(Meets simultaneously with African 671; students must enroll in both courses.)
This course is both theoretical and practical. Through reading, discussion, and research, students will explore theories of second language acquisition (SLA) and relate them to self-instructional methods. Each student will test and/or modify one or more theories/methods by putting these self-instructional methods into practice in order to learn a less commonly taught language (LCTL). Students will share their findings in writing and during class discussions, and write a final paper assessing their learning outcomes. This course is intended for those with prior experience in the study of African languages, or advanced study of other foreign languages.
(Meets simultaneously with African 670; students must enroll in both courses.)
Monitored self-instruction of a less commonly taught language. Through weekly meetings, students discuss their use of self-instructional methods to learn a less commonly taught language (LCTL), get feedback on individualized syllabi and assessment plans, and present progress reports orally and in writing.
In this 1-credit course, graduate students will explore the concept of “flipped classrooms.” By flipping our classrooms, we use out-of-class time to prepare students for better use of in-class time. We will explore several ways to accomplish this, but focus on one: creating digital materials students can use outside of class to learn about grammar or culture, while saving class time for communicative practice in the target language. Each student will create at least one digital lesson by the end of the semester and have the opportunity to give critical feedback on others’ lessons. The focus is on using the flipped classroom for language teaching, but graduate students teaching culture courses are also welcome and will have the opportunity to work on projects relevant to their teaching interests.
This course will develop graduate students’ metacognitive skills and critical thinking about teaching as a scholarly activity, through the creation of a teaching portfolio that documents the ideas and objectives that have informed their teaching to date and potential future teaching. Designed for students who teach foreign languages but open to graduate students in other humanities disciplines.
By the end of this course you will:
- understand and be able to explain what a teaching portfolio is
- develop a teaching philosophy and be able to explain it to others both in writing and orally
- document your past teaching experience
- reflect on, both in writing and orally, your past teaching experience and its relationship to your teaching philosophy
- identify areas in which you can improve your teaching and document concrete steps toward doing so
- create a syllabus for a course you hope to teach in the future
In this course, we explore how the field of SLA (its historical context and development, current status, and relevant issues) relates to language, literacy and academic learning for English learners in U.S. schools.
Authorization Required (email: email@example.com)
Fulfills SLA qualitative research methods course requirement
Provides an overview of qualitative inquiry, examining assumptions, standards, and methods for generating and communicating interpretations. Methodological and theoretical works illustrate case study, ethnography, narrative, and action research. This course does not include a field method component.
Fulfills the SLA program's quantitative research methods course requirement.
Introductory descriptive statistics and statistical inference; measures of central tendency and variability, confidence intervals, theory of hypothesis testing, correlation techniques.
(English Language and Linguistics; Mixed grad/undergrad) The English language is both an object of study in its own right and also a tool that people use to communicate information and to influence the behavior and opinions of others. Although it has been studied for centuries, but what we know about the English language is strongly influenced by writing and written language and, because writing and reading are most often done in isolation, many linguistic theories have ignored the social life of language. Yes, language has a social life and, obviously, social interaction does not happen in isolation; it involves people doing things and influencing each other by what they do. To combine the English language and social interaction in a single thought means asking: How does social interaction happen through English? And how does our knowledge of the English language change when we consider it to be primarily a means of social interaction? These are the two questions that we will wrestle with over and over again in this course. If you are interested in language and if you are interested in social relationships, this course will help you develop those interests.
Young, R. F. (2008). Language and interaction: An advanced resource book. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-38553-4
A packet of 11 readings
(English Language and Linguistics; Mixed grad/undergrad) This is an introduction to pragmatics for undergraduates in the English department, students pursuing the M.A. in Applied English Linguistics, the Ph.D. in English Language and Linguistics, the Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition, and interested students from other departments.
Pragmatics is the study of the relationship between the meaning of an utterance and the context in which the utterance is produced. We normally think of people using language to produce utterances, though the act of production involves words and grammar but also vocal prosody, gesture, gaze, and bodily stance. The context of production is also much grander than the time and place of utterance and it includes the physical, spatial, temporal, social, interactional, institutional, political, and historical circumstances in which a person produces an utterance. By ‘utterance’ and ‘context’ we name systems of interconnection among very many features, and the study of the relationship between utterance and context is not to be undertaken lightly. Nonetheless it is a study that for centuries has been of great interest to philosophers, linguists, semioticians, and psychologists. And even if you don’t want to focus on pragmatics as a field of academic study, it’s worth considering a few questions that we will ask and try to answer in this course:
* I know the kind of actions I can perform with my body and with tools I use, but what kind of actions can I perform with my words?
* Sometimes, I am in conversation with somebody and, although we both know exactly the meaning of every word, I still don’t get what the other person is driving at. What am I missing?
* I know some people who are forever saying please and thank you, just like my mother taught me when I was a child. And then there are some other people I know who rarely say please or thank you, and I know my mother would say they are not being polite, but nobody else seems to bother. Why is that?
* Why did the defense attorney object when the prosecutor asked the defendant when he had stopped abusing his daughter?
* Say “It’s cold in here” and mean “It’s warm in here”. Can you do it? — And what are you doing as you do it? And is there only one way of doing it?
That last question was asked by a philosopher. Asking and answering questions like these is not just what we should do as students and scholars; it is also a matter of practical communication—especially communication among people from different social and cultural backgrounds. If you decide to take this course, I hope it will not only be one more step on the road to an academic qualification, but it should also be a means to make us all better communicators.
Archer, D., Aijmer, K., & Wichmann, A. (2012). Pragmatics: An advanced resource book for students. Routledge.
Thirty-four supplementary readings are available for download from Box.
Writing is hard for nearly everyone—for me, likely for you, and for most respected authors. But why?
This graduate-level introduction to writing studies will answer this question by engaging with theories of how and why writing is hard, many of which were developed right here at UW Madison. This course does not promise to make writing easier. But it will help us to understand our own and others’ writing processes and how those process are linked to the wider world in which writing is imbricated. In this way, we will gain a more secure scholarly footing from which to grapple with the writing difficulties that inevitably arise not only in our graduate work, but also in our teaching, and in our lives.
Please note that German 727 is a topics course and can be retaken.
As the title suggests, in this course we will critically examine how ‘language’ and its putative uses are conceived of in so-called ‘foreign (second) language’ instruction, especially at the college level. We will examine and compare conceptions of language (a) as they are implicit in recent and, for comparative purposes, early published research in second language acquisition, with a focus on leading journals in the field; (b) as the object of teaching/study as evidenced in foreign language textbooks; (c) as the central concern in undergraduate and graduate departmental curricula in the foreign languages (course offerings and rationales given for the purpose of language study) as well as in graduate programs that focus on research into language learning & teaching; (d) as explicitly and implicitly defined in the labeling of teaching practices (e.g., ‘the communicative approach’; ‘teaching for literacy/ies’) and professional standards (such as the World Readiness Standards issued by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages or reports issued by the Modern Language Association); (e) as described by language learners (‘what is that you believe you are/should be studying?’) and language teachers, respectively; and, for comparative purposes, (f) L1-focused publications in linguistics, psychology, communication studies, and related fields.
In short, we will examine how ‘language’ in the context of FL/L2 is implicitly or explicitly defined – and what alternative definitions are possible although they are not apparently or consistently applied. We will further explore how assumptions about FL/L2 learning processes & teachability and about goals & motivations can account for contradictions within the field of FL/L2 as well as for differences between L1 and L2 notions of what ‘language’ and ‘language learning’ are about.
Assignments will include mediated (via reading guides) readings and class discussions; material/research-analytic projects (individual as well as collaborative projects in which the analytic work of individuals will be collated into broader insights); interviews & surveys; and the description of possible/needed future research studies.
All required texts will be available for download from the course website.
Fulfills SLA quantitative research methods course requirement.
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.