Yesterday I drafted the following statement with my colleagues in the Language, Literacy, and Culture Program at UMBC, as a means of reaching out and reaffirming our commitments to our students in this time of national upheaval.
“We the LLC Community reaffirm our commitment to diversity, to civil dialogue across differences, and to engaged scholarship on issues of critical social justice. We reaffirm our respect for multiculturalism and multilingualism locally, nationally, and internationally, and we see these strengths reflected and upheld in our LLC and UMBC communities. Please know that you are welcome to reach out to us and to each other to talk.”
For any students out there who value these ideals of diversity, dialogue, and community, who are striving for change, and who want to get a PhD — come work with us!
Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley and I are excited to spread the word about our latest educational outreach initiative… a free iPhone app!! The app provides 12 ready-to-implement exercises for students and educators — one a month, for a year’s worth of teaching — to build awareness of language and culture. The teaching exercises are geared toward middle/high school English but could easily be adapted for elementary or even college, in a variety of content areas. Please download it, use it, and let us know what you liked — and didn’t! To download the app, go to the App Store on your iPhone and type in “Valuable Voices” — here is a screenshot so that you know what to look for. To our knowledge this is the only sociolinguistics app of its kind! Hopefully one day we can expand to create more apps — and expand to make the apps available to Android users, too. We couldn’t have done it without our team of assistants and our teacher consultants – thank you all!
I recently participated in the workshop “Digital Data Management for a New Generation,” sponsored by the American Anthropological Association with support from the National Science Foundation Grant #1529315. Our group participated in creating instructional modules for Archaeology, Biological, Cultural, and Linguistic Anthropology that will cover digital data management and ethics. Here is a picture of our group (photo credit: Daniel Ginsberg):
Seated (L-R): Philip Cash Cash, Jenny Cashman, Christine Mallinson, Natalie Underberg-Goode, Candace Greene, Fatimah Williams Castro, Kathryn Oths, Blenda Femenías
Standing (L-R): Edward Liebow, Lindsay Lloyd-Smith, George Perry, John Yellen, Darlene Smucny, Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Ricardo Contreras, Sara Gonzalez, Arienne Dwyer, Brittany Mistretta, Ricky Punzalan, Amber Wutich, Jeffrey Mantz, Colleen Fitzgerald
The initiative was profiled in the September/October issue of Anthropology News:
New Article on Culturally and Linguistically Supportive Professional Development for K-12 STEM Educators
Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley and I have an article in the latest issue of Cultural Studies of Science Education entitled: “It’s worth our time”: A model of culturally and linguistically supportive professional development for K-12 STEM educators.” Thanks to all of the educators and students who made the work possible, particularly the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the School University Research Network (SURN), the UMBC Dresher Center for the Humanities, the UMBC Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship and our current and former students Erin L. Berry, Merci Best, Rachel Boag, Jerome Carter, May F. Chung, Inte’a DeShields, Adryan Flores, Aure Hakenson, Heather Hoskins, Mark Jamias, Rita Turner, Dan Villarreal, and Adom Whitaker. We are grateful for all the support and inspiration!
I am pleased to share a short film called “Voices of UMBC” that was made entirely by students in my Fall 2015 graduate seminar, “Language in Diverse Schools and Communities.” Our goal in making the short film was to celebrate UMBC’s linguistic diversity and to highlight it as a cultural resource. Everyone who helped make the film, as well as everyone who appears in it, is a UMBC student! Response to the film has been tremendously enthusiastic, from students and faculty on campus to linguists who have praised the film as an example of cutting-edge linguistic outreach/engagement work in higher education. We are very grateful to all of the students who participated in making this film! This project was approved by the UMBC Institutional Review Board, Protocol #Y16CM27049.
The test site is live! Check out a brand new series of eight videos on language and culture, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. The videos, based on my research with Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley, cover the following topics:
1.) Language & Culture in the classroom: a general overview of linguistically and culturally responsive teaching (30 minutes)
2.) Sharing the burden of communication with your students: How language impacts school climate, instruction, and classroom management (30 minutes)
3.) Language and Culture in Virginia Classrooms: Specific Knowledge Matters: Grammar and Sound (30 minutes)
4.) Language and Culture in Virginia Classrooms: Specific Knowledge Matters: Discourse (30 minutes)
5.) Language and culture in the elementary language arts classroom (30 minutes)
6.) Language and culture in the elementary STEM classroom (30 minutes)
7.) Language and culture in the secondary language arts classroom (30 minutes)
8.) Language and culture in the secondary STEM classroom (30 minutes)
Workshop on Engaged Scholarship in Linguistics: Partnering with Educators to Communicate about Language Variation
Photo (l-r) of Adryan Flores, John R. Rickford, Anne H. Charity Hudley, Michel DeGraff, me, and Erin Berry — the lead team at the Engaged Scholarship in Linguistics: Partnering with Educators to Communicate about Language Variation workshop, part of the Linguistic Society of America Summer Linguistic Institute.