In the first three chapters of Gee and Hayes, they discuss language. We are given a language history lesson and begin to realize how important language is to our society. We learn language as a child, picking up terms and “vernacular” from our environment. As children we learn our first language easily from our family and friends. No matter what culture we are in, Gee and Hayes states we easily learn our first language. Even being deaf, children still learn a first language of ASL.
I love how in the beginning of chapter 3 Gee and Hayes points out that language “can be delivered orally, through thinking, by signing, or in writing”. I never really thought a lot about my mind thinking as language. Just always thought of them as thoughts. But it is truly language that evokes a response, even if from my mind in the way of thinking. I truly hold many conversations in my mind on a daily basis as I am going about my day.
I have always struggled with putting my words down on paper in the best way, to represent how articulate I am. Gee and Hayes speak of how hard it can be to express language on paper when they speak of the word “record” and how hard it can be to stress it in writing versus oral language, making it hard to capture features of speech. But then Gee and Hayes stress that just because it is harder, doesn’t mean written language isn’t as an important tool as oral language. Literacy can be a great tool in our “language nature” we all share.
Language is a way we can all communicate and express ourselves in any and all cultures. We have all learned to use language from our family and friends, and we continue to pass it down to our younger family and friends. Literacy is a tool for us to spread and share our language in our minds.