Course Description and Outcomes
This course surveys the history of as well as current trends in sociolinguistics and emphasizes the practical applications of this research. Thus, in addition to introducing students to the nature of language and its role in society, we will examine how sociolinguistic research is conducted and applied both by looking at important historical and contemporary research and by carrying out our own field research projects. Topics will include ethnology, pragmatics, language variation, the acquisition of multiple languages, and the nature and politics of individual and societal multilingualism. Students will assist in preparing the seminar readings and later work in teams to carry out a major field research project that will then be submitted for presentation or publication.
In general, the course has these outcomes for students to pursue:
1. Understand the fundamental principles of sociolinguistic theory, both contemporary and historical.
2. Practice teaching skills in preparation for elementary, secondary, or graduate school teaching assignments.
3. Demonstrate the ability to locate scholarly material concerning a particular sociolinguistic project in electronic and print formats and subsequently produce a review of literature suitable for graduate-level research.
4. Become more familiar with the methodology of field research in linguistics, producing significant work in the discipline suitable for presentation or publication.