Compositional Skills

Rabbit, rabbit! Welcome to the first day of February! Even though this month is traditionally associated with groundhogs, I figured that I would give the customary first of the month shout-out to our long-eared friends who share a similar propensity to burrow.

Like rabbits and groundhogs, many of us feel an urge to begin burrowing at the dreaded words of composition, language, and perhaps most acutely — communication. Whether we realize it or not, however, everyone reading this post has developed a skill for communicating in some way, shape or form.

What if the languages we use just appear different?

and:

Are there structural similarities across languages and language types?

These two questions, along with older writings from ancient philosophers, have allowed me to view the topic of learning from more of a language-based perspective.

Most languages can be broken down into concepts and compositional rules (or logic). Languages that are typically written (or spoken) along with domain languages defining specific modes of movement can be successfully taught and learned in this manner.

Technical languages involving mathematics and programming take on a similar form. These are just some of the reasons why I believe that most people already possess the foundations for clear communication. Some individuals have developed their language skills to communicate through technology, others through writing, and still others through movement or music.

Once someone has learned one language, they already possess a basic framework for learning another. Even if that language is of a different type, it is highly likely to possess a similar structure — particularly when viewed within the context of concepts and composition.

My hope is that a language-based approach will open up more learning opportunities for everyone. Even if one decides to specialize, developing literacy in multiple types of languages can facilitate a smoother flow of ideas across individuals, companies, and cultures.