A few of our favorite (free) resources

Activating (and challenging) language ideologies

Disrupting language ideologies

The slideshow linked at left includes some discussion prompts and media clips that one of us uses with teacher candidates and doctoral students. The activity is designed to prompt students to explicitly voice--and begin to question--some of their own language ideologies. One of the common ideas that we want to contest is the racialized stereotype that Americans racialized as white tend to speak a “Standard English” and that “non-standard” dialects or varieties are primarily spoken by Americans racialized as people of color. We also want to contest the idea that the distinction between languages and dialects is empirical rather than political, and the idea that the boundaries of a “language” are shaped by the criterion of mutual intelligibility.

We first prompt students to consider examples of a language variety which many American students find difficult to understand (Tangiers) and which is spoken primarily by Americans often racialized as white (indeed, some of the speakers in the video explicitly racialize themselves in this way). Next, we prompt students to consider a language variety that many American students find relatively easy to understand (Hawai’ian Pidgin) and which is spoken by a population of speakers racialized in many varied ways. (Hawai’ian Pidgin is also a valuable example for this activity because it was first legally classified as a distinct language by the United States federal government only a few years ago, illustrating the political nature of distinctions between languages and dialects.) Finally, we prompt students to consider an example of translanguaging from a television show in the Philippines, which American students can often understand even if only a few words are apparently "in English."

A few of our favorite (non-free) resources