This sense of belonging springs from one’s immediate environment where there is focus on the language one speaks along with complementary elements like accent, nuances and other such features that form the general social and cultural terrain of the particular place. Language offers people first hand knowledge of a variety of symbols that one comes to associate with a place. This in turn generates a more enriching quality to one’s experiences. (Mercer, 1996)
In knowing and learning a language, whether by birth or subsequent settlement, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that helps contribute to one’s sense of identity. This also has certain mental implications as it shows the person’s basic aptitudes, besides brining him or her face to face with the challenges of implementing the language. This makes a person draw from experiences of the past, learn from present experiences and contribute to future experiences, which will shape his or her overall life experiences. This also renders a certain amount of creative and communicative competency to a person and his or her sense of confidence with which he or she carries out interactions with people.
In this regard, it is necessary to shift focus to the process of learning of a language and garnering communicative competency. This process is important in every individual’s life as the knowledge comes only after learning. The very process of learning is a journey throughout which an individual is brought face to face with experiences. These experiences form his or her general perspective on things.
In this way, there is a certain level of competency which in turn, springs from the areas and experiences that a person finds comfortable to deal with. Learning a language is a crucial part of describing how a language shapes a person's experiences. (Girvin, 2000)
Learning a language has always been a great challenge. While this is a matter of creating awareness, it is also a matter of creating certain comfort level that will trigger communicative competency in that language. To be more precise, the teaching of a language can take place on the basis of the communicative approach - i.e., through reading, listening and repeating exercises that will prompt greater teacher - student interface and thus help correct any deviations on the spot. A vital element of this approach or model is communicative competency which is the goal that a language learner strives to achieve. (Johnson, 1996)
This communicative competency becomes the very fabric of a person's life when it comes to understanding circumstances, people and cultures. This fact has special importance in the area of cognitive development. The cognitive development is the most basic and important sensor that differentiates between kinds of experiences. This sensor has to be honed right from the beginning of an individual's life so that there is an affiliation in the child's mind towards a language, a culture and a place. In honing this part of one's cognitive development, there is scope to increase his or her competency.
The power of language and being able to communicate with someone plays a large role in the cognitive development. This helps the person develop in terms of trusting the teacher and sharing with the family. The ways and means of teaching or learning a language can be formal or informal depending on the person's stage in life. (Mercer, 1996