Teaching tip: DARE

AAllan at AOL.COM AAllan at AOL.COM
Mon Jan 24 14:32:49 UTC 2000

I've just finished teaching a January term course in American dialects. The
one activity that the class always looked forward to was my daily readings
from the Questionnaire in volume 1 of the Dictionary of American Regional
English. There are 1847 questions, so even with five or ten minutes a day I
had to be selective. The questions are organized thematically, so the
sections make nice individual units.

I would read a question (like A1, What do you call the time in the early
morning before the sun comes into sight?) and members of the class would
volunteer their answers. The only regret was when there wasn't any variety in
their answers. Oh, they also regretted when I couldn't think of alternatives.
They weren't too happy that they'd have to wait more than a decade for the
last volume with its list of all the different responses.

One day I forgot to bring the volume, and they insisted I go back to get it.

- Allan Metcalf

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