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Language Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What counts as language? A video lesson explains this to students while an in class activity allows students to experience the power of language. Related lessons and extensions are also included for further instruction.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define language
  • distinguish between language and communication

Length

1 to 2 hours

Materials

  • Slips of paper featuring assorted simple sentences

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.3

Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Instructions

  • Begin by asking students to list the languages that they speak, writing them on the board.
  • Now ask them to work together to come up with a definition for language, writing this on the board as well.
  • Now play the Study.com video lesson What Is Language?, pausing at 0:51.
  • Revisit the student-provided information on language that is listed on the board in terms of what was stated in the video lesson. Were the students correct in their definition of language? How many of the languages spoken by the students were mentioned in the video?
  • Now ask students if traffic signs are a type of language. Write their ideas on the board.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause at 1:41.
  • Were the students correct about traffic signs? Discuss why or why not as a class.
  • Now ask the students if animals have languages, again writing their ideas on the board.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson.
  • Were the students correct about animal language? Discuss why or why not as a class.

Discussion questions

  • How does body language come into play with language?
  • Why does American Sign Language qualify as a language but simple directional signs do not?

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