Teacher: Cynthia Nolasco Lessons: 4 /week
This course deals with the relationship between language and society – how language reflects and reinforces social arrangements, social change and social attitudes and values. It seeks to create an appreciation and understanding of language as a function of social experience as well as a powerful shaper and transmitter of shared concepts and values. By focusing on the richness and range of the world’s languages, the course hopes to cultivate a sensitivity to the unfortunate slow death of many of the world’s minority languages.
The course studies the nature and functions of language, the wealth and diversity of the languages of the world, and the rise of world English and of new Englishes as a feature of globalization. Among the other topics are new words and new ways of communicating in the age of the internet; language and gender; language and social class; language conflict; language endangerment and language death. The successes of language preservation efforts in the world are also highlighted. The course draws heavily on samples elicited from the class members based on their mother tongues