COLL-S 104 26067 Lost in Translation: Dialect, Language and Communication (Anderson)(S&H)(3 cr.)


This course will be a comprehensive introduction to language and language variation and how this variation impacts communication across individuals and across cultures. Within this framework, we will address the disparity between social reality and linguistic analysis of variation. Included in this discussion are various comparisons between social beliefs and scientific fact, that is, what language entails and what the layperson understands about language and its variation. To discuss language variation, several of topics will be introduced, focusing primarily on how social and individual factors impact how we speak and use language for communication. Variables such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, geography and socio economic status will be presented to show how individual and social characteristics are reflected in language variation. In addition, the topics of cross-cultural communication, the relationship between language and culture, and language and identity will be interspersed within this discussion. Central to this discussion will be the linguistic reality present in the United States; thus, examples of variation within American English and across language communities in this country will be used throughout class. Practical applications of the issues presented and discussed in class will be included, in particular, educational practices and assessment of language disability. Applied activities will include interviews and language sampling, analysis of movies, songs, and television programs.