Functional theory

Functional theory of foreign language acquisition focuses on the role the language plays in actual communication and views language as a medium that is used to achieve specific purposes, the primary one being communication. Linguists distinguish between structural function (the role which elements of language structure play) and pragmatic function (what the use of language can accomplish, for example, convey information or express emotions). The focus of the functional theory is the use of language in real situations. The scholars who greatly contributed to the development of this theory were Michael Halliday, Henry G. Widdowson, David Wilkins.

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