Blog Archives

“Should the U.S. Make English The Official Language?” published on Splice Today

The online magazine Splice Today is running an article I wrote titled “Should the U.S. Make English The Official Language?” Here’s a preview: Debates over immigration policy quickly devolve into arguments over the degree to which immigrants’ presence within our society is

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity

Linguistic diversity in the classroom (part 1): African American English and academic writing

Summer is coming to an end. Many teachers in the US are preparing for a new school year (and some have already started). As I get ready myself to head back into the classroom, I’ve been thinking about the ideas

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Posted in Language and education, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

English speaker, ‘oppressed’ by the presence of Spanish, sues Pima Community College

Higher education in the United States has been struggling to deal with issues of linguistic diversity for many years. On the one hand, the majority of US citizens are English speakers, and most of this majority are monolingual (having forgotten

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity

Reflections on the public response to Rachel Jeantel’s language

Over the past few weeks, the George Zimmerman trial has been in the news. If you’re unfamiliar with it, I recommend checking out the extensive Wikipedia page on the case. To provide a brief summary, George Zimmerman is accused of

Posted in Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Is it racist to call “no homo” homophobic?

After I wrote in my last post that “no homo” propagates a homophobic ideology, I encountered a number of people claiming that resistance to “no homo” stemmed from racism masquerading as a concern for gay rights. In particular Hakeem Muhammed writes, “While

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Your professor does speak English: Competence and cooperation in classroom communication

Recently, I’ve been engaged with a research project looking at the discourse of RateMyProfessors.com, a website where students rate and comment on their university or college instructors.  I’ve been paying special attention to how students talk about instructors who are

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity, Miscommunication and communication difficulties

Miscommunication in a pluralistic society: Remembering John Gumperz

Last week, a man who most people have probably never heard of died: John Gumperz.  He was, however, a very important discourse analyst and sociolinguist.  His work has had an impact on my own thinking particularly about my approach to

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity, Miscommunication and communication difficulties

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