Differenciate between LWC and alternate language learning.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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LWC stands for "a language of wider communication". This is the main descriptor of a national or official language as it is declared.

The term LWC is often used to dissociate dialects and popular influential languages from the true and politically-confirmed language that is recognized by the government of a country. The use of this terminology to recognized the language that is spoken the most helps linguists identify any phenomenology that causes changes in language usage within dominant groups in different countries. The LWC also include what are known as "trade languages", which are the languages officially used to conduct business or in specific fields. Then there are the "International Languages" or languages most commonly spoken by people aside from their National languages.

Spanish, for instance is both a National and an International language because, even though many countries have adopted it as its official language, there are also other countries who are not "hispanoparlantes" and yet they use Spanish almost as frequently as they use their first language. The United States for example, has states such as Texas, California, Florida, Arizona and others that have had so much exposure to the Spanish language that it has filtered into everyday communication.

Alternate language learning (ALL) is an intervention that aids in the process of second language acquisition (SLA). Often this ALL method aims to focus on one aspect of SLA to make the process quicker and more accurate, even for the less skillful learner.

In modern education, ALL methods include

  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning (also known as the CALL method)
  • The CALLA method, which is the Cognitive Academic Language Approach (this one is pretty much the best one, but it gears more towards ESL students using the target language in their different academic disciplines)
  • Synchronous and Asynchronous Verbal and Written communication approaches (using Skype, VideoTelecommunications (VTC) or online learning.
  • Vocabulary-Based methods such as Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur
  • The communicative approach- small groups, input, and written applications.

In all, LWC and ALL are two completely separate concepts; the LWC is the name of the language that is nationally or officially spoken in a country; ALL is a number of interventions aimed to facilitate the process of SLA. The one thing that they may have in common is that you need ALL in order to achieve complete control of a LWC. In reality, however, all Alternative Language Learning methods, in one way or another make, the process of learning language a less stressful and more productive one.

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