- Peer Review: Linguistics for Teachers of English
Linguistics for Teachers of English
- Aug 10, 2020 by Teacher Education
The primary goals of this text are to acquaint prospective teachers of English with certain aspects of the history, structure, and use of the English Language. Through considering the nature of the English language; how language and culture are interconnected as well as how it is acquired and how and why it changes, readers will come to a fuller understanding of sociolinguistics.
This text discusses the nature of language, as well as how it is acquired; how and why languages change, and how the English language, in particular, has changed (and continues to change); why different varieties of English have developed, and why they continue to be used; how linguists have attempted to account for the (ir)regularities of English; how language and culture are related; and how linguistics can be used as a tool in the classroom.
This text presents important topics for English teachers to know: the relationship between “standard” and “nonstandard” dialects, how and why language varies, how we can make informed decisions about what is “right” and “wrong” in language use, and generally how a sound knowledge of how language works can inform and benefit the pedagogical strategies needed to develop as a teacher.
The author wants readers to think about language in ways not thought of before: objectively, passionately, critically, analytically, and logically. This allows readers to move beyond memorization of facts to original thought (which is sort of like the difference between knowing how to add and subtract and being able to balance a checkbook).
- Type of Material:
Open (Access) Textbook
- Recommended Uses:
- Have students watch the E-lecture LIN101 and then write questions they have, which they consider will be answered in the textbook
- Have students watch the E-lecture in the introduction section and make a list of authors they are familiar with who talk or write about the concepts described in the video
- Have students watch Caedmon’s Hymn Song and create a similar project in which they sing or recite something written in old English
- Have students make a glossary of loan words
- Students can read the textbook and answer the questions found throughout the text in the quick review sections.
- Facilitate small groups or large groups discussions on male/female communication styles
- Have students write a reflective paper about their communication styles
- Have students create and language acquisition project in which they interview/record a child and analyze the patterns of their language.
- Have students search about educational policies regarding the use of students’ dialects in the classroom
- After watching the videos Do you speak American, students could have a debate or write an argumentative essay based on prompt Should the United States have an official language?
This textbook would be useful as the main source of information and class pacing in a linguistics class or it could also be additional or supplementary material for a portion of any class where linguistics or language is a part of the curriculum.
- Technical Requirements:
Download from the website as PDF or iBooks e-book
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Gain a general idea of the term language and each of the branches of Linguistic
- Learn the history of English from Olde English to Modern English time periods
- Identify which things to consider when discussing prescriptivism and standardization
- Define what is language, and what is communication
- Analyze styles and differences in communication
- Reflect on their own communication styles
- Review the stages in Language Acquisition
- Explore differences between Standard English and dialect
- Learn strategies to teach students with hearing impairment
- Target Student Population:
Undergraduate and graduate students in Linguistics courses, Education courses, or English courses
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- Students may benefit more from this textbook if they have taken an introduction to Linguistics course.
- They should also be aware of Noam Chomsky's perspectives on Competence and Performance.
- They need to have learned the concepts of dialect, register and accent.
Anyone with an interest in the history, structure, and use of the English Language might read this book.
The quality of this textbook is very high with the concepts and models valid representations for learning linguistics that should be covered by anyone teaching or learning about linguistics. The best part about this book is that the author has not only written about linguistics concepts but has incorported video, images, tables, charts and similar media on every page, supporting those who are visual learners but also, in the case of videos, allowing the 'reader' to hear words properly spoken that might be difficult to pronounce otherwise.
The content of this material is very concise and appropriate. It is current and relevant. It is a good illustration of the concept the author wants to convey and provides a variety of information and other research and materials to support the author's content.
In general, this material can be used for a variety of purposes.
More explanation about pragmatics and dialects would be helpful.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Teaching and learning goals are easy to identify by scanning the Table of Contents for topics and although the book follows linguistics from Olde English to Language in the Classroom - Modern History (and even sign language), the topics could be presented in any order or just a specific unit/topic addressed.
Every page is is written in an engaging, story telling manner that keeps the reader wanting to learn more. And the reader may find themselves engrossed in the graphic depictions and interactive videos.
The author has provided Quick Review questions at the end of each unit that could help guide a teacher in assessment. And sometimes questions for consideration are included for the videos.
This textbook is a very effective teaching tool.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- It is very engaging.
- Videos and pictures make it more appealing and help students to remember the main concepts.
- The amount of text is not overwhelming.
- Textual enhancement techniques makes the reading easier and more comprehensive.
This material can be downloaded very easily, and the web page provides very clear instructions for downloading this material. This material is constructed reasonably and clearly and is easy to read. A variety of formats are also available.
The iBooks version of the textbook may not have fully functional links if downloaded and read on a generic epub reader.
- Other Issues and Comments:
The link for the video in the introduction section is very helpful to get a general view of Linguistics and its branches.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
- Creative Commons: