Language as Tool as End Product

Language is a tool, a cultural artifact that mediates leaning at a higher level, an instrument for communication, etc. etc. But as pedagogy or curriculum it is a subject. This emphasis has distorted teaching. Imagine studying hammers, or a class on calculators and computers… you would ‘study’ them, not use them.  Students should be using them.  What about a course on how to use tools: how to use computers, the internet, a language.

… but, language is not a ready made tool.  You can use a hammer poorly, with wrong applications, but a hammer will never be an end product, but language can be.  Language is the greatest of cultural tools; we use language to get to language, but we should be using empathy, compassion, global citizenship to get there too.


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