College of Agriculture Science & Education
The Jamaican Language Environment
October 25, 2011
Lecturer: Mrs. Cherise Cotterell
All teachers, not least English teachers, take account, consciously and subconsciously of the linguistic situation in which they operate. The central question has to be how to understand their perceptions; and how to characterize what is happening to the language in our society in which they operate.
In this essay I wish to discuss the Jamaican Language Environment and to suggest three (3) teaching strategies or approaches that could use to help students who are having problems in a Language Arts class because of Creole interference.
"Language is an arena rather than a subject" (Burgess 1988).
It is a truism worth repeating that the whole idea behind using words is to be understood. As long as the people to whom one speaks or writes understand the same thing, be it concept or picture, by each word, as the person writing or speaking, there is no problem of misinterpretation. When the two parties attach different meanings to any given set of words however, misinterpretation is highly probable. Although we might look at Jamaican Creole for example, the focus could be on any number of language varieties in the Caribbean.
History of Jamaican Creole
Pidgin is often formed when two or more cultures whose members don’t speak the same language come into contact with each other. A pidgin is a type of communication created so that those different communities can converse. This has happened throughout the world and throughout history, most often for purposes of trade. Jamaican Creole was a language that developed in the seventeenth century out of the plantation system of slave labour and the contact between West Africans and their British slave masters. The slave masters transported them across the Atlantic to the West Indies to cultivated sugar where...