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Course Materials

Course Materials

The materials below were developed by Joe Salmons a course on Language and Immigration in Wisconsin. You are welcome to use them for teaching or self-study. We would welcome any feedback on these materials. If you develop related materials, we're happy to post them here for others to use. Contact Joe Salmons. Here’s the syllabus, including learning goals and more: syllabus, Spring 2016).

Course description

Migration from abroad and other parts of the US has brought and brings many languages and dialects to Wisconsin. How and when did newcomers and their descendants learn English? When and why did they begin to speak only English? How have they shaped English spoken here? We’ll do hands-on research to answer these and other questions about languages past and present in Wisconsin. We’ll examine social and historical issues and linguistic structures, drawing on many different sources. 



[Photo, Samantha Litty, 2015]


Chapter-by-chapter discussion questions

·  Discussion questions, Introduction (Thinking about language and Wisconsin English)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 1 (The Native languages of Wisconsin)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 2 (Older Immigrant languages)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 3 (Immigrant languages and education)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 4 (The non-Wisconsin sound of Southwest Wisconsin)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 5 (Words used in Wisconsin)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 6 (Standard English)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 7 (Ethnicity and language)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 8 (Hmong in Wisconsin)

·  Discussion questions, chapter 9 (Spanish in Wisconsin)

 Westby sign

Greetings from Westby! Come again!

[Photo, Joe Salmons, 2015]


Other discussion questions

·  Discussion questions, Good Old Immigrants

·  Discussion questions, Contact in American English

·  Discussion questions, Language Shift

·  Discussion questions, Office of Emigration

·  Discussion questions, Bennett Law (with links to readings)

·  Discussion questions, At War with Diversity

·  Discussion questions, Pennsylvania Dutch

·  Discussion questions, ‘Ordeal of immigration’ and response

·  Discussion questions, Why don’t they just learn English?

·  Discussion questions, National Heritage Language Resource Center

·  Discussion questions, German as a Heritage Language

·  Discussion questions, US English

Further teaching materials and homework assignments

·  Survey of knowledge and attitudes about language and immigration in Wisconsin

·  Survey about Wisconsin English

·  HW 1 Introductory homework (statement of interests and motivations)

·  HW 2 Mini-survey

·  HW 3 Basic community profile

·  HW 4 1910 Census homework

·  HW 5 Community analysis

·  HW 6 Immigration and Words

·  HW 7 Language and Immigration

·  HWs 8-9 Evaluation of a scholarly and a popular article

·  Guidelines, Final paper

·  Grading guidelines, draft and final paper

·  Quiz 1 (sample)

·  Quiz 2 (sample)

·  Guidelines for doing interviews: video and notes 

Hmong and Spanish signs on a bus

Hmong and Spanish in and on Madison Metro busses

[Photos: Samantha Litty, 2015]