Summer, Fall 2017 Courses

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


Katrina Daly Thompson
T, 2:00pm-4:00pm

(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.

Katrina Daly Thompson
T, 2:00pm-4:00pm


(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.

Katrina Daly Thompson
W 2:00-3:15 PM

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.

Katrina Daly Thompson
W, 3:30-5:00pm


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.

Learning Objectives

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
Margaret Hawkins
T 9:30am-12:15 pm

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:

Beth Graue
F 10:30-11:45 plus required discussion

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.

Francois Tochon
June 12-July 8; M,W,F 2:00-5:00pm

online course

Critical understanding of recent developments in research related to educational technology and its implications for World Language Education and Second Language Acquisition, through feedback and support to conceptualizing, contextualizing, and solving language education-related problems. Among other topics we will analyze the limits of instrumental reason when it is not subservient to reflective practice and theoretical wisdom, principles for appropriate technology integration into teaching, global learning of other cultures, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), Computer-Mediated-Communication (CMC), learning languages in Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVE), multimedia language teaching and emerging technologies in teaching languages and culture from non-positivistic perspectives like art-based inquiry, community-building through cyberspace, online ethnography, critical interviewing, participatory action-research, and new trends in visual semiotics. We will extend our discussion to topics such as internet addiction, transhumanism, futurology, and singularity.  For more information:
Francois Tochon
Course Content
This seminar includes an introduction to language instructional policies and linguistic
human rights in education. It examines teaching in a multilingual and global society. It
explores the various dimensions of the language used in the schools for instruction in
different countries during the globalization process: language policies, curricula and their
ideologies, the manifestation of linguistic and cross-cultural discrimination, language wars
and linguistic human rights: how the language of schooling gets politicized within the
globalization process.
General Description
Throughout history, languages have been linked to political power. Globalization affects
languages and cultures. Languages are constantly changing. Global policies accelerate the
trend. Multilingual situations are increasingly problematic. Half of the world languages
may disappear within two decades. Linguistic genocide and linguicism partly explain this
• Linguistic genocide is doing mental and physical harm to a minority population in
transferring its children to the majority, "prohibiting the use of the language of the
group in daily intercourse or in schools, or the printing and circulation of
publications in the language of the group". This definition comes from the original
Article III(1) of the final draft of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (E 794, 1948) of the United Nations.
• Linguicism refers to ideologies, structures, and practices that are used to legitimate,
create, regulate, and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources (both
concrete and abstract) between groups that are defined on the basis of language
Colonial representations of [superior] Self and [inferior] Other involving race, gender,
ethnicity, class, and language, are constantly re/constructed in curricula, policies and
practices related with foreign languages. The seminar will discuss teaching in a global
society, the manifestation of linguicism and cross-cultural clashes, language curricula and
linguistic human rights. We will inquire into their implications through current research
approaches and theorize their impact on curriculum and instruction.
TR 1:00-2:15 OR TR 9:30-10:45. Optional lab

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.

Richard Young
TR 9:30AM - 10:45AM

(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

Richard Young
TR 2:30PM - 3:45PM


(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.

Required materials

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.

Catherine Vieira
W, 10:00am-12:30pm


This overview course will introduce students to composition and rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which houses one of the most innovative and interdisciplinary programs in the country. We will survey the work of faculty, staff, and alums, and dig into  the intellectual roots of this work. Additionally, we will explore opportunities to research composition and rhetoric in Madison. In light of this legacy, and in light of the affordances of Madison as a research site, we will ask (and answer): How might we most productively create knowledge about writing and rhetoric moving forward? With an understanding of how composition and rhetoric has been practiced here, students will develop their own research agendas in writing studies for the ensuing years.

Monika Chavez
TR 9:30 – 10:45


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.

Eric Grodsky
TR 2:30-3:45pm. Additional required lab.

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.