305_Syllabus-Outline_Fall 2009_TR

305_Syllabus-Outline_Fall 2009_TR - S Sawicki The English...

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S. Sawicki The English Language in America Linguistics / English 305 Course Description English 305 is a course in American English, its origins, its regional and social dialects, and its role in American history and in such institutions as schools, corporations, government, and the media. The course will first examine general and theoretical aspects of language, with special attention paid to syntax. Language acquisition is the next key focus of the course; we’ll look both at first- and second- language acquisition theories, comparing and contrasting the two processes and examining personal experiences in light of recent scholarship. Then we will turn to language variation and change, looking at regional, social, and ethnic dialects, as well as historical changes and developments in English. And finally the course will explore English in context of various settings, e.g. in the media, in technology, on the sports page, in pop culture, in religious circles, in literature . . . . Attendance and Participation Come to class; come to class having read and thought about the material to be discussed. Please be respectful of others when offering your own positions. Paper One five- to seven-page paper on a topic concerning language is worth twenty percent of your course grade. The paper need not be a research paper, but it must have a thesis. Please type out your thesis and submit it to me before you begin writing. If you change the thesis while writing, you MUST have your new thesis approved as well. Please use MLA format. Grading Policy Course grades will be A – F with NO plus/minus option. Two midterms, one paper, and a final examination will determine your final grades: Exam #1 25% Paper 20% Exam #2 25% Final 30% Late Papers and Makeup Exams I offer makeup exams only to students with compelling and documented absences. These students must take the exam before I pass back graded exams taken on the original test date and may take only ONE makeup exam per semester. Additionally, I do not return makeup exams—students may, however, review them with me in my office. Late papers drop one letter grade for every twenty-four hours they are not in my possession. (I consider a paper that has been time-stamped, initialed by a Department secretary, and placed in my Department mailbox as within my possession.) Extra Credit The only extra credit points available in this course are on the exams—this is the only extra credit offered. In order to earn extra credit points, you must take the exam at your regularly- scheduled exam time. Electronic Devices Please turn all pagers and cell phones on vibrate and power off all electronic games If you need to make or respond to an emergency call during class, please quietly leave the room to do so. During exams, all electronics and cell phones must be powered off and off your desk.
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