Resources for Secondary English Educators
This page provides resources for educators to learn about language variation and secondary English education in particular, as well as issues of language and education more broadly. This page contains resources that accompany each chapter of our book, We Do Language: English Language Variation in the Secondary English Classroom, followed by a list of resources for secondary English educators on issues of language and literacy that are not book-specific. You may find the Virginia Department of Education Capstone English resources here: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/english/capstone_course/index.shtml. Please Leave comments and let us know how you have used these resources in your own teaching! You can also navigate back to our general “Resources for Educators” page by clicking here.
Resources to Accompany We Do Language
Chapter 1. Doing Language
- Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize lecture (1993): The site includes the text and an audio recording of the lecture
- The National Council for Teachers of English Language Collaborative, which offers resources and activities about language variation and students’ right to their own language
- The National Council for Teachers of English Resolution on affirming the CCCC and students’ right to their own language
- Language Diversity, School Learning, and Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary A summary and synthesis of reports from scholars who attended the National Research Council workshop on the issues that surround the study of language, academic learning, and achievement gaps in the U.S.
Chapter 2. Language Varies
- Common Core State Standards Initiative: Students who are career ready in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language
- The English Project: An interactive website, containing educational activities and exercises, that “promotes awareness and understanding of the unfolding global story of the English language in all its varieties – past, present and future”
- “Soda/Pop/Coke: The Many Dialects of American English in One Charming Video”
- “The Three Rs: Introduction to Linguistics”: This short video by linguist Susan Behrens features a discussion of language variation and explains the perspective of linguists, focusing on common features such as subject-verb agreement, ask vs. aks, and who vs. whom.
- “Why Chaucer Said ‘Ax’ Instead of ‘Ask’ and Why Some Still Do”: Read this article from the NPR CodeSwitch blog about how the pronunciation of “ask” as “ax” can be traced back to the 8th century, including its use by Chaucer, to its use today
- About Geoffrey Chaucer
- Listen to the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales
- The Canterbury Tales prologue, as read by Dr. Jess Bessinger
- Exploring the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales using Wikis
- The Chaucer Metapage, for educators who teach Chaucer, features audio of brief Middle English selections from the Canterbury Tales, Troilus, and shorter works
- METRO (Middle English Teaching Resources Online is a “virtual classroom” providing “guided, interactive instruction on the linguistic, stylistic, and editorial features of some of late medieval England’s greatest texts” (Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, and the Wakefield Master).
- The Chaucer Studio, founded in 1986, makes available audio recordings in Middle English of most of the Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s early poems, available on CD for $10 on average and downloadable for half price
- The Beowulf prologue, hosted by the University of Virginia
- The Web’s first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This site has offered Shakespeare’s plays and poetry online since 1993.
- The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC provides excellent teaching materials for all grade levels, programs for educators, and programs for students
- The “Pronouncing Shakespeare” Web site, developed by linguist David Crystal, provides downloadable and streaming excerpts from plays and sonnets that are read aloud in what linguists believe is close to the original pronunciation used in Shakespeare’s time.
- “Professor’s Research Allows Audience to Hear Shakespeare’s Words in His Own Accent”
- What is the Oxford English Dictionary and how are words added to it? Watch this video.
- All about the life and work of John Donne; the site includes links to his poems that include audio
- Readings, with audio, of various texts in Middle English
- “‘Not to Put Too Fine a Point On It’: How Dickens Helped Shape the Lexicon”
- All about the poet E.E. Cummings
- Texts and Tweets: Myths and Realities: a video featuring linguist David Crystal
- “2b or not 2b?” Article on the benefits of texting and tweeting for students’ literacy development
- “A Surprising New Language: Texting”: a TED talk by linguist John McWhorter
- What should we make of texting and linguistic change? An interview with linguist Ben Zimmer
- “Text Messaging Isn’t Actually Ruining Young People’s Grammar”: Rather than spoiling children’s spelling, exposure to texting language is actually associated with better literacy skills.
- The Voices of North Carolina dialect awareness curriculum by Drs. Jeffrey Reaser and Walt Wolfram, designed to be teachable by teachers without any background in linguistics. Major topics include language attitudes, style shifting, dialect patterns, language change in rural and urban settings, and the connections between history, culture, and language.
Chapter 3. Language and Culture: Having Courageous Conversations
- Teaching Tolerance: “Everyone Has an Accent” article by Dr. Walt Wolfram
- Teaching Tolerance: Classroom activity on “Linguicism”
- Teaching Tolerance: “Good Morning Boys and Girls” article on language and gender bias in school classrooms
- This podcast by Dr. Jessica McCrory Calarco explains how something as simple as asking for help can give some students an edge in the classroom and in their academic trajectories–
- Teaching Tolerance: “N-word or no n-word? That is the question”
- Teaching Tolerance: “Exploring the power of the n-word”
- Teaching Tolerance: “Facing the n-word”
- The Microaggressions Project
- Teaching Tolerance: “How to Implement ‘Speak Up at School'”
- Teaching Tolerance: Speak Up! Website and downloadable handbook for educators
Chapter 4. Language Variation and Literature
- On this web site, visitors can listen to famous poets reading their own work
- What did the voice of William Faulkner sound like?
- Faulkner at Virginia: An Audio Archive: On this site you can listen in on William Faulkner’s sessions with audiences at the University of Virginia in 1957 and 1958, during his two terms as the University of Virginia’s first Writer-in-Residence
- Find more teaching and learning resources about William Faulkner here
- The poems of Langston Hughes
- Langston Hughes at 100: This site includes audio and video of Hughes reading his poems
- Audio of Langston Hughes reading the poem “Mother to Son”
- About Paul Laurence Dunbar
- The Official Web site of Zora Neale Hurston
- Listen to the play “Sweat,” by Zora Neale Hurston
- What do “grab a hot” and “collar a nod” mean? Read about the authentic language used by Zora Neale Hurston in her literature
- “Their Eyes Were Watching God”: Folk Speech and Figurative Language: A National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored lesson plan for grades 9-12
- Zora Neale Hurston in the Classroom: With a Harp and a Sword in My Hands (2009), by Renee H. Shea and Deborah L. Wilchek
- Huckleberry Finn: Was ‘Jim’ a hero or a stereotype? Listen to this NPR story.
- Listen to the only known recording of Virginia Woolf, as she talks about the power of language and words
- Author Nikki Giovanni featured in the Fall 2012 Appalachian Heritage Journal
- Common examples of Eye Dialect
- A bibliography compiled by the American Dialect Society on dialect in literature
- Literary Linguistics Bibliography: Sources for further reading on literary linguistics
Chapter 5. Doing Language: The Transition to College and Beyond
- The National Council for Teachers of English Voices from the Middle Project for secondary English educators “offers articles on research and best practices in middle level reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the visual and language arts”
- George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m From”, includes a link to audio of the author reading her poem
- A list of more than 50 ways that educators can use Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in their classrooms
- Exploring the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales using Wikis
- “Writing, Technology, and Teens”: A Pew Center Internet & American Life Project report
- “Poems are a form of texting”: An interview with Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s first female Poet Laureate
- “Give Your College Essay a Voice,” article by Clare Trow
- Wiki-Teacher: A free resource that contains lesson plans, unit plans, centers, textbook supplements, and other resources created and shared by educators
- Edublogs: Education blogs for teachers, students, and schools
- “Five unique uses of Twitter in the classroom”
- “How to Email a Professor”
- “Representation of Language”: What do college admissions officers look for in students’ personal essays? This short video by linguist Susan Behrens interviews admissions officers and discusses the role of language use and writing.
- “Rich Media in the Classroom”: A podcast featuring three professors (including Anne Charity Hudley) from the Department of English at the College of William & Mary on integrating multimedia tools into their teaching
- Multimedia essays on language, literature, and composition produced by students at Cromwell High School (CT) in 2009 and 2010
- “Academic Language”: What is academic language, and what are the academic language expectations for college students? This short video by linguist Susan Behrens addresses this topic through interviews with college professors.
- “Writing in College”: Resources on this page explain differences between high school and college writing and focuses on how to help students write and revise an academic research paper
- “‘It’s a Language Variation, and It Has Its Own Structure’: K-12 Educators in Maryland and Virginia Talk about Language Variation in the Classroom”: This podcast produced by Christine Mallinson, Laura Rutter Strickling, and Anne Charity Hudley, features excerpts from in-depth interviews with educators about how they have applied linguistically-informed frameworks, materials, and strategies in their classrooms. Fourteen pre- and in-service teachers, including several secondary English teachers, reading specialists, and literacy specialists, talk about how learning about language variation positively affected their teaching practices and how they have gained the information and confidence to be able to work more effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse students in their classrooms.
- Teaching and learning materials on language variation: Hosted by the UNC School of Education, this site provides audio and video resources on language diversity, focusing on but not limited to North Carolina and the U.S.
General Resources for Secondary English Educators
- Language Variation in the Classroom: A Guide for Teachers, by Hannah Askin Franz, the College of William & Mary
- Linguistics Research Digest: Blogging on Language Issues
- High School Teachers’ Manual/Guide on Language Variation for the PBS Documentary, Do You Speak American?
- College Teachers’ Manual/Guide on African American English for the PBS Documentary, Do You Speak American?
- The University of Pennsylvania Penn Reading Initiative
- Texas Portals to Reading Instruction
- Introduction to Texas Portals to Reading
- Developing Oral Language Skills
- For Kids’ Vocabulary, Quality of Interaction with Parents Matters: It’s not the quantity of words that a child hears that matters… it’s the quality of the verbal interaction.
- Web Watch: Internet Resources to Assist Teachers with Struggling Readers, by professor Denise Johnson
- The Urban Educator/The Academic English Mastery Program: This site provides information and resources for culturally relevant and inclusive teaching, including multiple intelligences, lesson planning strategies, and more
- Ship or Sheep: Provides lists of minimal pairs for practicing pronunciation skills
- Florida Center for Reading Research: Provides tools and activities for teaching reading
- International Children’s Digital Library: Promotes children’s literacy around the world
- The Wiki Site for the Compass Breaking Down Barriers Conference
- The Wiki Site for our VCU Workshops – password protected (available to past and current participants)
- The Wiki Site for our MGP Workshops – password protected (available to past and current participants)
- The Wiki Site for our SURN Workshops – password protected (available to current participants)
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