LingEduator is a blog about linguistics and language variation, especially as it is relevant to education. Linguistics has been widely neglected in the American K-12 system, which is unfortunate because a firm understanding of linguistic structures would substantially improve our general education system. Moreover, linguistics is at the intersection of fields like sociology, psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), and cognitive science. These fields are at the cutting edge of new scientific discoveries and the technology sectors of our economy.
The goal of LingEducator is to elevate the public understanding of linguistics as a field of scientific inquiry and to make it easier for teachers at all levels to teach about language and language variation. Posts about language issues that are being highlighted in the news help you to make the case to your students about the relevance of a strong education in linguistics. Other resources for teaching about language, including links to blogs, websites, and research articles are also highlighted.
For college professors, LingEducator brings together resources for teaching about the most microscopic level of language and language variation on its phonetics/phonology page. LingEducator provides links that help students begin their own linguistic research projects on several pages, including the Atlases and Other Studies page, which allows students to see what kinds of research has done before. LingEducator also provides links for Corpora and Other Data, and links for research tools on the Demographic Research Links page, the Tools for Linguistic Research Page, and the General Tools page. Finally, LingEducator provides pages like Latino Language Variation and Language and Gender Research which introduce students to the kinds of social variation that linguists are interested in studying.
For K-12 teachers, LingEducator offers a page on Linguistically Informed Writing Instruction that introduces you to some of the better resources for negotiating language variation in the classroom. Links on the other LingEducator pages should also be food for thought. As teachers are asked to do more and more test-prep, teaching about language variation might not seem like a priority. However, it has been proven that teachers who use techniques like contrastive analysis (which teaches non-standard English speakers to code switch from their home variety to the language expected in the classroom) significantly raise test scores. And, for those students who are already speaking standardly, linguistics offers an opportunity to (1) heighten their awareness of the structural elements of the language, which will help you to improve their writing, and (2) incorporate math and science lessons into discussions of language. Not sure how? Check out the Classroom Activities series for concrete ideas. Read through the Resources series for links to other pages that might help. -OR- Email me with questions: jocumpaugh @ wpi.edu
I welcome your comments and suggestions!