In the next two weeks, I am going to offer some ideas taken from an excellent book for teachers: Language Development: A Reader for Teachers by Powers and Hubbard. The first article addresses the functions of language, based on the work of Michael Halliday.
Pinnell: Functions of Language
Halliday’s 7 functions….what we can do with language:
Instrumental: I want an ice cream cone.
Regulatory: You have to read the book first.
Interactional: Do you want to play with me?
Personal: I like riding my bike.
Imaginative: Once I saw a super hero.
Heuristic: Why doesn’t that work?
Representational: It rained all day yesterday.
In addition to these functions, Halliday/Pinnell highlight the following principles of learning to use language effectively:
*Form FOLLOWS function.
*Learning in CONTEXT is critical.
*Understanding PEER language is key.
*Working TOGETHER on REAL Problems is essential.
*ATTENTION to a RANGE of functions, both social and cognitive is the challenge.
*Children need to EXPERIMENT/PRACTICE the language skills they are learning.