Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 1, No 3 (2011), 309-311, Mar 2011

The Sociology of Language Teaching and Learning

Ravi Bhushan


Any language must be treated in a social context. For a language teacher, it is important to relate language to society, because languages are taught and learnt to establish contact and communication across language boundaries. In fact society and culture are more than background and context. They both represent people with whom the learners eventually must make contact if language learning is to have any value in human terms. Language teaching can be looked upon as a deliberate intervention into ethno-linguistic relations which can be planned more or less effectively and which can contribute to the bilingualism of a society. Socio- cultural factors that affect motivation, such as the relative social status of the first language and the second language, the instrumental value of the second language, the cultural value of the second language and political factors should be considered. Sociolinguistics and other social sciences have a major role to play in second language pedagogy, profoundly influencing the quality of language programmes and provision of language in a speech community. The scope of this paper is to ascertain the role of social scientists, educational linguists, and language teachers who must come together to facilitate better teaching and learning of language.


sociolinguistics; linguistic competence; communicative competence; culture


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Theory and Practice in Language Studies (TPLS, ISSN 1799-2591)

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