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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: Communicating about Communication: Multidisciplinary approaches to educating educators about language variation
Paper URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-818X.2010.00190.x/abstract
Author: Christine Mallinson
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://christinemallinson.com
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Author: Anne Harper Charity Hudley
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://annecharityhudley.com
Institution: College of William and Mary
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The quest to educate non-standardized English-speaking students has been a primary driving force behind developments in many fields represented by Compass journals, including sociology, geography, linguistics, psychology, history, literature, and education. Academics engaged in these multiple perspectives must join together, both to communicate knowledge about language variation to educators and to learn from educators' experiences with teaching non-standardized English-speaking students. Following the conference theme of breaking down barriers, we draw on research gathered from multidisciplinary approaches to educational analysis by developing a linguistic awareness model that is designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge about language variation between educators and researchers. Our model currently addresses three U.S.-based English language varieties: School English, Southern English, and African-American English. Drawing on these models, we highlight best teaching practices that can help non-standardized English-speaking students break down communication barriers to educational success in the pre-collegiate classroom. We draw on previous endeavors by academics to communicate information about language variation to wider audiences, noting two important challenges: the need to couple language variation awareness with readily accessible, specific examples of language variation and the need to provide information about how to work with language variation within the increasingly diverse classroom. We contend that only with this specific knowledge can educators use linguistic information to help students from non-standardized English-speaking backgrounds achieve in schools. Otherwise, educators may not appreciate the relevance and immediate necessity of the information. In our linguistic awareness model, we suggest realistic, cost effective ways to approach educators, including certification and re-certification courses, in-service workshops, websites, and wikis. A wiki of materials to accompany this paper may be found at http://charityhudleymallinsoncompass.wmwikis.net/. We also suggest future directions for linguistically aware educators to become resources for information on language variation and linguistic tolerance in their own schools and communities.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Language and Linguistics Compass 4(4): 245–257
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-818X.2010.00190.x/abstract


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