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Thursday, October 10 • 12:30pm - 2:15pm
Workshop 6: Teaching variation: From the classroom into the field

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Teaching variation: From the classroom into the field
As Labov famously noted, we find linguists working in “the library, the bush, the closet, the laboratory, and the street” (Labov 1972: 99) — but how about the classroom? In this workshop, scholars present specific assignments they use to teach about language variation at the undergraduate or graduate levels. A crucial pedagogical challenge in teaching variation is helping students connect our sociolinguistic theories to real-world data, and many of us believe the only way to learn about language in use is to get out there and study it. Yet many concepts, phenomenon, and methods require a level of sophistication and training that can make creating accessible, empirical assignments challenging. This workshop provides practical advice for getting students out of the classroom and into the field, be it online, in the laboratory, or on the streets.

Four scholars will give brief presentations on activities they use in the classroom, reviewing the assignment, discussing how it fits into their syllabus, and describing benefits and drawbacks based on their practical experience:
Anne Charity Hudley – Community engagement midterm video assignment
Aaron Dinkin – Rapid and anonymous study: Responses to thanks
Shelome Gooden – Socioprosodic variation in a field project language
Minnie Quartey – Learning to corral data with CORAAL

All materials will be made available through a shared drive. In addition, attendees will be invited to share their own materials, with the final minutes of the workshop devoted to small group discussion, sharing, and brainstorming around teaching variation.

avatar for Kara Becker

Kara Becker

Reed College
avatar for Kirk Hazen

Kirk Hazen

West Virginia University

Thursday October 10, 2019 12:30pm - 2:15pm PDT
EMU Gumwood