In the News


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.


Media Appearances

March, 2020 “Why Do Americans Say ‘Bay-zle’ and the English Say ‘Baa-zle’?”

In this article in Curious Kids, a series in The Conversation in which academic experts answer real questions from real kids, I explain why accents exist and how they tell us something about who we are.

November, 2019 “The Trends That May End the ‘Y’all’ Versus ‘You Guys’ Debate”

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.

October, 2018 “UMBC Inaugurates New Center to Serve as Hub for Social Science Research”

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!

September, 2018 “Knowledge of African-American Language and Culture Benefits Teachers in STEM fields”

(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.

August, 2018 Linguistic Society of America Member Spotlight

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.

July, 2018 “9 Things People Think Are Fine to Say at Work — But Are Actually Racist, Sexist, or Offensive”

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.

March, 2018 “How Home-State Pronunciations Can Shape Local Elections”

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.

October, 2017 “GRIT-X Talks Showcase Experiences of Outstanding Faculty and Alumni ‘from Outer Space to Inner Space”

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.'”

July 11, 2017 Profile in Baltimore’s (cool) progeny “Coffee With Parents” Series

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.

July 10, 2017 “UMBC Researchers Address Diverse Factors Impacting US Schooling”

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.”

April 14, 2017 “The Revelatory Power of Language”

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.

April 11, 2017 “The Sound of Inclusion: Why Teachers’ Words Matter”

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.

February 10, 2017 “Hold Up, ‘Hon’: Baltimore’s Black Vernacular Youthful, Dynamic, If Less Recognized than ‘Bawlmerese'”

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.

February 7, 2017 “Talk the Talk: Episode 274, Linguistic Activism”

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!

February 2, 2017 “New App Valuable Voices Builds Awareness of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in the Classroom”

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!

March 9, 2016 “UMBC Student Video Offers a Fresh and Fascinating Take on Linguistic Diversity on Campus”

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.

April 7, 2014 “Understanding Delmarva’s ‘Whole-Nother’ Way of Speaking”

In this article in Delmarva Now, I talk about how language changes, and I explain some of the geographic and social influences on the dialect of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

June 22, 2013 “Those Who Can…Teach!”

In this interview on With Good Reason radio, Anne talks about our collaborative NSF-funded research on language and culture in STEM classrooms.  Listen to the audio here! 

“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.”

 April 25, 2013 “Yo Said What?”

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.

April 7, 2012 “Language Workshop Inspires Teachers”

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.

September 22, 2011 “Learning (from) the Lingo”

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.

September 16, 2011 “Tweets about Rape a Cause for Concern” in Patch

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.

August 5, 2011 “You Saw It Here” in the You Don’t Say Column in The Baltimore Sun

From John McIntyre’s You Don’t Say column in The Baltimore Sun:

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.”

July 8, 2011 “Christine Mallinson, language, literacy and culture, receives NSF grant to study language in STEM classrooms” Press Release

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.

June 24, 2011 “Tangier Islanders Retain Unique Dialect”

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.

March 7, 2011 “Dialect, Slang, Jargon, Register: Implications for Instruction” Article

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.

January 18, 20, and 25, 2011 “Making Sense of Language Variation in the Classroom” Interview and Book Excerpt

Our work and our book are featured in the “Teachers at Work” column on the Visual ThesaurusPart 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.

January 16, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 1 of Popular Linguistics Magazine

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.

January 8, 2011 “Spoken Soul: Black English in the Classroom” Podcast

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.

December 3, 2010 “We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know” Book Review

Our book is reviewed by Cara Shousterman, Ph.D. student at New York University, on Word. The Online Journal on African American English.

November 23, 2010 UMBC “In the Loop” Video Interview

Dr. Jason Loviglio interviews me about our book, how it fits into my research and outreach at UMBC and with educators in Baltimore, and why I do what I do as a linguist and sociologist.

November 2, 2010 “Language Variation in Schools” Article and Video

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.

April 28, 2010 “Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk” Article

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.


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