sample syllabus (LING 101 discussion)

This is a sample syllabus for a discussion section for an introduction to linguistics course (LING 101). The course was designed by Dr. Charlotte Vaughn at the University of Oregon, and the discussion section syllabus was collaborative with Dr. Vaughn and the other TA for the course for the Fall 2017 term. The primary components emphasized in discussion section is active learning opportunities and targeted support for student assignments.

WeekWhat to emphasize based on topics covered in class this weekCollectActivity + Materials
1What it means to “know” a language (implicit knowledge/rules); comptence & performance, linguistic equality; design features of languageGo over Assignment 1 in detail. Practice transcribing a piece of conversation. A-prefixing exercise. Practice with transcription, A-prefixing exercise from Wolfram & Schilling
2IPA practice & phonetics/phonology. If time: Descriptivism/prescriptivism; differences b/w speech & writing (themes from Assignment 1)Assignment 1IPA practice (+ give web resources); review of prescriptive vs. descriptive (pizza!); minimal pair practice. Discussion of short video clip about prescriptive language.
3Morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics (focusing on morphology & syntax)Morphology worksheets from T. Payne’s book.
4Midterm review! Also language acquisition, language processingAssignment 2Midterm Review: Do handout where students have to come up with their own questions for the midterm & answer classmates’ questions.
5SociolinguisticsOverview of style and discussion of Key & Peel code switching skit
6Multilingualism, SLA, lang policy. Also signed lang + deaf cultureOfficial language debate. Background reading given as part of quiz. There are a few slides to go over + a sign in sheet.
7Language diversity, contact, endangermentAssignment 3More on languages of the world. Play Great Language Game. Do more morphology/phonology exercises? Something on writing systems (Manuel has worksheet)?
8Language change, historical linguistics, slang. Taboo words & euphemism.Prep for Assignment 4: low stakes practice with feedback on slang terms. Euphamesim treadmill (clip from nightly show).
9No section: Thanksgiving
10Final exam review!Assignment 4Debrief on language & thought. Exam review session: jeopardy style