L to R: Vanderlei Martins, Christine Mallinson, and Dinah Winnick. Panel session on communicating about research to the media, as part of the “From Advancement Office to Advancement Community” plenary session at the 2018 UMBC university retreat. Photo credit: Marlayna Demond for UMBC.
In this article in Quartz, I explain feminist reactions to ‘you guys’ and give my take on the cultural and linguistic promise of the word y’all, as well as potential challenges to its widespread adoption.
UMBC’s Center for Social Science Scholarship has opened its doors this fall with Christine Mallinson, professor of language, literacy and culture, as its inaugural director. The new center, which will promote faculty, student, and alumni research across multiple fields of study, is the result of many years of cultivating deep levels of scholarship on campus as well as collaboration and planning by the social science faculty. Read more in this article in the UMBC News!
(Washington, DC) – A new study of K-12 STEM educators demonstrates how adding linguistic information into classroom teaching can help remove barriers to STEM achievement for African-American students. The article, “Balancing the Communication Equation: An Outreach and Engagement Model for Using Sociolinguistics to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining K-12 STEM Education,” by Christine Mallinson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Anne H. Charity Hudley (University of California, Santa Barbara), will be published in the September, 2018 issue of the scholarly journal Language. A pre-print copy is available here.
I am honored to be featured as the linguist of the month for the Linguistic Society of America‘s August 2018 member spotlight. “Being open to insights from outside our discipline can give us important historical, cultural, and social knowledge that is necessary for putting information about language into broader social and cultural context,” says Christine Mallinson, this month’s featured LSA member.
I was interviewed for this article in Business Insider about the language of microaggressions, including some common phrases that can be used to transmit everyday slights and unconscious biases in the workplace.
When a Maryland expat moves to Montana, he takes his accent with him! This article for the Atlantic considers the issue of how former Baltimore/Queen Anne’s resident and current Montana Republican U.S. Senate contender Matt Rosendale pronounces the name of his adopted home state.
This UMBC News article reviews describes the recent “GRIT-X” micro-talks by faculty and alumni, including my talk, “The Social Life of Speech.” “Demonstrating the value of diverse linguistic patterns in the classroom shows students they are valued, which makes them likely to value school, Mallinson explains. Overall, educators must ‘give the students the tools they need to succeed on the tests that we require of them, while sustaining and empowering their diverse voices,’ she says, ‘so that we can have all our students with all their diverse voices right here in the front row of our classes at UMBC.'”
I’m so honored to be profiled as part of the “Coffee with Parents” series on Baltimore’s (cool) progeny blog! What could be better than talking about kids AND work? In the article, I talk about my own family history and my research on linguistic diversity, in education and in Baltimore.
This UMBC News article, “UMBC researchers address diverse factors impacting U.S. schooling,” describes recent press coverage of three UMBC faculty for our research on “factors that shape K–12 education in the United States”. “Christine Mallinson, professor of language, literacy, and culture, writes in The Conversation about how language differences among students can affect student outcomes. “Studies have found that at all levels of education, instructors often favor students who sound like themselves and can be biased against those who don’t,” writes Mallinson. Compounding the problem, “As the U.S. student population continues to rapidly diversify along cultural and linguistic lines, the demographics of the teacher population remain stable at roughly 82 percent white and predominantly female,” meaning non-white students experience negative bias more often.”
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. Anne 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 — we are so grateful to you all! In August 2017, our article was reprinted in Salon and in Newsweek.
I am honored to be a part of this Baltimore Sun multimedia feature story on Baltimore language change. The feature includes the news article as well as a short video in which I weigh in on language variation in the city, plus an interactive lexicon.
I was interviewed by Talk the Talk as part of their podcast about linguistic activism. I talk about Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley‘s and my free iPhone app for teachers, “Valuable Voices” — my interview runs from 20:35 to 29:20, or just listen to the whole excellent podcast!
This UMBC News story describes how Dr. Anne Charity Hudley‘s and my free iPhone app for teachers, “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 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!
A feature story in the UMBC News profiles “Voices of UMBC,” a short film produced by my students to highlights linguistic diversity on our campus. The students created the film for their final project in my graduate seminar, “Language in Diverse Schools and Communities.”
October 1, 2015 “What Do You Mean By Crazy?”
In the October issue of Glamour magazine, I was interviewed on the common use of ‘crazy’ to dismiss and marginalize women’s perspectives and concerns.
“Much bigger than technology or classroom space, the most important factor in determining student success is having a good teacher. In two 15-minute sessions, Bob Pianta (University of Virginia) can tell whether a teacher is good or bad—regardless of their subject matter. Plus: Heralded by Time as one of the ten best college presidents, Freeman Hrabowski (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) has helped build UMBC’s reputation as a top school for students of color in STEM fields. And: Surprisingly, sometimes the problem in math class is not with numbers, but with words. Anne Charity Hudley (College of William and Mary) believes teachers need to be more aware of how cultural language differences can put some students at a disadvantage in the classroom.”
In this April 2013 interview on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and hosted on the NPR Code Switch Blog, I talk about Baltimore adolescents’ use of ‘yo’ as a gender-neutral 3rd person singular pronoun–an unusual and interesting linguistic innovation in American English.
This story in the newsletter from the Middle Grades Partnership reports on how participants in our week-long language variation professional development workshop for Baltimore middle school teachers. One teacher called MGP’s 2011 language variation workshop “an eye-opening” revelation and said she “applied everything immediately.” Another reports that the workshop gave him “a whole new vocabulary with which to talk about language.” You can read the article here.
This story in the Fall 2011 issue of the UMBC Magazine talks about the podcasts on Baltimore language and culture produced by students and me in my Spring 2011 seminar, “Language in Diverse Schools and Communities” and includes a picture of me working with local public and independent K-12 educators.
In this interview in Patch I talk about the use of the word “rape” in sports metaphors. On the one hand, language is always changing, and taking a word with a literal meaning and using it in a figurative sense is a common linguistic process. On the other hand, as I say in the article, “There is a lot of linguistic evidence to suggest that the way we talk about social situations can reflect how we think about them. A victim of rape, for example, might justifiably believe that this type of sports metaphor not only celebrates athletic prowess but also glorifies the act of rape itself.” Check out the article here.
“Item: Professor Christine Mallinson of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has had her graduate students examining language variations in Baltimore. These students have produced podcasts on accent features among African-Americans, multiculturalism and ethnicity, and hon as a linguistic and identity marker. The hon podcast in particular, being academic and dispassionate, should be a welcome change from the recent shouting over the word.”
This UMBC press release announces our new three-year grant, “Assessing the Results of Sociolinguistic Engagement with K-12 STEM Education in Maryland and Virginia Public and Independent Schools,” in which we will work with K-12 STEM educators in the Baltimore and Richmond areas to collect data on how these educators learn from professional development workshops on language variation and integrate pedagogy and assessment techniques into their classroom. Our research also provides immediate practical application to educators’ pedagogy and practice in the form of educator workshops, teacher designed readings, and a website for educators that ensures that the research outcomes of our project are broadly disseminated.
In this interview on WAMU 88.5 American University Radio I talk about the Tidewater Accent on Tangier Island, Virginia, which is also characteristic of the eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia and of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Check out the story here.
Our book was profiled in an article on Vocabulogic — a site for educators that focuses on “linguistic insight and word knowledge.” The article is called “Dialect, Slang, Jargon, Register: Implications for Instruction,” which are topics that we definitely discuss at length in our book.
Our work and our book are featured in the “Teachers at Work” column on the Visual Thesaurus. Part 1 of the interview explains how our book came together and why we do what we do. An excerpt from our book called “Dameon’s Rap” discusses how to use rap and hip-hop for creative vocabulary learning. Part 2 of the interview describes our current work with educators and students and our plans to create more resources for teachers to use in class.
In an essay called “Why I Do What I Do,” Dr. Lauren Hall-Lew mentions our book as an example of sociolinguists who make academic research immediately practical by bringing insights directly to classroom teachers.
Listen to Dr. Anne Charity Hudley discuss how our book helps educators work with language variations, to make sure students don’t suffer for the way they talk. Also featured is Dr. Theresa Burriss, an expert on Affrilachian (Appalachian African American) poets.
Our book is reviewed by Cara Shousterman, Ph.D. student at New York University, on Word. The Online Journal on African American English.
In this short article and three-minute video clip, I explain how, in educational settings, the language that students bring with them to school can significantly affect how they perform academically.
In this post on Word. The Online Journal on African American English, Dr. Renee Blake and Cara Shousterman, both of the New York University Linguistics Department, highlight on our work with educators as helping bridge what is too often a divide between what goes on in the academy and what happens in the “real” world.
June 21, 2009 “Is There A Right Way to Speak English?” Interview
I was interviewed about English language variation for Studio Classroom, the second most popular English-teaching magazine in Taiwan. The magazine provides practical, interesting articles to help readers improve their English skills.