Sunday, January 26, 2020
The Primary Music Curriculum Education Essay My research is based on the primary music curriculum and about the teaching between the music specialists and the classroom teachers. I collected many data from books, articles, from an observation in a school and from my experience as a student who I was. To start with in the late nineteenth century the educational forum, the National Education Association, included a music section which music was recognised to be in the primary education (Jones and Robson, 2008). When then the National curriculum was determined it was compulsory for all the children in primary schools to attend the music curriculum which was a supplemented part of the school curriculum. In the music curriculum the three main musical skills are performance, listening and composing. Through the performance the children will be able to practice their voices in singing parts and perform different songs in their instruments. Through the listening they will be able to develop their audibility by hearing different sounds and songs and experiment with these. Also through the composing they will be able to develop their creativity and make different music patterns using some musical ideas. The primary music curriculum represented in key stage 1 which is the years 1 and 2 and key stage 2 which is the years 3 to 6. In key stage 1 the children should be able to recognise and identify musical materials and use them to describe an atmosphere or a dramatic situation (Swanwick, 1992). In this age the children start study music with so simple and interesting methods. Moreover during key stage 1 the children listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of music. Also they play different instruments and they sing songs from memory using their fantasy (The national curriculum for England, 1999, p. 16). They experiment with simple musical instruments like recorder and some percussion and learn the songs with a specific way in order to remember the lyrics and make some movements. The children also learn the difference between the melody and the rhythm and how to experiment with these in their own compositions. As Swanwick (1992, p. 16) states the children in key stage 2 should be able to distinguish melodic and rhythmic devices found in songs and instrumental pieces and try to use them. During key stage 2, the children sing songs and play instruments with increasing confidence, skill and awareness of their own contribution to a group or class performance. Also they can improvise their own musical compositions and explore their thoughts and feelings for music from different cultures (The national curriculum for England, 1999, p. 18). The aim of the music curriculum is to make the children acquire some useful knowledge and also to feel confident and independent. For example the children until the end of year 2 in key stage 1 will learn to sing with a sense of the shape of the melody and perform simple melodic or rhythmic patterns keeping to a steady pulse (Music Teachers guide, 2000). By the end of year 4 in key stage 2 the children are able to perform different rhythmic patterns again but now with some notes included and also to improve their own compositions. Moreover until the end of year 6 in key stage 2 again, the children will learn to recognise the relationship between the sounds and perform by ear and from simple notations. Also they will have the opportunity to describe or characterise different kinds of music that they listen to with music vocabulary (Music Teachers guide, 2000). The music specialist has of course more knowledge in music than the classroom teacher, because he studied it and he made music training for many years in order to be worthy to teach to the students anything about music. This is also supported by Steinel (1990), who notes that certified music specialists have spent a minimum four years plus several precollegiate years training in music (Byo, 1999, p. 113). According to Hoffer (1961, p. 46), music specialist must be the leader in the classroom due to his advantage that he completed high music training. In my view it is a bit unfair the music specialist to be in a lower stage than the classroom teacher, because they do not have the same level in music knowledge. The music specialist is better to design the structure of the music lesson according to his own knowledge as he knows to organise it better from his experiences. This is also supported by Hoffer (1961, p. 46) who states that without the structuring efforts of the specialist no r eal musical progress will take place throughout the school. Through this, he wants to tell us that music specialist is very important for the music in schools, because he is the most suitable to organise an effective music lesson with a good structure. Moreover the music specialist is more able to teach some instruments to the students due to the knowledge and his experience that he has from his music training. As Hope and Lehman (1995) note, music specialists receive comprehensive training in music performance and theory (Byo, 1999, p. 114). So through the performance aspect, the music specialists can experiment with different instruments and be familiar with them in order to be able to teach them to the students with a good teaching method. Also if there are music specialists at primary schools the lessons will operate with more confidence and the students will understand better the meaning of music and acquire abilities and knowledge in everything; playing instruments, singing, about the history and theory of music through teachers experience and abilities. As Hennessy (1998) also states, music teachers with many years training are very important in primary schools for their specialist skills and knowledge, because they give mor e emphasis to the curriculum and they follow it on the right way. It seems that music specialists can follow exactly the curriculum without change something and accomplish to deliver it effectively, because they are expert in it and they also know what teaching methods have to use and when each one. According to Picerno (1970) the classroom teachers feel they can teach to the students about the music literature, some songs and plan a program for the music lesson. Also the classroom teachers feel that they cannot teach about conducting, music theory and music history and it is better the music specialists to teach these skills. (Picerno, 1970). I agree with this statement, because the classroom teachers do not have so high standards as music specialists in order to be able to teach the music in depth. They can just teach simple elements in music such as different kinds of songs and activities which have also help from Music Express scheme. Music Express scheme is a guide for non-specialized teachers in order to have help on what they can teach and how. Through the observation, I noticed that the classroom teachers learn from different readings and guides and then teach just the basic from the music curriculum. Hoffer (1961) notes that some persons believe that classroom teachers are able to teach at least some important things about the music curriculum, but they need the help of the specialists with some workshops and advices. According to Gamble (1988, p. 26) the classroom teachers provide the fundamentals of learning that students use later throughout their lives. This is right but I think it is apply just if the classroom teachers have help and support from a music specialist to give them some important guidance. Also Hoffer (1961, p. 45) states that some experiences have shown that classroom teachers even with the workshops, they cannot teach single-handedly a completely satisfactory music lesson. In my view Hoffer is right and not the people, because it is logical that it is impossible for the classroom teachers to know everything about the music curriculum, because many years of experience are required and also further knowledge in music education especially practical in a universit y or a college. Nevertheless there are some classroom teachers that wish not to teach music which is natural and they do it just because it is in their obligation to be able to teach all the subjects. In this case it seems that these teachers cannot teach music with success, because every teacher must like and find interesting the subject that he teaches in order to make the students also to be interested and concentrated on it. In contrast with music specialists who like to teach music and this is implicit and also this is the proof that they study it so many years and they teach it with so affection. This is also supported by Hoffer (1961, p. 45) who notes that some classroom teachers have extra music training and are proficient in teaching the subject but some others have no ability or interest in teaching music. This means that some classroom teachers may have the music knowledge that a music specialist has and some others may have anything, because they do not like to accomplish with this subje ct. Moreover Rainbow (1971, p. 1) states that the teacher who teaches music must be able to infect his students with his enthusiasm. So the teacher must like music in order to be able to teach it to the students effectively and also to take out his feelings about music and make the students to feel the same. Both Hoffer and Rainbow mention the same statement and it seems to agree with my own view; that if the students see their classroom teachers during the music lesson to express a bad feeling about music or that they do not want to teach it, then the students will ignore the lesson and will not be interested. But with music specialists this will not happen, because they all like music and teach it with very enthusiasm. Classroom teachers it seems that due to the non-training about music education who have, feel that they cannot teach music and they have lack of confidence. They do not know if they teach on the right way or not and if the students are able to understand what he teaches them. This is also supported by Jeanneret (1997, p. 37) who notes that from a research that she did in some countries like Australia, Great Britain and North America, the classroom teachers are responsible to teach music in their classrooms and they have a negative attitude towards music and lack of confidence to teach it. In my view a good point for the classroom teachers to teach music is that they know better the students; their character, their preferences because they are all the day together and they can teach them better regarding their interests. This is also supported by Mills (2005) who notes that the students can learn more things by a classroom teacher who knows them will rather than a teacher who is expert in music, but he does not know how the students work and their personalities. So this is a disadvantage for the music specialists who see the students just once a week and they cannot come close enough to them in order to know what they like to listen or how each student like to work. According to Hoffer (1961, p. 45) if the classroom teachers do not contribute in the music lesson, then the music program will become detached from the rest of the school curriculum. From that angle, he is right, because all the subjects are taught from classroom teachers and if the teachers leave out music is like ignoring music as a subject or considering music as a subject of less importance. According to Hennessy (1998), classroom teachers think that they cannot teach music, because they have no background in music education and they cannot read music. Hennessy (1998, p. 14) also mentions that these teachers usually have the abilities to play by ear, improvise and accomplish better with pop, folk or jazz styles. Personally I find my self disagree with this, because the classroom teachers are not in the position to teach music so well, if they do not have just a bit background of music education or if they do not attend a music workshop before. It seems these to be important, because they have to receive the main elements of music and some good teaching methods in order to be able to deliver the music curriculum to the students and have a successfully music lesson. According to an Ofsted report (Making more of music: Improving the quality of music teaching in primary schools, 2009, p. 3) the classroom teachers are able to provide a good music teaching when they are suppor ted effectively. It seems that the author wants to states that if the classroom teacher has help and useful guides from the music specialist, then he will be able to teach music well. This is a difference between a classroom teacher and a music specialist. The music specialist can teach music curriculum alone with his own mind, experiences and knowledge, but the classroom teacher needs a support to be able to starts and complete his teaching. Mills (2005, p. 28) notes that good teaching leads to students learning. By this, she wants to tell us that there is no importance if the teacher that teaches music has a music degree; if is the music specialist or the classroom teacher. The most important is that anybody from these teachers who teach music must do it very effective. According to Hennessy (1998) the classroom teachers are able to teach until year 4, because the music curriculum is easier to teach it at this stage, but in years 5-6 the music specialists are more able to teach it, because it is more complicated and more musical experience is required. The classroom teachers are able to teach during the beginning years, because except from a music guide to help them, they can also experiment easier and simple with the teaching and also using their fantasy. In later years this is difficult, because the standards go up and the music curriculum has more challenges towards the teacher. So a music specialist is more necessar y to teach it, because he can infect to the students his music knowledge through his experiences and his abilities to the music activities. To conclude, my own view is that music specialists can teach music more effectively than the classroom teachers at primary schools due to their experiences, their skills, their knowledge, their music training courses and the confidence they feel when they make in practice all of these. They know how to organise the music lesson better and how to teach each part of the lesson such as the performance, the listening and the composing in order to have a formative lesson and the students to be interested and familiar with music. Nevertheless I believe that the classroom teachers if they have a bit background about music and with the help of music guide, they will be able to teach music as well but until an extent. This is because they have the advantage that they know the students very well and they teach them based on the general progress of the students and they also help each student separately to improve his skills. Personally when I was a child in primary school my teacher was a music specialist and I gained a lot from her. That is why I believe that music specialists can teach music very effectively. She helped me to acquire the fundamental things which I had to know in music in that age and also to be interested in music. She taught me how to play some instruments, to sing, to learn some important elements of music such as the rhythm, notation, melody and different others. She did not know me and the other students very well, because she was seeing us just two days per week, but she was able to teach us music and also all the students were attend the lesson very carefully. Of course I am not sure if this happens with all the music specialists. As I mentioned above some authors state that this happen with the classroom teachers and that is an advantage for them to teach music better. So I think it is depends on the character of the teacher if he/she can teach music well and from his teaching m ethods except from his knowledge about music and not if he is a music specialist or not. The most important is the teacher; either the music specialist or the classroom teacher to transmit to the students his love and interest about music in order the students to be able to participate easier in the music lesson. All the weight and the organisation of the lesson is based on the teacher, because it depends on him if the lesson will be effective or not.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
In the first chapter of A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving displays an expansive, articulate style that relies heavily on rich descriptions to create detailed portraits of the New England of his youth, especially the title character who inspires him to believe in God and Christ. IrvingÃ¢â¬â¢s language throughout the chapter is articulate and his sentences long, perhaps to accommodate his rather abundant, detailed descriptions; it is almost oratorical without being florid or long-winded, reflecting the fact that the narrator is descended from a prominent New England family (including the Puritan minister for whom he is named). He also relies heavily on memories, moving from his recollections of Owen to broader discussions of his own family and hometown, creating a context for the subsequent action and thus giving his memories a deeper meaning. In addition, Irving uses Owen as a symbol of Christ-like divinity Ã¢â¬â the boy is something of a martyr for his suffering (indeed, he never tells on his peers for their abuses), and yet he takes away the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s mother, however unintentionally, by hitting the foul ball that kills the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s mother (hence the chapterÃ¢â¬â¢s title, Ã¢â¬Å"The Foul BallÃ¢â¬ ). Irving avoids sounding childish by using articulate adult language, but he conveys a childÃ¢â¬â¢s point of view by speaking in a matter-of-fact way about how he and his peers picked on the frail, undersized Owen. He conveys no immediate judgments or apologies for his actions (indeed, as a child he feels no shame for it), and he does not analyze his motivations. For example, when Owen offers a surprisingly mature complaint about church services, the narrator says, Ã¢â¬Å"To these complaints, and others like them, I could respond only by picking up Owen Meany and holding him above my headÃ¢â¬ (Irving 23), showing how other children are unable to comprehend Owen. He also implies adultsÃ¢â¬â¢ stupidity by mentioning his oblivious Sunday school teacher and how the police chief and coach quarrel over the ball after his motherÃ¢â¬â¢s death. The author wants the reader to understand his world (hence the detailed discussions of his town, family, and relationship with Owen) and especially OwenÃ¢â¬â¢s complex role in it. Though he mentions his Christianity at the very start, the narrator does not preach or scold the reader, admitting that he is a rather lazy Christian but also making clear that he feels deeply indebted to him (despite OwenÃ¢â¬â¢s role in his motherÃ¢â¬â¢s death) and makes the reader feel sympathy for the victimized Owen. IrvingÃ¢â¬â¢s language is richly descriptive without becoming tedious, and he recalls OwenÃ¢â¬â¢s characteristics humorously, especially his diminutive size and high-strangled voice (OwenÃ¢â¬â¢s words always appear in capitals). Irving communicates respect for Christianity, but not for the ritual or doctrine Ã¢â¬â he admits his laziness and calls his approach Ã¢â¬Å"a church-rummage faithÃ¢â¬ (Irving 2). Instead, he believes in the divine power channeled through Owen, whose intelligence and deep understanding of God set him apart from his peers. Irving implies that both the narrator and New England, despite their Puritan past, find religion uninspiring until Owen appears, and that Owen has vastly more potential to influence events than is shown in the first chapter. More explicitly, he evokes New EnglandÃ¢â¬â¢s provincial values, especially the split between insiders (the descendants of Puritans, like the narrator) and outsiders (later arrivals, like OwenÃ¢â¬â¢s Irish-Catholic family), and Irving contrasts the regionÃ¢â¬â¢s harsh religious past with the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s spiritual barrenness, for which Owen ultimately becomes a remedy. In the bookÃ¢â¬â¢s first chapter, Irving shows the reader a rich picture of his charactersÃ¢â¬â¢ world, creating the context in which the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s transition from nonbeliever to Christian occurs. He presents Owen in a sympathetic light, as a wise yet victimized figure whose suffering and kindness bring enlightenment into a milieu that needs it. Irving, John. A Prayer for Owen Meany. New York: Ballantine, 1989.
Friday, January 10, 2020
1. Explain what is meant by saying that a value is intrinsic? How are instrumental values related to intrinsic values? A value is said to be intrinsic if an object has the value for its own sake or because of its nature. A value is said to be instrumental if it aids in achieving or acquiring something with intrinsic value. For example, oneÃ¢â¬â¢s job could have instrumental value in that it acquires money. Furthermore, money could have instrumental value in that it can provide objects from which one derives happiness or pleasure, something with intrinsic value.Objects or activities with instrumental value typically aid in acquiring things with intrinsic value. 2. According to the Divine Command Theory (DCT), does God command what he commands because it is intrinsically good; or is what God commands Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ because it is God who commands it? The Divine Command Theory suggests that what God commands is Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ because He commands it, but this view is not necessa rily valid. According to the DCT, Ã¢â¬Å"goodnessÃ¢â¬ is equated with Ã¢â¬Å"God-willed,Ã¢â¬ suggesting that the commands of God are Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ because they are His commands.A statement such as Ã¢â¬Å"God is goodÃ¢â¬ becomes redundant and illogical if Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ is equated with Ã¢â¬Å"God-willed. Ã¢â¬ It would be more logical to think that GodÃ¢â¬â¢s commands have intrinsic goodness since atheists and other nonbelievers can identify with some moral foundation. An atheist might choose to believe that God was correct in saying that Ã¢â¬Å"killing is wrongÃ¢â¬ not because he believes in GodÃ¢â¬â¢s word but rather he believes that the rule is intrinsically good. 3. According to the Divine Command Theory why should we obey the moral law?According to the Divine Command Theory, we should obey the moral law because it is the word of God. The DCT suggests that Ã¢â¬Å"morally rightÃ¢â¬ means Ã¢â¬Å"willed by God,Ã¢â¬ so acting in compliance with moral law is essentially synonymous with acting in compliance with the word of God. Since God determines the moral law, no other reason is required for us to obey. 4. Explain why the DCT logically makes morality arbitrary. Why is arbitrariness a problem for morality? The Divine Command Theory suggests that morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ simply means willed by God.If something is morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ based solely on what God determines, an unsettling arbitrariness arises out of His commands. It would seem that God could just as easily make seemingly Ã¢â¬Å"immoralÃ¢â¬ acts Ã¢â¬Å"moralÃ¢â¬ (i. e. rape, genocide). The problem with arbitrariness is that it makes the development of a deeper, more appreciative morality absolutely impossible. An example can be made out of the story of Joshua and the battle at Jericho. If we are to believe that God determines what is morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrong,Ã¢â¬ then we believe that Joshua was just in slaughtering the men, women , and children because it was GodÃ¢â¬â¢s command.In this scenario, this belief prevents the development of a moral understanding that murder is wrong, a severe problem for morality. 5. Define and explain Ethical Relativism, Ethical Absolutism, and Ethical Objectivism. Ethical relativism is the idea that moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ are defined within a society/culture or by an individual. The difference between society (conventional ethical relativism) and an individual (subjective ethical relativism) defining morality is very clear. Subjectivists hold that individuals are allowed to define what is Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"wrong,Ã¢â¬ but this would suggest that criminals (i. . murderers, cannibals, rapists) are correct and morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ when they engage in their crimes, since no one can ever be wrong. Conventionalists would hold that a society or culture is left to define moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrong. Ã¢â¬ However, it wou ld allow for any group to declare their ideals Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"just,Ã¢â¬ suggesting that groups with Ã¢â¬Å"immoralÃ¢â¬ ideals (i. e. congregations of rapists, murderers, etc. ) would be just as morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ as pro-life activists. Ethical absolutism holds that fundamental, absolute moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ exist and must not be defied by anyone, regardless of context.However, the ethical objectivist believes that there exists a universal morality relevant to all people and cultures, but with context taken into consideration. For example, the ethical absolutist would believe that a mother stealing medicine to help her sick child is wrong because the bottom line is that stealing is wrong. However, the ethical objectivist would hold that the motherÃ¢â¬â¢s reasoning was sound and that her moral obligation to help her child overrides her moral duty to the law. 6.Explain how the Ã¢â¬Å"Diversity ThesisÃ¢â¬ together with the Ã¢â¬Å"Dependency ThesisÃ¢â¬ logically imply the conclusion that Ethical Relativism is true. Then, give at least two arguments against ethical relativism. Are there reasons to believe that there are some objective values that apply in any society? The Diversity Thesis is an anthropological fact stating that moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ vary amongst different societies, so there are no fundamental or universal morals held by all societies. The Dependency Thesis states that what is morally Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ is dependent upon what the society defines as right and wrong.If both of these hold true, and conventional ethical relativism is described by a society in which moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ are defined within the society, then the connection is clear. The Diversity Thesis coupled with the Dependency Thesis entail the conclusion outlined in conventional ethical relativism. There are a number of arguments to be ma de against the idea of conventional ethical relativism. For example, some cultures view their women as inferior to men, withholding basic rights (and in some cases, inflicting genital mutilation).While this may be seen by a majority of the society as acceptable, it is often argued that the disregard for human rights is immoral. The ethical relativist would argue that the society is right in doing whatever it collectively thinks is right. In this case, and in many more, it is clear that the society is not always correct in defining moral Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"wrongÃ¢â¬ by its own standards. Additionally, the ethical relativist might argue that the pro-slavery movement in early America was morally sound because the society thought that what they were doing was morally Ã¢â¬Å"right. The notion that slavery is wrong is now more widely accepted, but a glimpse not too far into our countryÃ¢â¬â¢s past would prove otherwise. This is an obvious example of why ethical relativism is incorrect and can inadvertently allow immorality to be permissible. It is sound to think that the value of human life is an objective value relevant to all societies. While it may be recognized to varying degrees in different parts of the world, it is safe to acknowledge human life as something to be universally valued by all societies.
Thursday, January 2, 2020
What was the first language? How did language beginÃ¢â¬âwhere and when? Until recently, a sensible linguist would likely respond to such questions with a shrug and a sigh. As Bernard Campbell states flatly in Humankind Emerging (Allyn Bacon, 2005), We simply do not know, and never will, how or when language began. Its hard to imagine a cultural phenomenon thats more important than the development of language. And yet no human attribute offers less conclusive evidence regarding its origins. The mystery, says Christine Kenneally in her book The First Word, lies in the nature of the spoken word: For all its power to wound and seduce, speech is our most ephemeral creation; it is little more than air. It exits the body as a series of puffs and dissipates quickly into the atmosphere... There are no verbs preserved in amber, no ossified nouns, and no prehistorical shrieks forever spread-eagled in the lava that took them by surprise. The absence of such evidence certainly hasnt discouraged speculation about the origins of language. Over the centuries, many theories have been put forwardÃ¢â¬âand just about all of them have been challenged, discounted, and often ridiculed. Each theory accounts for only a small part of what we know about language. Here, identified by their disparaging nicknames, are five of the oldest and most common theories of how language began. The Bow-Wow Theory According to this theory, language began when our ancestors started imitating the natural sounds around them. The first speech was onomatopoeicÃ¢â¬âmarked by echoic words such as moo, meow, splash, cuckoo, and bang.Ã Whats wrong with this theory?Relatively few words are onomatopoeic, and these words vary from one language to another. For instance, a dogs bark is heard as au au in Brazil, ham ham in Albania, and wang, wang in China. In addition, many onomatopoeic words are of recent origin, and not all are derived from natural sounds. The Ding-Dong Theory This theory, favored by Plato and Pythagoras, maintains that speech arose in response to the essential qualities of objects in the environment. The original sounds people made were supposedly in harmony with the world around them. Whats wrong with this theory?Apart from some rare instances of sound symbolism, theres no persuasive evidence, in any language, of an innate connection between sound and meaning. The La-La Theory The Danish linguist Otto Jespersen suggested that language may have developed from sounds associated with love, play, and (especially) song. Whats wrong with this theory?As David Crystal notes in How Language Works (Penguin, 2005), this theory still fails to account for the gap between the emotional and the rational aspects of speech expression. The Pooh-Pooh Theory This theory holds that speech began with interjectionsÃ¢â¬âspontaneous cries of pain (Ouch!), surprise (Oh!), and other emotions (Yabba dabba do!). Whats wrong with this theory?No language contains very many interjections, and, Crystal points out, the clicks, intakes of breath, and other noises which are used in this way bear little relationship to the vowels and consonants found in phonology. The Yo-He-Ho Theory According to this theory, language evolved from the grunts, groans, and snorts evoked by heavy physical labor. Whats wrong with this theory?Though this notion may account for some of the rhythmic features of the language, it doesnt go very far in explaining where words come from. As Peter Farb says in Word Play: What Happens When People Talk (Vintage, 1993): All these speculations have serious flaws, and none can withstand the close scrutiny of present knowledge about the structure of language and about the evolution of our species. But does this mean that all questions about the origin of language are unanswerable? Not necessarily. Over the past 20 years, scholars from such diverse fields as genetics, anthropology, and cognitive science have been engaged, as Kenneally says, in a cross-discipline, multidimensional treasure hunt to find out how language began. It is, she says, the hardest problem in science today. In a future article, well consider more recent theories about the origins and development of languageÃ¢â¬âwhat William James called the most imperfect and expensive means yet discovered for communicating a thought.