Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 13:24:11 CDT From: Barbara Need Subject: Re: Could I please ask... Well, for starters, Linguistics is NOT an English course (unless it happens to be taught in an English Dept). It has value for persons studying ANY language. It teaches you not how to use language, but to understand how language is used: what its buidling blocks are, how it changes, how society and societies use it to shape their being. I think it is VERY important for students training to become teachers of English to take Linguistics because there is material and a perspective in Linguistics that you will not find in ANY OTHER English class: the idea that language is important, not for the images it conveys, but for itself--and that language is powerful--and that it is infinitely variable--and that THIS IS A GOOD THING! You may learn about how an autor uses language to create an effect, but you will not learn much about HOW to do that if you do not learn what language is--and that does not seem to be taught in the usual sorts of English classes (or French or German or Chinese). It is also important to recognize that just because you SPEAK English (or at least one variety of it), you may not be able to TEACH it without first understanding it: and speakers do NOT have an intuitive ability to teach their language (I know, I've tried). I hope this makes sense--and that others will respond. This is some- thing which is very important to me and something which I hope to be able to work on in the future. Barbara Need University of Chicago--Linguistics