Why is it important to learn about and study language? In this short podcast, “The Revelatory Power of Language,” which I produced for the Maryland Humanities Council’s “Humanities Connection” series, I talk about how language differences occur naturally and are part of how we define ourselves, individually as well as socially. Whether we drink soda or pop, whether we pronounce aunt as “ant” or “ahnt,” or Baltimore as “Bawlmer” or “Baldamor,” whether we use isn’t or ain’t, language tells us something about who we are as speakers of the ever-changing English language. The podcast is also available on the website of the UMBC Dresher Center for the Humanities.
Teachers’ words matter, and students’ do too – from science to the humanities. Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley and I are excited to have our work with educators featured in this article, “The Sound of Inclusion”, that we wrote for The Conversation. There are so many amazing teachers and students who are the inspiration for this article and for all our work — too many to tag, but we are so grateful to you all!
Image credit from Twitter @RosaIsiah
Language is central to STEM education, and therefore to educational justice — that is the theme of our invited symposium, “Leveraging Linguistics to Broaden Participation in STEM,” presented along with Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley, Dr. Michel De Graff (MIT), and Dr. Mary Bucholtz (UCSB) at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). So much inspiring work has been done, and is still left to do, building bridges from the humanities to STEM with language and culture at the core!
I am honored to be a part of this Baltimore Sun multimedia feature story on Baltimore language change! The feature includes the news article, “Hold Up, ‘Hon’: Baltimore’s Black Vernacular Youthful, Dynamic, If Less Recognized than ‘Bawlmerese’”, as well as a short video in which I weigh in on language variation in the city, and an interactive lexicon. Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite Baltimore slang!
This UMBC News story describes how Anne’s and my free iPhone app for teachers, called “Valuable Voices,” is reaching teachers far outside our own networks. If you haven’t already, go to the App store, search “Valuable Voices,” and download, or just click here for the link. And if you are a teacher and are interested in participating in our follow up study later this year, send me an email!
(photo credit: Marlayna Demond, UMBC)
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!