Jan 14

Language and Social Status


Language is the medium of expressing feelings, needs, emotion etc. language is not only speech sound producing from the speech organs but also any type of attempt to express inner wish like as gesture of hand, moving  different organs of the body, smiling, crying even being silent can be a language. At one sense every attitude of men or other animals that is used to draw attention of other or make other feel or inform other anything that is language. For this language has a great influence in the context of human life.

Social status and education both are great aspects of human life and society. Our term paper topic is ‘’ Language Influences the Social Status and Education”. It means to us that how much language can influence on human social status and education.  Well this is a very good topic to us as we are students of language and literature. Language is that type of human device that is employed to prove a man and his appearance to other. Even a dump who can’t speak also has a language to show him/ her to other. Totally what is the concept of a man to other that is confined through language?

The social status and the deepness of the education of a man can easily be understood by his language.  Language is a great art that only be inherited from the social status of a man or acquired from his learning.  There is debate that whether language confirms social status and education or education confirms social status and education. But there is no debate that there is an interrelation between these two.

In this term paper we tried to put our logic and apply our learning to evaluate this concept ‘’language refers to the social status and education”.

Definition of language

Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication. Language is the media of expressing one’s expression to another by using different manners or language is the expression of ideas by writing, or any other instrumentality. Another way we can say Language is the forms of speech, or the methods of expressing ideas, peculiar to a particular nation. All of the animals and the human being have their own language but the languages are completely different from one another. Only the animals can realize their language that we cannot understand. At the same way, by uttering the language we apply our inner expression or our need. Different people use the language in different way; such as, someone expresses his language by writing, someone by acting, someone by symbolizing etc. At the same way, the language of the uneducated people, for example; the day labor, the common people, the farmer, the fisher man, the rickshaw puller is one type but the language of the educated people, for example; teacher, doctor etc. is another type. The educated people are able to gain much opportunity by expressing their language but the uneducated people are deprived from those opportunities only for expressing their language. A principle feature of human language is the division of patterning. It enables us to use our language in a very economical way for a virtually infinite production of linguistic units.  So it is very important for all sectors of our daily life.    

In our social life it helps us in different way.  For example; if a man who knows many thing but he does not know how to express his language to others properly, so he will unable to gain much popularity from others. On the other hand, a man who knows something but he knows how to express his language to another and how to gain one’s popularity by expressing his language. In this way he is succeeded. At the same way to build up the leadership, good job and better salary, another people’s mind, prosperity in life language is obliged.   

In our educational life language helps us to be a smart man and fulfill man and it makes a man different from others. At first, education helps to acquire education then to express learning.

Language and social status

Social status is the honor or prestige attached to one’s position in society (one’s social position). It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc.

Social status, the position or rank of a person or group within the society, can be determined two ways. One can earn their social status by their own achievements, which is known as achieved status. Alternatively, one can be placed in the stratification system by their inherited position, which is called ascribed status.

In these both positions language is important. Whenever a man wants to be in a high position of a society he has to earn a standard language to prove his aristocracy. On the other hand, when a man is in his ascribed status he got the language from his family. And his application of language shows his own social status. How language influences a man’s social status that is described below-

1.    Language reflects social status

The social status of a man is reflected in his language. For the linguist Edward Sapir, language is not only a vehicle for the expression of thoughts, perceptions, sentiments, and values characteristic of a community; it also represents a fundamental expression of social identity. Sapir said: “the mere fact of a common speech serves as a peculiar potent symbol of the social solidarity of those who speak the language.” In short, language retention helps maintain feelings of cultural kinship.         

 Language variation is found in urban and village areas because of social status. The class of a man is easily recognized by his language. One of the fundamental findings of socio-linguistics, which has been hard to disprove, is that class and language variety are related. Members of the working class tend to speak less standard language, while the lower, middle, and upper middle class will in turn speak closer to the standard. However, the upper class, even members of the upper middle class, may often speak ‘less’ standard than the middle class.

2.    Language increases social status

If you want to settle yourself in a good position in a society you have to acquire a smart language that can help your mutual communication. A man can be from any class of the society but if he has power to communicate with other smartly he can establish himself in a good position of the society. In the modern age politics has an important role to establish social status. And most politicians establish themselves in politics as well as society easily because they have a good communication as well as language power.
There is an ideal that someone who is socially skilled speaks with a silver tongue and can dazzle a captive audience. Being successful in social situations, however, doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with speaking. Here’s how you can improve your social skills without having to say a word in a social gathering.
The way you stand and speak at a social gathering sends a message to other guests about you. If you want to send a warm, welcoming message your language included body language should reflect that desire. In modern society it is not fact that where you from but what you are. In this circumstance, if anyone can earn a standard and smart language he can increase his social status.

3.    Language is an element of Social Status

The social status of a person can be shown through his attitude; dress up, speech, mutual speaking etc. the elements needed to establish a man in a good status in a society may include wealth, good family background, smart appearances and a smart language. Among these, language can be regarded as an important one. Language means not only the speech of a man but also total attitude including behavior, body language etc.  In this respect other elements of a man to increase social status are also depended on language because language beside its own position works as a media for other elements.

4.    Language: For Professional Purpose 

Professional life of a man is an important element to build up a position in a society.  And language also controls a man’s professional position. Professional place is place where a man has to communicate with many men. These men whom a professional character comes to contract are different from class, profession, place of living, language and so on. And a professional man has to possess a great language skill to communicate with these various people. Suppose a man is doing business. In this place he has to communicate with buyer, seller, banker, supplier and many others. These men are not only different from profession but also from education, class, place etc. for this the business man has to have good language to communicate. Otherwise he will be totally failure in business field. The profession of teaching, language can be said the main skilled. There are many teachers who are expert of knowledge but not expert as a teacher because he doesn’t have good expressing speech.  The teachers who teach by writing also have the power of writing. That is also considered as language as they express their feelings by writing. So every profession carries importance of the language.

Language and education

In the educational context, language is important for comprehension and making use of knowledge. Language works double in the educational context of human society. At first to acquire education language has total credit and then it works to show language. How language plays an important role in human society explained below-

1.    Language is a media of education

Language is obviously a vital tool to earn education. Not only is it a means of communicating thoughts and ideas, but it is also a means of learning education.

Throughout history, many have reflected on the importance of language. For instance, the scholar Benjamin Whorf has noted that language shapes thoughts and emotions, determining one’s perception of reality. John Stuart Mill said that “Language is the light of the mind.” Mind and thought these can be compared as the preparation for the learning education. If the language of a student doesn’t make him/her feel to learn education this is difficult to other to teach him/her.

Shale (1988) describes the role of the teacher in the “ideal educational process” (p. 28) in four parts: First, the teacher and the student determine and validate what the student knows. Second, on the basis of what is determined, the teacher may provide additional declarative knowledge. Third, the teacher and the student negotiate the meaning of what is taught. The assumption is that the teacher will clarify points for the student, but in the best exchanges the teacher also gains understanding (Shale & Garrison, 1990). Fourth, through repetitions of steps two and three, both the teacher and the student advance in their knowledge, and the student’s knowledge are validated by the teacher. And these four process language acts between the teacher and student as a bridge.

Moreover, the language of book is also important to learn.  Learning the language of book has an importance on education. For example; English is second language for us. For this most of the men of our country cannot earn many teaching as most of the book is written in English. And we who know English very poor compared to native English native speakers. As a result we are much more behind in science and modern technology than native English speakers as most of the modern technology book is written in English.

 2.    Education Learning varies because of language

If we compare us (Bangladeshi students) to developed countries’ students we will found that there is a huge variation among us. I think this not only for our social and political situation but also for our language variation. In this globalization age English language is a great factor in the field of learning. A student of England or America understands a term easily because the term is written in English and English is his/her native language. On the other hand we who learn English as second language have to waste huge time to learn that term as we have to translate that term first in English then understanding. In the same way a speaker of regional dialect is clearly behind than a speaker of stander language.

There is another concept that language controls ones thought (according to Sapir). In this sense if there is no concept of a term in a human’s language how can he learn that term? 

3.     Language: To show literacy

In our society we can easily differ a man weather he is educated or not by hearing his language. The language of an educated man should be polite, standard, mild and in correct pronunciation.

Social classes will use language differently. For instance a person who is poor and uneducated he or she will not speak his or her language as well as a person who is well off and well educated. It can also affect accents, slang uses and grammar. Here is an example: Uneducated, poor black people have their own wording to say things rather than use the accepted norm of the English language. Even in the Spanish language there is a difference in the language expression between the

With a better education, a person will likely speak more properly. His or her sentences will be well formulated and slang will be at a minimum. The lower a person is on the social ladder, the less educated a person is likely to be. And with less education, a person will likely speak with a looser form of a language.


This is very little discussion on this topic, “Language influences Social status, education”. Language has a great influence in human society. Language shows humans inner and outer condition. Education is totally a subject of inner earning. And for this it is totally depended to express. Social status is not fully depended on language but language has a great influence on social status. It influences in both, to increase social status and to show social status. This topic is a part of sociolinguistics. In sociolinguistics there is a debate whether language influences culture or culture influences language or culture and language both influence each other or none influences any one. Social status or class and education these two are remarkable elements of the society and social culture. It was proved that social culture and education both influence each other. At the same way, social status and education, and language both influence. Here we proved that how language influences social status and education.


  1. Yule, George – study of language.
  2. Sapir, Edward – Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech (1929b, p.207).
  3. Wikipedia.
  4.  Internet.


About the author

A Rahman

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