Instructional design principles emphasize the importance of understanding the needs of the learner and designing and developing quality instruction that facilitates transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitude (learning) based on learner needs. So, what does language have to do with instructional design? The answer: Language has everything to do with instructional design.
During the initial phase of instructional design, an analysis of the learner in conducted to gather information—through interviews, research, surveying, etc.—about the target population, information such as their cognitive abilities, previous learning experiences, motivation, learning styles, etc. Notice the ways in which the learner analysis is conducted—through interviews, research, and surveying, all of which are related to and are dependent upon language—communication and shared meaning.
During the interview process, it is important to compose and ask questions in a way that is clear to the interviewee, interact with the interviewee in a way that makes him or her comfortable and willing to answer and speak truthfully, listen to the interviewee, and interpret the answers of the interviewee objectively. Research and surveying also require important skills related to language such as being able to read, interpret, and write.
The analysis phase of instructional design informs all subsequent phases, including the design and development phases. The design and development phases include using the learner analysis to write performance objectives, develop assessment instruments, develop instructional strategies, and develop and select instructional materials, according to the Dick & Carey Model.
In conclusion, language has a pivotal role in the design and development of instruction. For this reason, it is important to consider language during all phases of the instructional design process to ensure quality instruction that ultimately meets the unique, specific needs of the learner population.
So, these are my two cents on how language is important to instructional design. Feel free to comment below. Let me why you think language is important to instructional design, if you think so at all. Let me know what you would add or how this conversation could be expanded.