Exemplify ways in which English language acuisition can vary according to the social background of the speaker.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that English language acquisition can be impacted by social class.  As with many examples of education being linked to widened opportunity, I believe that English acquisition can vary based on social background simply because the more opportunities that are available to the speaker can help to enhance grasping of a language.  For example, if one lives in relative affluence and has access to English television programming, this provides another opportunity for English language immersion that one who lacks affluence could not afford.  If an individual has steady and consistent access to the internet and information technology, this becomes another level of opportunity for English language exposure that someone of another socio- economic reality lacks.  This is not to say that class and material reality determines who grasps English language acquisition and who does not, but it does reflect how the speaking of English can vary in accordance to opportunities associated with wealth.  Another factor that can cause variance would be the home background of the individual.  If a learner is in an environment where English fluency is practiced, reaffirmed, and refined, there will be a greater understanding and grasping of the language.  This is not as much the case with a learner who lacks this reinforcement of language skills in their own homes.


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bobdarwish | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

There are several ways you could answer this question. English can vary in word-choice, spelling, pronunciation, social class or use of expression based on an individual's social background. Many South African English, for example, use the word brii instead of Barbeque. English, do not pronounce the last "r" in certain words such as car, bar and tar. Although, they say the pronounce it, most simply don't pronounce the word at all. Canadian and Americans spell Sulfur with an "f" and British with "ph" as sulphur. There are many phrases and expression that more common in one cluture and not in others. For example, if you say howdy to a British, he/she might not understand. It is very common in southern US. "Commoners" in England speak differently from those who are considered "posh". You could probably build you ideas on any of these ideas. I hope it helps :)