Spring 2017 Courses

The following courses are appropriate for the SLA major. Courses meeting requirements for the SLA minor are indicated with an asterix (*).


Mariana Pacheco
Thursdays from 9:00-11:30 am

This course will examine theoretical perspectives from a variety of disciplines that situate the languages and cultures of non-dominant students within particular geo-political, sociocultural borders and contexts. Some researchers and theorists have conceptualized these spaces as “borderlands” to characterize the spaces linguistically diverse students must navigate and negotiate in and outside of school. We will examine research on teaching and learning experiences from the areas of linguistic anthropology, language socialization, cultural-historical approaches, feminist studies, queer theory, and sociolinguistics.

Maggie Hawkins
Wednesdays, 9:30-12:15

In an era of increasing mobility, when diverse languages and cultures come into contact they do not remain neatly bounded, but interact with each other in complex and multifaceted ways. From fields as diverse as geography, philosophy, sociology, economics, applied linguistics, education and literacy studies (and others), theorists and researchers are attempting to account for new configurations and constellations of people, languages, cultures, practices and spaces.  Terms (signifying concepts) such as globalization, transnationalism, diasporic flows, modernity/postmodernity, colonialism/postcolonialism, cosmopolitanism, etc. abound, each claiming specific situated meanings within specific (situated) traditions & conversations.  In this seminar, our interest is in exploring these processes as they apply to teaching, learning, language acquisition and use, and identity work in schools,  homes and communities. We will explore how various conceptualizations & perspectives help us understand situated language and cultural practices, connect notions of linguistic and cultural flows and transitions with research methodologies, discuss implications for educational practices, and offer students the opportunity to apply understandings to their own research projects.

TR 11:00AM-12:15PM OR TR 2:30-3:45PM

Analysis of variance and covariance, multiple linear regression; chi-square and various nonparametric techniques.  Pre-Reqs: Ed Psych 760 or Psych 210

Jacee Cho
TR 9.30-10.45

This course provides an introduction to the linguistic study of child language acquisition. Children attain adult-like linguistic knowledge by the age of 5-6 without any explicit instruction or correction from their caregivers. In this course, we will examine the properties of the human mind that make language so easily accessible to all normally developing children and discuss evidence for the claim that children are born with built-in universal linguistic principles (Universal Grammar) that constrain language acquisition. We will discuss experimental methods on child language acquisition. We will cover child first language/monolingual acquisition as well as child bilingual acquisition (children acquiring two languages simultaneously).  We will also discuss language development of blind children, children with autism, and children with SLI (specific language impairment). All reading materials will be available electronically on the course website.

Jacee Cho
TR 1.00-2.15

This course continues the introduction to SLA (Eng 318) by focusing on a number of critical issues in SLA from linguistic (generative) and psycholinguistic perspectives. In this course we will discuss findings of recent research in SLA that address questions such as: (1) what is the role of Universal Grammar in L2 acquisition? (2) how does L2 knowledge develop over time? (3) how does abstract linguistic knowledge interact with other cognitive and psychological factors in real-time language performance (production & comprehension)? We will learn how to design various linguistic and psycholinguistic experiments, and you will carry out a research project to investigate second language acquisition within the generative, or psycholinguistic theories. All reading materials will be available electronically on the course website.  

Kate Vieira
Wednesday, 10:15-12:45

Recent popular and scientific literature has claimed that writing can heal emotional and physical trauma. But under what conditions? for whom? and how?

In this course, we will first explore the possibility that writing has the potential to heal because, as writing studies scholars have shown, it is embodied. That is, writing issues from bodies, sometimes causing them pain (Van Ittersum and Hensley Owens), sometimes measuring "disabled" bodies against social constructed literate norms (Miller); sometimes with physical movement that shapes meaning (Haas and Witte); and often with differential rhetorical effects based on writers' race, gender, class (Ashanti Young). But how might the embodied nature of writing promote healing (and might other embodied practices also help us write?)? To grapple with this question, in the second part of the class we will read a range of texts in neuroscience (Flaherty; Davidson), psychology (Pennebaker and Evans), kinesiology (Todd), neurology (Wilson); and cognitive science and philosophy (Varela, Thompson, and Rosch). Finally, in the third part of the class, students will focus on a small-scale field project exploring the potential and limits of writing to heal.

Heather Willis Allen
T 4:00-6:30pm
379 Van Hise Hall

This seminar provides participants a forum for developing expertise in teaching advanced-level foreign language courses (culture- and literature-focused). The primary instructional approach emphasized is literacy-based teaching (Kern, 2000; Cope & Kalantzis, 2015), and we will relate that framework to principles of the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2015). Readings, in-class discussions, and assignments address how advanced-level foreign language courses can be designed to simultaneously develop language learners’ cultural and textual knowledge and linguistic capabilities. Instructional planning, including assessment practices that align with literacy-based teaching and strategies for putting together an advanced-level course syllabus, is a focus throughout the seminar. All course readings and class discussions are in English; instructional and assessment examples will relate to a variety of foreign languages.

Jeanne Schueller
MWF 11:00-11:50
Ingraham 223

Each year, thousands of language students across the world embark on a journey of a lifetime when they leave home to study abroad. Most are eager to immerse themselves in a culture and language they have experienced only in the classroom. Many feel challenged at first as they encounter spoken language unlike classroom discourse, negotiate new registers from colloquial to academic, and discover the importance of pragmatic knowledge in language use. Much like actors taking their cues from natives of that country, students abroad leave behind aspects of their own identities and appropriate new cultural behaviors and speech patterns, enacting, in effect what they believe “being” French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, or Swedish  means. Through engagement in the local culture, students open themselves to the transformative power of study abroad. It can be difficult to determine how students’ language and identity change abroad. How do we assess change in fluency, accuracy, vocabulary knowledge, cultural and communicative competence, listening comprehension, multiliteracy skills, and sensitivity to register and style? Can we gauge subjective dimensions of the study abroad experience, such as social and interactive abilities and identity?


In this class, we will explore many aspects of the study abroad experience, from programmatic issues to SLA research on language learning abroad and methods of data collection. Course work will include reading journal articles and participating in class discussions, leading class discussions of assigned and self-selected articles, producing an annotated bibliography, conducting interviews, designing and reporting on a research project, and presenting research projects to the class.


Knowledge of German is not a prerequisite for enrollment in the course. Readings and class discussion will be in English. There will be no class texts for purchase. Articles from research journals and other materials will be available for download via the Learn@UW course website.


For more information or with any questions, please email the instructor, Jeanne Schueller (jmschuel@wisc.edu). 

Maryellen MacDonald
TR 2:30-3:45PM
113 Brogden Psychology Building

Cognitive processes and brain mechanisms underlying language use. Topics include language acquisition, production, comprehension, bilingualism, human vs. computer speech perception, reading and dyslexia, human language vs. animal communication, aphasia and other language impairments, and the relationship between language and thought.

Pre-Reqs: Psych 201 or 202 or 281 (contact Prof. MacDonald to check whether pre-requisites are satisfied) 

Douglas Maynard
MW 2:30-3:45PM
6112 Sewell Social Sciences

This course is concerned with the analysis of everyday, local practices for assembling coherent and stable social environments. The focus on everyday practices derives from both ethnomethodological and conversation analytic literatures and investigations. Instruction will involve both didactic or illustrative presentations and hands-on work with interactional data from a variety of social settings, whether informal telephone calls, or more formal work or organizational settings.

Cathy Stafford
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:30pm

In this course students will examine second language acquisition (SLA) and bilingual development from psycholinguistic perspectives, that is, focusing on how the human mind/brain deals with the internalization, representation, and use of two or more linguistic systems. After a brief historical overview of cognitivist approaches to SLA and bilingualism, we will narrow the focus to two strands of contemporary psycholinguistic SLA/bilingualism research, namely, information processing and usage-based approaches. Students will critically read several empirical studies from each of these strands to gain an in-depth understanding and be able to articulate and evaluate the types of research questions, study designs, and analytic approaches employed in these research paradigms. The final project for the course will likely entail an original pilot or partial replication study to afford students the opportunity to (collaboratively or individually) carry out and reflect upon a data-based study that employs techniques of psycholinguistic SLA/bilingualism research.

Chaeyoon Lim
MW 2:30-3:45PM (plus lab)
5106 Sewell Social Sciences

Presentation of sociological data; descriptive statistics; probability theory and statistical inference; estimation and tests of hypotheses; regression and correlation and the analysis of contingency tables; lectures and lab. Gateway to advanced courses in sociology. It is recommended that students take Soc 357 prior to taking this course.