Tag Archives: linguistics

Linguistics in Secondary Schools?

It wasn’t until freshman year at GMU that I had any idea what linguistics, as a science and study, was all about. Even worse, it wasn’t until my junior year that I took an actual linguistics course! Surprisingly, I was required to take the course for my English teacher endorsements; apparently the Virginia state teacher licensing requires English teachers to have taken a class in linguistics now!

This is fantastic, because there are countless ways that teachers–especially English teachers–can apply linguistics and linguistic theories in their classrooms. But just because they can, and should,¬†since they’re taking the coursework anyway, doesn’t mean that they will. Which is a tragedy and a waste, in my opinion.

I love linguistics, and I’ll be an English teacher soon. A unit on linguistics could be a useful substitute to a traditional grammar unit, or any other language study unit. Even better: an entire linguistics elective class¬†would be a neat alternative to the more standard creative writing and film studies electives that English teachers often turn to.

One project I’d like to undertake is designing some tentative linguistics lesson plans that secondary English teachers could use in the classroom. History teachers could use them also–how great would it be if, when learning about European history, students got a few quick lessons on European languages?!

I think my first lesson will be a brief study on Native American languages. I’ll try to design it to be taught in a history or English classroom. Any ideas and suggestions are welcome. I’m mostly using the internet as a source right now (personally, I don’t know too much about Native American languages, but now I have to learn!) so any book suggestions or other resources would be helpful!

Also, I have no idea when this Native American language lesson will be completed. I’m in the middle of finals, and if I want it to be well-researched and well-put together, it could be months and months until I’ve got the finished product pieced together. But I’ll try to keep updates as I’m working!

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Filed under Education, Linguistics