Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Browse by Subject
Linguistics Teacher Resources
Find Linguistics educational ideas and activities
Start by watching a video entitled Do You Speak American? and respond to discussion questions about the various dialects showcased throughout the video to identify the regional linguistic styles throughout America. As a culminating activity, they complete a journal, portfolio, or writing assignment.
Class pairs select a prompt from a provided list and tell (and record) their story to their partner. They then examine linguist William Labov's model for natural narratives, and apply his model to their tale. Next, class members watch clips from the film Stream of Life, and again label sections of the narrative, using the provided analysis worksheet. Extensions and adaptions are included.
Investigate the importance of author's point of view. Young linguists study primary source documents related to the Treaty of Casco Bay. The first source is authored by the Native American Chiefs, the second by an English Commander-in-Chief, and the third is the treaty itself. Groups study the documents, fill out an Understanding Points of View worksheet that focuses, in part, on the inflammatory language in some of the documents, and discuss their findings with the class.
Create a language mosaic to reveal the linguistic diversity in your community. Pupils interview a person with a home language other than English and contribute to a bulletin board display representing the variety of languages spoken. The activity is part of the 1996 Canadian Census Results Teacher’s Kit. A link to other activities and materials is provided. Although the background information and statistics are based on Canadian census data, the concepts could be applied to any country or area
Providing a thorough presentation on the art of written language (and not just English), this slideshow will open your students' eyes to the sociological and linguistic issues surrounding writing systems, both modern and historical. The presentation could be easily broken up into several lecture sessions, and it includes a bibiliography for additional research.
Meta-cognition can transform learning. If your syllabus includes linguistics to enhance learners' comprehension and expression in English, here is an interactive online quiz to assess what they have learned. Titled "Basic Linguistics," the resource spans a considerable range of linguistic vocabulary and concepts, from syntax and morphology to cultural and socio-linguistics. Some items are slightly vague; pre-screen for relevance.
Pupils research the culture and geography of India and England while reading "The Secret Garden". Using this information, they write at least three predictions about what they believe might happen in the story. Using the Internet, they determine the effect of climate on the citizens of these two countries as well.
Students create an image and a poem about it, using at least one poetic device. In this Zoom-In: Walt Whitman's "Butterfly" lesson, students watch a PowerPoint that shows the relationship between visual arts and linguistic arts. Students use poetic devices such as metaphor, simile, rhyme, and onomatopoeia to create a linguistic representation of their chosen image.
Intended to be used along with the first chapter of An Introduction to Language textbook, this PowerPoint is full of linguistic terminology that is not necessarily explained. This tool can be used to complement a lecture or a text, but definitely does not stand alone. A wide variety of concepts are covered, the main idea being that language is symbolic and creative, with myriad uses.
What does your dialect sound like? Examine variation in English as it relates to geographic regions with your class. They recognize some of the major differences between regional dialects and determine that everyone speaks a dialect. They trace historical events that have shaped the current major regional dialects.
Models of and directions for how to write 20 different types of poems are featured in an NCTE resource. The introduction to each form highlights the embedded concepts. For example, tongue twisters encourage poets to use alliteration and assonance while the diamond poem format emphasizes parallelism. Resource lists and poetry websites links are included.
An interview with Dr. Rosemary Beam de Azcona launches a study of the complexities of language and how meaning changes across languages and cultures. The investigation continues as class members view clips of the film, The Tailenders, which follows Global Recordings Network efforts to translate Bible stories into thousands of languages. Activities and resource links are included.
Students participate in reading various poems in order to complete different activities. In groups, they compare and contrast the writing style and subject matter of two different author's poems. They practice writing poems on different topics to introduce them to all types.