Friday, 1 April 2011

Hiatus, again.

Perhaps I should rename this blog 'Paul's very occasional ELT Journal', as that would be more accurate. Actually, I haven't been too active over on main my blog either. Reason? I could say work and study, which would be true, but I have to admit it's also a healthy dose of torpor as well.
Anyway, work. situation: not good. As part of the government's ongoing campaign to support toffs by squeezing every shred of money out of the poor - sorry, the sensible and vital austerity measures - The college looks like it's going to lose at least half of its ESOL cohort, simply because they won't be able to pay for it. Not only that, but our college, thanks to some spectacularly fucked-up decisions by previous administrations, is now about £3m in the red, and one of the ways of tackling this is to have everyone re-apply for their jobs for about 11% less pay. Joy. I'm not even sure that I'll have a job after summer.
Next, study. In a pleasingly ironic gesture, the same college that may be telling me I don't have a job has actually funded me to do, finally, my DELTA course. Now, I know what you may be thinking - 'what? you haven't done your DELTA yet???' The truth is, I haven't had the combination of time, circumstance or money to be able to do it - finally it's here, and I may end up never using it in the end! Nice one, Fate!
Well, let's live in the moment for the time being, if you'll forgive the pun. I'm atually finding the course hugely enjoyable, depsite not being able to devote as much time to the studying as I'd like at the mo. Just completed an essay, and in doing the research on it, something struck me: why is language regarded as essentially a linear object? Why don't we consider it as something with dimension?
Think about it. Language is the output of a series of inputs - visual, aural, kinaesthetic, the whole VAKOG thing, basically. Language, in other words, is a medium, or device, used in order to make sense and relate these inputs. since these inputs constitute dimensions, shouldn't langauge also be seen as something three-dimensional?
I'm maybe not explaining myself too clearly here, but it struck me that we can regard a lexical item in terms of, for example, its register, style, deployment in a given situation, grammatical use, and intonation. In other words, we apprehend it almost as a physical object, with facets of meaning. And in fact, when we look at the tense system in English, doesn't the fact that we rely on aspect so much tend to suggest dimension rather than a simple linear transaction? What I' suggesting is that rather than look at lexis or grammar as something that is 'flat', we need to regard them as somethng with 'shape'. Well, it's something to work on, and I haven't a clue how you would begin to desribe it in simple terms. Yet.

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