Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

Spring 1997

112. Languages of the World. (2). (SS).

Language is a central concern of humankind and with good reason. As the conduit for most communicative and expressive needs as well as other tasks, it pervades virtually every aspect of human existence. Few realize, however, how truly rich the linguistic universe is until they consider the variety of distinct linguistic devices and practices employed by speakers of the 5000+ individual languages that have been identified to date. Appreciating and being able to explain the range of variety of spoken and written language among various peoples of the world is an essential key to understanding human culture and diversity. This course systematically addresses many of the questions which most fascinate us about language, thus widening our intercultural horizons and enhancing our sophistication about our own language and culture. It therefore serves those who wish to learn about both our own and other societies, particular languages or regions of the world, and the nature of the human mind.

350. Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Second Language Instruction. (2). (Excl).

The purpose of this course is to explore past and current directions in both theoretical and practical aspects of second/foreign language learning and teaching. The course will examine a number of language learning and teaching paradigms and focus on the changing forms and functions of methodology, technique and approach as the emphasis of language pedagogy has shifted from teacher directed, drill and pattern practice to learner focused, task based instruction. Students will have an opportunity to reflect upon and analyze their own language learning experiences and begin to critique and understand the instructional needs of varying language learning populations. Undergraduates should register for 350 and graduates for 450. Both courses will meet together, with additional work for 450 credit. (Madden)

Summer 1997

112. Languages of the World. (2). (SS).

See Linguistics 112 (Spring Term).

211. Introduction to Language. (2). (SS).

The study of language offers a way of looking at some of the most significant aspects of human experience. Language reflects and structures the way we think. It creates and is created by power relationships expressed through gender, race, class, and geography. Language offers us avenues for resistance as well as oppression. Through this course we will attempt to understand the many different roles language plays in our social and psychological lives. At the same time we will also learn some of the fundamentals of language structure which are basic to an appreciation of large-scale language issues. Course assignments will likely include biweekly homework and hourly exams. There will be a combination of course texts including background information as well as a selection of readings.

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