ENGL 2100 Language and Society

ENGL 2100 Language and Society

Catalog Description: An introduction to linguistics as a social science. Exploration of the relationship of language to a variety of social issues including race, class, and gender. GE D

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand how a language might vary internally and be able to apply this to their own dialects.
  • Identify and explain the sources for and linguistic features of the major geographic and social dialect groupings of the United States and California.
  • Explain the differences between and recognize the reasons behind prescriptive and descriptive attitudes towards language.
  • Recognize the connections between socioeconomic status (SES) and language form and use.
  • Describe the interaction between language and culture.
  • Understand differences between written and spoken forms of language.
  • Analyze the socio-historical roots of particular speech varieties.
  • Understand bilingualism/bidialectalism and code-switching.
  • Analyze features of African American English.
  • Understand history of Spanish in the United States.
  • Analyze features of Chicano English.
  • Recognize gender based differences in speech.
  • Develop their understanding of what conventions are typical of different styles of language use in both spoken and written forms.
  • Develop their understanding of how people choose among various alternatives in their own personal language usage.

Course Outline

  1. Standard and Non-standard Forms of English
  2. Written and Spoken Language
  3. Attitudes Toward Language Use
  4. Prescriptivism and Descriptivism
  5. Academic Literacy
  6. Communicative choices and Style
  7. World Varieties of English
  8. English in the United States
  9. Regional Variation in US English
  10. Social Variation in US English
  11. Creoles and Pidgins
  12. African American English: Historical Sources and Contemporary Varieties
  13. Chicano English
  14. Spanish in the Americas
  15. Language and Gender

About the Banner: "Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stock," Smithsonian Institution (1967) (image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Early_Localization_Native_Americans_USA.jpg)