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The Green Eyed Monster.

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The Green Eyed Monster - Critical Essay When studying a new language, the curriculum involves more than just reading a textbook and listening to your instructor - you must hear yourself speak, feel the sound as your mouth struggles to create it, at the same time programming your brain to associate a meaning for it. Only when you hear the pronunciation and tones can you recognize where you need improvement and adjustment. Not only are you learning a new way to articulate concepts, you are increasing your knowledge of those concepts by articulating them in a new way. Our own native languages can serve a similar purpose. To many, language in the form of debate is a "foreign" use for words we use everyday, but debate gives us an extraordinary gift: an opportunity to re-evaluate the purpose of language and improve how we use it. Merely speaking a language that comes naturally to us never forces us to examine how the meanings of words come together to form complex ideas - it has just been programmed into our brains through years of use. ...read more.


During debate however, it is the content rather than the form of the response that is important. When learning a new language we struggle to perfect structure and syntax, when we are re-learning our own language, we struggle to perfect its significance and meaning for others and ourselves. Where can one experience this method of self-evaluation? Fortunately, it is making progress in America's school system. Discussion often follows the reading of texts, allowing a student to respond and perhaps even debate a point of view with their peers. Not only does this give the educators a better assessment of how their students understand the material, it gives the student an opportunity to hear their own thoughts put up to questioning. Questioning that leads them to know what information is truly relevant. As Lasch puts it, "We do not know what we need to know until we ask the right questions, and we can identify the right questions only be subjecting our own ideas about the world to the test of public controversy" (316). School could become a far more enriching experience for the average student. ...read more.


Personally, language gives form to the abstract ideas and complex feelings inside us, enabling us to share them with the world. Lasch and Ingham wish for us to debate more, not to convince others that we are right, but to affirm those ideas and feelings for ourselves. We are privileged to have a system for communication in which such complicated concepts can be exchanged between us. In the short time that complex language has existed, the world has changed considerably. The question remains, did our progress bring a need for language, or did the development of language pave the way for progress? It is important to ask ourselves such things, because as Lasch believes, it is only by questioning that we can find the answers, and to question our language is to question ourselves (316). Exploring a new way to use language, in the form of rhetoric, song, or poetry, is taking our thought to a new level, like discovering that our hands can not only work, but create a piece of art as well. Our words can do much more than inform, they have the power to break someone's will, praise a child, change society, tell a story, and everything else that determines our unique human experience. ...read more.

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