Category Archives: Classroom Activities

Resources: Reconstructing American Tongues

In 1988, the Center for New Media produced American Tongues.  Since then, this Peabody-Award-winning documentary, which highlights the range of language variation in the United States, has been a staple in American linguistic classes.  Even now, when the average 18 … Continue reading

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Classroom Activities: Ambiguous Language

Language is full of ambiguity.  Not only do we have words with two different meanings, but we have sentences which–because of structural ambiguity–can have multiple meanings. One of the more famous examples that illustrates these issues is the following sentence: … Continue reading

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Language Fun: International Talk Like A Pirate Day

  Arrr! International Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th) is fast approaching.  It’s a fun holiday for linguists and linguageeks because it celebrates language differences. It’s also an opportunity to engage people in conversations about why we celebrate some … Continue reading

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Tools for Teachers–online resources to help you start the school year

There are so many new online tools for teaching language, it can be difficult to keep up.  Here’s a list of a few tutorials that can help you figure out which are tools are going to be most helpful in … Continue reading

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Required Reading on Multilingualism

The article linked below should be required reading. Especially for teachers, speech-language pathologists, and parents. (But really, everybody should know this.) The article, “Recommending Monolingualism to Multilinguals – Why and Why Not” by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, is featured on ASHA’s blog, and … Continue reading

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Classroom Activities: Once-scorned Wikipedia now embraced in school | California Watch

Several years ago, the Linguistic Society of America decided to embrace the old motto of “if you can’t beat them, join them” by organizing trained linguists to create and revise Wikipedia entries about languages and linguistics.  It was a great … Continue reading

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Classroom Activities: Learning How to Send Messages in Code

This Classroom Activity is from the website Lesson Planet–a service for K-12 teachers.  It recommends having students learn simple secret codes.  The simplest: have them write the sentence backwards. However, you can also try simple letter swaps:  Learning How to … Continue reading

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Language News: Helping children learn to understand numbers: It’s all in the way we speak to them

Science Daily is a blog that covers the latest research journal publications, and this academically oriented site has covered a number of stories about numbers, counting, and number perception in the past.  This entry, however, covers research by Michael Ramscar, … Continue reading

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Language News: Gender in Sweden

Anybody who has worked with small children knows that one of the fastest ways to get a large group of them to be quiet (or do anything else you’d like them to do) is to pit the girls against the … Continue reading

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Classroom Activities: Preparing Students for the Invention Process in College Level Writing

One writing skill that students really struggle with in their transition to college is the process of invention:  the ability to generate new ideas rather than just regurgitating what has been done before.  Most college professors expect to see an … Continue reading

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