EN 231 Introduction to Language
SP 2009 HO
Dr. Emily Donnelli
Assistant Professor of English
PhD, English, University of KansasMA, English, University of KansasBA, English, William Jewell College
MWF, 1-3; other times by appointment
January 12 - May 8, 2009
3:15 - 4:30 PM
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Educational Philosophy: As the editors of our textbook express, “[l]anguage matters. It is an instrument through which we see and know ourselves and others, and it affects how we experience our world. Through language—in all its modes—we become ourselves, know our own thoughts, and construct our ideas” (Clark et al v). English 231 provides an excellent opportunity to study and reflect upon something we often take for granted: language. Why do we speak and write in the ways that we do? How does our language reflect our identities? How can greater language awareness influence our reading, writing, thinking, and even our social commitments and sense of civic engagement?
In this discussion-based, application-oriented course, we will explore various perspectives and methods for studying the English language—historical, linguistic, socio-linguistic, educational, developmental, and so on. Students will be encouraged to pursue those facets of study of most relevance to their interests as writers and as scholars of literature.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
Critical Essay [Core Assessment] 100 points The Critical Essay in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment: Formative assessments will consist of short papers and observation/application projects that allow students to explore and apply course concepts. Each student will also be responsible for leading class discussion on one topic of interest during the semester. Summative assessments consist of a mid-term examination and the core assessment, a critical paper designed by each student to investigate a particular interest related to the study of language.
Grading: Short Papers (4) 100 points
Observation/Application Projects (10) 100 points
Discussion Leadership 25 points
Mid-Term Examination 100 points
Critical Essay (core assessment) 200 points (prospectus = 50 & peer review = 50, out of 200)
Late Submission of Course Materials: All assignments are due at the beginning of class. One letter grade will be deducted for each day an assignment is late. Check your schedule for potential conflicts well ahead of due dates, and speak with me ahead of time if you anticipate difficulty meeting a deadline.
1/12: Introductions and Course Overview.
1/16: What’s In a Word?: Language and Its Study. Readings: Daniels, “Nine Ideas about Language” (Clark 3) and Bolton, “Language: An Introduction” (Clark 21).
1/19: No Class: University Holiday.
1/23: Stylistics, Criticism, and The Practices of Close Reading in English Studies. Readings: Curzan et al “Stylistics” and TBA reading (on reserve at McAfee Library).
1/26: Phonology and Morphology. Readings: Bryson, “Pronunciation” (Ch 6), The Ohio State University Language Files, “The Minimal Units of Meaning: Morphemes” (Clark 147) and one of the following articles of your choice: Lentine and Shuy, “Mc-: Meaning in the Marketplace” (Clark 173) or Romich, “Understanding Basic Medical Terminology” (Clark 167).
1/30: Syntax, Sentence Constituents, and Sentence Patterns. Readings: Heny, “Syntax: The Structure of Sentences” (Clark 191).
2/2: Semantics and Pragmatics. Readings: Pinker, “The Tower of Babel” (Clark 235) and
Heath, “What No Bedtime Story Means” (Clark 798).
2/6: Semantics and Pragmatics (cont.). Readings: Chaika, “Pragmatics: Discourse Routines” (Clark 276) and Fromkin et al, “The Development of Language in Genie” and “Genie: A Postscript” (Clark 652).
2/9: History of English. Readings: Bryson, “The Dawn of Language,” “The First Thousand Years,” “Where Words Come From, and “Order Out of Chaos” (Ch 2, 4, 5, 10).
2/13: Old English: Roberts, “A Brief History of English” (Clark 330), excerpts from various translations of Beowulf and secondary scholarship (on reserve at McAfee Library).
2/16: No Class. University Holiday.
2/20: Middle English. Readings: Selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and secondary scholarship (on reserve at McAfee Library).
2/23: Early Modern English and Dialects: Readings: Selections from Shakespeare and secondary scholarship (on reserve at McAfee Library).
2/27: Modern and Postmodern Englishes. Readings: Pederson “Dialects” (Clark 341), Bryson, “English as a World Language” and “The Future of English” (Ch 12 & 16).
3/2: Synthesis and Midterm Exam Preparation.
3/6: Midterm Examination.
Week Nine (3/9 & 3/13): Spring Break.
3/16: Dialects and Dialectology: Regional, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Classifications. Readings: Macaulay, “Regional Dialects and Social Class” (Clark 383) and Bryson, “Varieties of English”
(Ch 7). Critical Paper Group Brainstorming Workshop.
3/20: Regional, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Classifications (cont). Readings: PBS, “American Varieties” (available online).
3/23: Dialects and Dialectology: Gender(ed) Classifications. Readings: Lakoff and Johnson, excerpt from “Metaphors We Live By” (Clark 451) and Talbot, “Language and Gender” (Clark 507).
3/27: Critical Paper Research Lab (meet in McAfee Library).
3/30: Gender(ed) Classifications (cont). Readings: Johnson, “Discourse Patterns of Males and Females” (Clark 517) and Tannen, “‘I’ll Explain It to You’: Lecturing and Listening” (Clark 531).
4/3: Dialects and Dialectology: Standard American English & Academic English. Readings: Algeo, “What Makes Good English Good?” (Clark 777) and Bryson, “Good English and Bad” (Ch 9). Critical Paper Prospectus Due.
4/6: Academic English and the Ownership of Words. Prescriptive Grammar, Correctness. Readings: TBA.
4/10: No Class: University Holiday.
4/13: Small Group Writing Conferences (held in my office).
4/17: Peer Review: Critical Papers-in-Progress (full draft required).
4/20: Academic English and Writing in the “Real World.” Readings: Excerpts from Tannen’s “The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War on Words” (on reserve at McAfee Library).
4/24: Critical Paper Due (paper copy for me, RTF file uploaded to eCompanion).
4/27: Critical Paper Presentations. Readings: Assigned Peer Papers.
5/1: Critical Paper Presentations. Readings: Assigned Peer Papers.
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87This is an interactive, discussion-based class that depends on your participation. With that said, here are my specific attendance policies:
• Missing four class meetings will result in an automatic drop of one letter grade.
• Five absences will result in your failure of the course. It is your responsibility to contact me or another student about what you missed in class if you are absent.
• Except in cases of extended illness, death in the immediate family, school-sponsored activities, or religious holidays, I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences.
• Arrival to class more than 15 minutes late constitutes an absence.
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
Disability Guidelines:Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Attachments:Syllabus in MS WordRubric
Last Updated:1/7/2009 8:36:47 PM