REVITALIZING LINGUISTIC RELATIVITY: Pedagogical Implications in language teaching.

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för lärarutbildning (LUT)

Abstract:

The linguistic relativity hypothesis (LRH), otherwise known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (SWH), has been passionately debated over the last 60 years. It has undergone a renewed upsurge in scientific, anthropological and social interest. Several attempts have been made to prove or disprove the moderate version of the theory without producing conclusive results. This study analyses the history of the LRH and attempts to clarify its uses and limitations pertaining to ESL discourse in Swedish upper-secondary schools. Pedagogical implications of the study indicate that, if the LRH is correct, there could be a colossal, logistical impact on the national testing of semantic information in English studies which would have to be addressed in order to effectively and fairly assess every student based on their individual, cognitive skills and culturally influenced knowledge of language.  

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