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LCD 103: Multilingualism in the US

Kate Menken

(Submission #90)

Course Description

This course fulfills the Culture and Values area of Knowledge and Inquiry, with the US as its context of experience. It is a reading course for undergraduates, with an intersection of topics and concepts from linguistics, sociology, anthropology, psychology and education. It is designed for students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of some of the linguistic and cultural groups that make up US society, and the issues that surround and confound them. Topics will be related to issues and challenges of living in a multilingual, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural US in the 21st century. We address the three main criteria for a Perspectives Course as follows:

To gain knowledge and understanding of issues related to culture and values, students will read about diverse groups living in the US, who speak minority dialects (e.g. speakers of African American English) and various languages (e.g. Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language), and thus belong to a wide range of cultural groups, representing unique values. Students will also read material on controversial issues of unique or common concern to these groups (e.g. Should English be made the “official language” of the US?), examining all sides of each issue and taking a position based on data and evidence. From their readings of language diversity in the US, students will be asked to raise and respond to a set of questions, including: What is the history and pattern(s) of migration and settlement of a particular group? What are the particular values upon which the group’s culture is based, and how have the individuals within the group contributed to US society? What challenges have the people in this group faced in the past and continue to face in their unique adjustment to US society? How have they met these challenges and which remain to be met? Further questions related to particular groups will also be raised, particularly with respect to the challenges they face with respect to US social, political, or educational institutions.


Area of Knowledge and Inquiry: Culture and Values (CV)
Context of Experience: United States (US)
Extended Requirement: Not Applicable

Additional Course information

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Existing Course: New
Existing Course Number: 
Course Anticipated to be offered: Every Semester
Other (if specified): 
Number of Sections: 2-4
Number of Seats: 30


[Justification, Materials, Assessment, Administration (DOC)]   [Syllabus/Syllabi (DOC)]  

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