Aaaargh, again. (Program enlists Santa Ana parents as 'first teachers')

Rachel R. Reynolds rrr28 at
Sat Sep 11 10:39:14 UTC 2004

Hi Everyone.

Reading these two "Aaaaargh" threads about linguistically ignorant/outdated
journalists with baited breathe (my most hated, by the way, is the
literacy/orality divide).  I'm in a department that has a very large
program in Communication that trains journalism majors, to whom I teach
Intro to Sociolinguistics and an upper level Intercultural Communication
class.  We're thinking of revamping the program to better train our
students to cope with the decline of a real research-basis in journalistic
reporting.  So all of your comments on this thread are making me realize I
have a tangible opportunity to develop a course called something like
"Linguistics for Journalists" that would not only include some basic recent
research on major issues that come up again and again in the press, but
also some ideas for budding reporters about how to network with reliable
scholars to stay current.  If any of you have:  a) ideas for syllabi
including readings, and/or b) comments on this enterprise in general, I'd
love to hear from you.  On or off list...


Rachel Reynolds
Drexel University

At 07:01 PM 9/10/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>At 12:39 PM -0700 9/10/04, Aurolyn Luykx wrote:
>>Is anyone else out there suspicious of articles that cite that old study
>>about low-income parents speaking on average 300 fewer words per hour to
>>their children?...
>And even if they do, what does it really mean? Don't we have ethnographic
>evidence of normal language development among children who are hardly
>*spoken to* at all, until they themselves have begun to talk well enough
>to be considered worthy conversational partners?
>>Maybe we need a program whereby linguists go into the homes of
>>journalists to educate THEM.
>What we really need is programs that teach linguistics in schools. I mean,
>we don't teach 19th-century biology, do we (unless we happen to be in
>Texas)? Why do we still (apparently) teach 19th-century ideas about language?

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