New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE)
“Unlearning Prescriptivism: Linguistics, Grammar, and Media Literacy in Antiracist/Antibias Teaching”
Friday, October 21st, 2022
11:15 AM (Virtual)
"Linguistics and Media Studies as a Core English Language Arts Course: A
Teaching Language Variation in the Classroom: Strategies and Models from Teachers and Linguists
Edited by Michelle D. Devereaux and Chris C. Palmer. Routledge, 2019.
Abstract: “What attitudes and beliefs do you have about language? How did those attitudes develop, and how do they influence your worldview?” This is one of the essential questions sophomores, juniors, and seniors confront in a linguistics elective at Hudson High School in central Massachusetts. Throughout the course, students examine what it means to “know” a language, studying how language is learned and developed in the individual, how it changes across time and geography, and how language varieties exhibit equally complex phonologies and grammars. The goal of this examination is to promote a greater respect for language variety, as well as a more understanding attitude toward groups and individuals who speak a nonstandard dialect. By teaching about the social, historical, and economic forces that help drive language change, my hope is to promote the type of compassionate critical thinking essential to living in a diverse society.