Week 01: Part 1

Monday: Development of Language

I’m sorry that I can not be there with you all today.  I hope to return for class Friday.

In my absence, I have left you some materials related to part 1 of the course. I would like you to use the think-pair-share method for the following questions. If you need a reminder, that means you answer the questions individually, then you discuss with a partner, then you share out to the class. This should take about 20 minutes total. 

These are the guiding questions for the Part 1 subtopic- evolution of the language.

  1. Is there an inherently ‘correct’ English?
  2. Who determines the ‘brand’ of English we learn and speak?
  3. Is there a natural tendency for English to deteriorate? Must we take active measures to ‘preserve’ English?
  4. Will technology change the English language and its standardized forms?

After you finish the think-pair-share for the above 4 questions, please watch this TED talk:

After you view this, consider your responses to the guiding questions.  Do you care to make any changes or additions? Do that now.

Last for Monday- check out the OED.  This is my favorite dictionary,

With this dictionary- get to know its parts, how does it work, and read the complete entry for at least three words. You can access words in the “word of the day” link without having an account or subscription to this dictionary.

Take some notes on how the OED works and who it may be helpful in your very near future.  You should check out another of my preferred dictionaries, The American Heritage Dictionary, and do some compare/contrasting of the word entries.  To be fair, you should compare word to word– so look up whatever you were able to access in the word of the day section.

HW: Make sure your FOA are ready to begin when I return… Looking at you Huy and Khoi.

Wednesday: More on Language Development and Use

As we study language and evolution, we eventually come across the question: ‘Why do people speak differently?’ In brief there are four explanations that we can give. People speak differently for…

  1. social,
  2. regional,
  3. economical
  4. and historical reasons.

Keeping the above in mind- examine the following texts and look for evidence of each of the four areas.  I have chosen for you the broad topic of “war” to help group things for this exercise.

Text 1- The Naming of Parts

Text 2- The Articles of War

Text 3- From “War is Kind”

Text 4- A blog about war — for this one, read three or four entries to get a feel for the interaction between the comic panels and the commentary that follows it.

As you look at the 4 texts above, take time to consider context of production and whatever else you can about the experiences of the author.

Your task is to find evidence of the 4 reasons (social, regional, economical, and historical) that people speak differently and comment on how the language choices impact the text.  This might be a page front and back in chart form by the time you finish– and I refer to A4 paper as a page…

HW: complete your observations and give evidence of critical thought to submit to me on my return.  (Friday).

Friday: Start the FOAs and More on Part 1

Stay tuned here for updates…