, and thinking. A language is a social act, a means of adjustment to control over other people. 

Principles of Language Teaching:

The modern approach to all language learning and teaching is the scientific one and based on sound linguistic principles. Some important principles discussed below: are subject to change in the light of new facts exposed by linguists and language users. These principles are general and apply to the English language:

  • The principle of Sound Priority: The sounds of English should receive priority. Sounds should be given their due place in the scheme of teaching. Sounds should not be presented in isolation and should appear with proper expressions. A native speaker should speak sentences with intonation and rhythm.
  •  The principle of Presenting Language in Basic Sentence Patterns: From small utterances, the students can easily pass on to longer sentences. In the case of learning the mother tongue, the student’s memory span can retain much longer sentences than those of a foreign language. The facility thus gained in a foreign language enables the learners to expand the grasp of the language material concerning sounds and vocabulary items.
  • The principle of Language Patterns as Habits: Real language ability is at the habit level. It does not just mean to know the language. Making language patterns a habit through intensive patterns should be practised in a variety of situations. The students must be taught to use language patterns and sentence constructions with appropriate vocabulary at a normal speed for communication. The habitual use of the most frequently used patterns and items of language should take precedence over the mere accumulation of words.
  • The principle of Imitation: Imitation is an important principle of language learning. No learner by himself ever invented language. A good speech is a result of imitating good models. The model should be intelligible. Imitation followed by intensive practice helps in the mastery of the language system.
  • The principle of Controlled Vocabulary: Vocabulary should be kept under control. Vocabulary should be taught and practised only in the context of real situations. This way, meaning will be clarified and reinforced.
  • The principle of Graded Patterns: “To teach a language is to impart a new system of complex habits, and habits are acquired slowly”. So, language patterns should be taught gradually, in cumulative graded steps. This means the teacher should go on adding each new element or pattern to previous ones. New patterns of language should be introduced and practised with vocabulary that students already have known.
  • The principle of Selection and Gradation: Selection of the language material to be taught is the first requisite of good teaching. Selection of the language material should be done in respect of grammatical items and vocabulary and structures.

Selection of language items should involve:

  • Frequency: how often a certain item or word is used
  • Range: in what different contexts a word or an item can be used
  • Coverage: how many different meanings a word or an item can convey
  • Availability: how far an item is convenient to teach
  • learnability: how far an item is easy to learn
  • teach-ability: how far and the item is easy to teach – in the social context

Functions of Language:

The language of all kinds uses an agreed code that develops according to the cultures in which they arise. The rhythm, tone, and melody of language are of great importance as language develops. The gestures and movement of the face and hand are also extremely important and are all part of the conventional symbols of that particular culture. Language development is a part of symbolic behaviour and is often called the period of symbolic development. Language development is deeply linked with the process of representation and communication, which means that it makes it easier to represent and communicate.

Halliday identifies seven functions that language has for children in their early years. For Halliday, children are motivated to develop language because it serves certain purposes or functions for them. The first four functions that help the child to satisfy physical, emotional, and social needs are:

  • Instrumental: This is when the child uses language to express their needs
  • Regulatory: This is where the language is used to tell others what to do
  • Interactional: Here language is used to make contact with others and form relationships
  • Personal: This is the use of language to express feelings, opinions, and individual identity.

The next three functions are that help the child to come to terms with his or her environment are:

  • Heuristic: This is when language is used to gain knowledge about the environment.
  • Imaginative: Here language is used to tell stories and jokes and to create an imaginary environment.
  • Representational: The use of language to convey facts and information.

According to Halliday, as the child moves into the mother tongue, these functions give way to the generalized metafunctions of language. In this process, in between the two levels of the simple proto-language system, an additional level of content is inserted. Instead of one level of content, there are now two: lexicographic and semantics. The expression plane also now consists of two levels: phonetics and phonology.

This article tends to be beneficial for the following exams – REET, UPTET, CTET, Online Classroom Program TET, DSSSB, KVS etc.

You May Read the Following Books:

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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