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Importance of Linguistics to a Language Teacher


The scientific study of language is called linguistics. It is a field of study that deals with the structure, use, and comprehension of languages. Being a language teacher can be challenging, especially when it comes to teaching a foreign language. In order to advance your teaching abilities, you will need to make an investment in pertinent training and continuous education. This article revolves around helpful suggestions on how to apply linguistics to your classroom activities and use linguistics to enhance your teachings.

What is Linguistics?

As mentioned above, linguistics is the scientific study of language. It is an academic field that deals with the usage, understanding, and structure of languages. Phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic linguistics are the subdivisions of linguistics based on the structure of language. And the interdisciplinary branches of linguistics are Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Ethnolinguistics (or Anthropological Linguistics), Dialectology, Computational Linguistics, and Neurolinguistics.

Due to the nature of language, we are able to express complicated thoughts, concepts, and feelings in a very concise manner. We use language on a daily basis, perhaps without even realizing it. In fact, you are utilizing it right now to read and comprehend this text. If you wish to motivate your students and design engaging lessons, as a language teacher, you must possess a thorough understanding of the nature of language. You must comprehend the linguistic ideas associated with language and its use in order to accomplish it. You must also understand how to use these principles in the classroom. You must be able to comprehend, articulate, and demonstrate how language structure affects communication.

Now, let us learn how would linguistics helps in language teaching and learning.

How Does Linguistics Help in Language Teaching?

Helps in Understanding Historical Context

Culture, history, and social factors have all impacted and had an impact on languages. You should understand how these factors influence language affects the way how individuals communicate. Because of this, it's crucial for language instructors to be well-versed in the fundamentals of linguistics. Your students will be more engaged, and your classes will be more interesting if you incorporate linguistic concepts into your teaching. You will be able to provide clear and compelling explanations of concepts like verbal behavior and language choice. Additionally, linguistics can be used to develop stimulating and enjoyable language activities.

Sociolinguistics Aids in Understanding the Nuances

An important area of study within linguistics is sociolinguistics. For language teachers, it's a very valuable area of study. The variance in language use from one social group to another is one of the most significant aspects of sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics makes it easier to understand the linguistic intricacies of a language. In order to help your students comprehend how various words, phrases, idioms, etc. are used in various circumstances. You will also be able to help your students understand where various expressions first originated and how they changed over time.

Helps in Understanding the Verbal Behavior

The language we used to convey a message is made up of words, phrases, and sentences. Discourse and the idea of language choice are intimately intertwined. The selection of words and phrases in a certain context is referred to as language choice. One of the most crucial things for teachers to understand is how language can vary depending on the circumstance. When students are able to comprehend the nuances of a language, they will be more proficient in that language. Moreover, they will be able to communicate effectively in that language. Hence, it would improve the communication skills of students and consequently, they would gain confidence in communicating in that language.


It is essential to understand linguistic principles if you are going to teach languages. Language structure and usage in various settings are important concepts to understand. Your understanding would encourage students to actively participate in the learning process as you will be able to develop captivating lessons for them. If you incorporate linguistic concepts into your teaching practice,  you will be able to do it in a way that is both enjoyable and meaningful for your students. The article would have given you an overview of the importance of linguistics for language teachers. By understanding linguistics, as a language teacher, you will be able to improve the effectiveness of language teaching.

Suggested Read - Communicative Language Teaching - A Guide

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