Teaching About Language Variation

There are two kinds of language variation: synchronic variation and diachronic variation.

  • Synchronic variation is language variation at one point in time and is usually called dialect variation.
  • Diachronic variation is language variation compared between two points in time and is usually called language change.

Both kinds of language variation are part of our efforts to improve education through accurate understanding of how language works. Generally, there are two areas which involve language variation. Many people have argued about the value of dialects in schools. The links below on the left provide some points of connection within that discussion. The other important area is the effort to update language education. Understanding how language works, especially language variation, is the focus of the other set of links below.

For more lesson plans, visit Dialects in Schools.