Linguistics Teacher Resources
Find Linguistics educational ideas and activities
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Communicative Choices & Linguistic Style
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.
Structure of Natural Narratives
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.
Analyzing Newspapers Past And Present & Creating a Modern Reproduction of a Chosen Periodical From the Early 1900's.
Learners explore different components that most newspapers share. They determine how to find resources using the CHNC web site by keyword searches. They explore linguistic and sociological differences in different time periods.
Explore language arts with a root word activity in this linguistics lesson. Middle schoolers trace the history of different vocabulary terms by identifying their Latin and Greek ancestry, and then they answer study questions about different word histories.
Lesson Plan and Internet Resource Guide for Film Nell
Learners complete an movie analysis activity for the film Nell. In this movie analysis lesson, students complete dialect, linguistics, and research activities for the movie. Learners view the film and write an essay for the lesson.
A Discourse on the History of Language
Analyze and make inferences from the information used by linguists to construct the evolution of languages. They research different dating techniques to explain how scientists infer age with evidence.
Chapter 12 Writing: the ABCs of Language
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.
Basic Linguistics: Fun Trivia Quiz
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.
Language with Linguistic Legos
Young scholars visualize and manipulate sentences as building blocks, and, given a key, use Legos™ to demonstrate how to construct sentences of variety (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex).
Zoom-In: Walt Whitman's "Butterfly"
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.
Linguistic Diversity. Languages in Canada - Elementary
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
What is Language?
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.
Exploring the Complexities of Language
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.
Poetry Beyond Words: Creating Poetry with Linguistically Diverse Students
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.
Analyzing the Language of Presidential Debates
Learners analyze the language used in political debates. In this linguistic analysis lesson, pupils study various techniques used to convey meaning and extend that knowledge with analysis of several presidential debates.
Major Regional Dialects
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.
Make Sense of Spelling
Help your pupils comprehend how words are put together. The video takes the history of words into consideration as the narrator investigates the word one and words related and connected to one. Using an onion as a metaphor, the video clearly describes how spelling can help make meaning. The video does use some linguistic terminology; however, the concepts are still clear enough without knowledge of those terms.
The Story of 'True'
The history of the English language is a long and winding road, forsooth. Here’s a short video that traces the truth about the history of the world true, from its Old English origins to modern usages. Consider generating a list of words for class members to investigate. Etymology at its finest.
Culture, Race & Ethnicity
Is there a difference between culture, race, and ethnicity? In order to celebrate Harmony Day and cultural diversity, your class will brainstorm, discuss, and discover that there is. The class splits into three groups, each group is responsible for brainstorming what they know, think, and understand about each of the three terms. When the class reconvenes, they discuss what they've learned and how each thing is different but connected. A table is provided for students to complete, it asks them to list what is culturally acceptable and unacceptable for seven different topics such as food, clothing, and religion.
Musical & Linguistic Lesson Plan
Tenth graders study songs and music of the US Civil War period. They use technology to compose a song that highlights an event or concept from the war.