‘This volume is, as best I can tell, the first of its kind in the vast
literature on linguistics, or at the very least, it is one of the few such
collections around. I found myself agreeing with the authors repeatedly on
point after point, and so it is clear to me that this is a work that all of
us should turn to again and again for inspiration and insight.’
Brian Joseph, Professor of Linguistics, Ohio State University
At some point in our past, human beings evolved the incredibly complex
natural language systems which we all take for granted but without which we
would not be able to communicate in the ways we do with each other, have
civilizations, be able to contemplate the future and to change it. In the
last hundred years we have begun to understand how these communication
systems work. We know much about how we make speech sounds, organise them
into words, the words into sentences and how the words and sentences we
produce mean what they do. The subject within whose confines these
discoveries have been made is linguistics. The knowledge we now have is
passed on by teachers of linguistics many of whom are gifted and committed.
Yet we know little about how they see their commitments to their subject.
This book is the first to give teachers of linguistics the chance to
reflect on their professional practice as teachers and thus to share their
enthusiasms, their strategies and their personal approaches to their subject.