Language Appreciation Guide #
We communicate with others in a variety of ways through our five senses. While language is only one of the ways in which we communicate, it is one of the most sophisticated tools we have and clever cunning people know how to use it effectively to get what they want. Language is often debased and manipulated to fulfill ulterior motives
As recipients of the use and abuse of language it is important that we understand the good and the evil intent people can have when they attempt to capture our attention. We must be careful not to get sucked in, duped, conned or exploited.
The reading process essentially involves several stages;
- Literal — Understanding the meaning of what is being said, recalling detail, Recognising character, orientation, sequencing of events and outcomes.
- Interpretative - Inferential - filling in the gaps or supplying meanings not directly stated; reading between the lines, anticipating, making generalisations, reasoning cause and effect.
- Critical — evaluating and passing judgement on the quality, accuracy, value or truthfulness of what is read (identifying bias, ulterior agendas, propaganda).
- Creative - responding on a personal level, solving the problems raised, expressing new ideas, insights, alternative solutions and emotional reactions.
The Analysis of Prose Passages #
Orientation: The first questions you should ask, as you skim the passage for a general overview are; Who, What, Where and Why? Who is speaking, to whom (audience), what is happening, where in time or area they located and what is their purpose (why?).
Technique: Once you have established the orientation process you should be able to move on the How; the techniques used to present the point of view. The how is generally connected to the aim or purpose of the article. Good writers employ a variety of techniques to effectively present their case. You need to be aware of how they influence or manipulate thinking.
Evaluation: This is your personal response and opinion on the effectiveness of the passage. You may judge it for yourself, for the intended audience or as a general appraisal of the worth of the article. Be specific and provide evidence for any assertions you make.