Spring 2018 Courses
How are gender and sexuality constrained, constructed, performed, and resisted in and through language? We will address these issues through readings and discussion of theories of language and gender, queer linguistics, and feminist discourse analysis, alongside case studies in sociocultural linguistics and linguistic anthropology from Africa, including Nigeria, South Africa, and the Swahili Coast. As a final project, students will write a funding proposal to conduct fieldwork on a topic of their choice. Students interested in language, gender, and sexuality outside of Africa are also welcome and may write the final paper in relation to any linguistic context.
This course will examine the social, cultural, linguistic, and political issues related to the development of bi/multilingualism in U.S. public schools. It is intended for practitioners and educators who serve emergent bilingual students (or English Language Learners [ELLs]), including teachers certified in English as a Second Language (ESL) now seeking a bilingual certification. It is designed to amplify the theories, methods, strategies, and issues addressed in the ESL certification program. In particular, it will focus on the implementation of teaching and learning strategies in students’ home languages (e.g., Vietnamese) and in English as well as explore different curriculum approaches and strategies that both leverage and expand students’ linguistic and intellectual repertoires. The class will address curriculum and approaches to the sociocultural organization of home languages and English in bilingual classrooms and consider the effects of these practices on the development of bi(multi)lingualism and bi(multi)literacies and content area knowledge for emergent bilinguals and ELLs. The goal is to address persistent educational inequities and develop appropriate ways to organize robust curriculum and instruction to enhance ELLs and emergent bilinguals’ learning opportunities and academic potential in the long term. Note: this course is required for bilingual certification.
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 qualitative research methods requirement for SLA majors.
Focuses on framing, generating, collecting, and analyzing data gathered from interviews and documents related to people's lives.
Whether you have spoken English since you were a baby or you learned English as an adult, you probably have asked yourself some questions about the English language. Do you feel good or do you feel well? Who wrote the dictionary? Is hip-hop poetry? How do children learn to speak? Will the Internet really change the English language? In this class, we will ask many questions like these and attempt to answer them by using the techniques of modern linguistics (the scientific study of language). We will investigate how the English that we use today is organized into sounds, into small meaning-bearing units called morphemes, into words, and how words group together into sentences. Although most people have strong feelings about what is right and wrong about today's English, we will see that there is no such thing as ONE English language. No, there is no single English language today, and when we look back over the past 50 years or over the past 500 years it is obvious that English has changed. What processes have brought about this change? And why do different native speakers today speak different Englishes?
This class is intended for anyone who is interested in how English works and how the English of today came to be what it is. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
Week 1: 'A Language Like English'
Week 2: 'Language and Authority'
Week 3: 'English Phonology'
Week 4: 'English Morphology'
Week 5: 'English Syntax: The Grammar of Words'
Week 6: 'English Syntax: Phrases, Clauses, and Sentences'
Week 7: 'Semantics'
Week 8: 'Spoken Discourse'
Week 9: 'Stylistics'
Week 10: 'Language Acquisition'
Week 11: 'Language Variation'
Week 12: 'American Dialects'
Week 13: 'History of English: Old to Early Modern English'
Week 14: 'History of English: Modern and Future English'
Format: Two lectures each week on Monday and Wednesday, followed by a discussion section on Friday
Assignments: Each week, one online multiple-choice comprehension exercise plus one written activity from the textbook. One take-home midterm and one take-home final exam
A central characteristic of human beings is LANGUAGE is man is the only animal capable of language (homo loquens). The ability to acquire and use language is uniquely human. Another distinctively human capacity is the ability to learn languages other than the mother tongue throughout the lifespan. Indeed, data show that there are more bi/multilinguals than monolinguals in the world (~60% in Europe, ~25% in the US, 99% in Luxembourg!). In this course, we will discuss some of the current theories on how people acquire/learn a non-native, or second language (L2). We will survey both quantitative and qualitative research on how a second language is acquired, represented and processed in the mind/brain and discuss theoretical and practical implications of the current L2 research. Topics to be discussed in this course include formal (linguistic) characteristics of interlanguage (learner’s L2), the role of Universal Grammar and native language in L2 acquisition, crosslinguistic influence (how L1 and L2 influence each other), and nonlanguage factors such as age of acquisition (whether and how much age of acquisition matters), verbal aptitude, and motivation.
This course provides an introduction to the linguistic study of how humans acquire (native) language. 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 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 discuss typically developing children’s language acquisition as well as language development of children with developmental problems and children with SLI (specific language impairment).
Practice theory is the name of a variety of theories of how social beings, with their diverse motives and their diverse intentions, make and transform the world in which they live. It is a dialectic between social structure and human agency working back and forth in a dynamic relationship.
In the first half of the semester, we will study versions of practice theory that have been proposed in sociology (Bourdieu, 1977), in anthropology (Holland and Lave, 2009), in philosophy (Schatzki, 2002), and in applied linguistics (Young, 2009).
In the second half of the seminar, we will focus on existing data collected from 24 teachers of English in China in a project aiming to relate their everyday classroom practice to their beliefs and to the social milieu in which they work. Each seminar participant will develop a case study of one of the teachers to understand the dialectic relationships among the teacher’s classroom practice, their implicit attitude to language teaching, their formative experience as a language learner, their professional training, and the institutional constraints and affordances with which they work.
In the first half of the semester, seminar participants will read from the cited texts and facilitate seminar discussion of the text. In the second half, they will conduct case studies using the data provided, prepare weekly reports on their research, and complete a final research paper.
This seminar will be of interest to students of English linguistics, world languages, anthropology, sociology, second language acquisition, and curriculum and instruction.
Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice.
Holland, D., & Lave, J. (2009). Social practice theory and the historical production of persons.
Schatzki, T. (2002). The site of the social: A philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change.
Young, R. F. (2009). Discursive practice in language learning and teaching.
Please note that German 727 is a topics course and may be taken more than once. This course is taught in English.
From Twitter to Tumblr, films to Facebook, advertising to art, we are surrounded by images that communicate messages about the world we inhabit and the cultures that create, celebrate, and evaluate these visual products. But how do we critically examine these visual texts? What strategies can we use to interpret messages conveyed not only through words but through images? This course focuses on developing the skills needed to read visual texts critically, understand the power and privilege of visual culture, cultivate and foster visual literacy, and gain a better understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity.
As foreign and second language educators, we recognize the importance of infusing our courses with authentic input in order to foster our students’ “translinguistic and transcultural competence” (MLA Report, 2007) through print and non-print media. Therefore in addition to becoming better educated consumers of media and images, an essential learning outcome of this course is for you to be able to work with visual texts in your own language courses.
Besides scholarly journal articles, we will read Nicholas Mirzoeff’s How to See the World: An Introduction to Images, from Self-Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and More, and excerpts from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright. Personal reflection, readings, class discussions, and conversations with experts will provide necessary knowledge and expertise to support you in becoming more confident teaching with visual texts and artifacts from a range of genres, for example, feature-length films, video clips, advertisements, public spaces, art, photography, graphic novels, and comics, in order to promote your students’ (whether current or future, beginning or advanced) visual cultural literacy.
Assessment measures will include preparation of readings in advance of class and active participation in class discussions; treatment of an article and leading class discussion; an interview (and follow-up report) with an instructor who incorporates visual texts into their teaching or scholar whose research involves visual culture; a composition notebook project, through which you will hone your observation skills, gain greater awareness of your surroundings, and cultivate your curiosity and creativity by completing short assignments on a variety of topics; and finally the application of theory to practice by designing lessons for several visual texts selected from a range of genres including a feature-length film, video clip, advertisement, public space, art, photograph, or other form of media.
German 727 is taught in English! Knowledge of German is not a prerequisite for enrollment in the course. Guests/experts (in person or via Skype) will be determined in part by the languages taught by students enrolled in the course. Students will analyze visual texts in English and in their target language and can develop teaching materials in their target language as long as they provide a detailed instructor’s guide in English. Readings and class discussion will be in English. The required text can be purchased online or at the University Bookstore. Articles from journals and other materials will be available for download via the Learn@UW course website.
Please email Jeanne Schueller (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or with any questions!
This class studies the cognitive and linguistic processes underlying language comprehension—turning speech, sign, or written input into an understanding of that input, with a specific focus on word and sentence interpretation, in both children and adults. We will read original research articles addressing a variety of topics, including ambiguity—natural language, including language to children, is rampantly ambiguous in word meaning and syntactic structure (and many other linguistic levels). We’ll investigate how people cope with lexical and syntactic ambiguity in language and how this ability changes in development. We’ll also investigate how children’s and adults’ comprehension is affected by syntactic complexity, and the degree to which people predict aspects of upcoming input. Other topics may include referential interpretation (e.g. pronouns), prosody, and the relationship between language production and comprehension processes. The readings will be chosen not only to cover topics but also introduce a variety of research methods in children and adults. The class typically enrolls students from Psychology, Linguistics, Education, and programs with interest in (psycho)linguistics or second language instruction, such as German, English, etc. Feel free to inquire with me, Maryellen MacDonald, email@example.com
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. Fulfills the quantitative research methods requirement for SLA majors.
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.
The study of phonetics is divided into three branches: articulatory, acoustic, and auditory. While most introductory courses focus on articulatory phonetics, this seminar’s primary focus will be acoustic phonetics (i.e., studying the speech signal) and its secondary focus will be auditory phonetics (i.e., perception of the speech signal). Using specific acoustic analysis software, we will explore the physical features of vowels, consonants, and fundamental frequency (i.e., pitch) through evidence related to segmental duration, formant structure, intensity, spectrograms, waveforms, and pitch contours. We will mainly look at data from Spanish, but comparisons to English and other Romance languages will be made when appropriate. All of our analyses will be based on and/or compared with experiments carried out in previous literature, which will be presented, discussed, and critiqued on a weekly basis. By the end of the course, students will be able to: effectively design a phonetics experiment while carefully considering the distinct nature of populations of speakers (e.g., native speakers, heritage learners, second language learners); conduct fine-grained analyses of vowels, consonants, and prosodic features in order to corroborate/refute previously held theoretical claims; combine the previous two points to produce a journal-style research paper. The course will be taught in ENGLISH.