ANALYTICAL WRITING: LANGUAGE DEATH
2009/2010, Semester 1
University Scholars Programme (University Scholars Programme)
Modular Credits: 4
This course is part of a pilot project testing writing courses for NUS's planned expansion in U-Town.
There are two kinds of writing courses being piloted, 'analytical' and 'expository'. This module (WP 2210a) is an analytical writing course.
As this is a UTWP analytical writing module, the emphasis will be on composition, critical analyses of texts, identifying and synthesizing arguments, classifying information, and applying existing theoretical paradigms to primary sources. Students will learn to synthesize and thematically classify arguments and evidence from multiple sources, and will learn to write clear, precise and comprehensive critiques of a body of texts in a chosen content area. Students will also learn to apply established theories to new data sets developed from primary sources.
The writing skills you develop in this module are all designed to be applicable to contexts and tasks throughout your academic life.
Students must have passed/been exempted from NUS Qualifying English Test (QET) or have passed the CELC English for Academic Purposes (EAP 1 & EAP 2) modules.
All UTWP modules will preclude each other, i.e. if you have read one, you will not be allowed to take any others in the future.
This course is capped at 15 students. The course will be organized as a seminar-cum-workshop, fueled by student participation, discussion, and many practical exercises.
Tuesday & Friday 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
All classes will be held at BLOCK ADMIN SR-6, Level 5.
Here are some of the writing skills you will learn in this module:
Distinguishing reportorial from argumentative writing
Editing prose for clarity and style
Reading efficiently and critically
Identifying types of arguments
Effective paraphrasing and quoting
Thematic organization of multiple sources
Library research skills
Assessing rational vs evidential arguments
Assessing models and heuristics
Recovering hidden assumptions in texts
Explicating unstated ideologies
Identifying points of contention
Narrowing writing topics
Applying established arguments to primary sources
Finding gaps in content literature
Rewriting and revising
Using non-text sources: film, ethnographic notes, etc.
Transposing a paper to a visual presentation
What does it mean for a language to die?
Students will gain a broad understanding of the issues pertaining to language endangerment and extinction, including the causes and consequences of language shift, the impacts of language policies and the ideologies driving them, and the cost to human cultural diversity.
Here are some of the readings we will use in this course:
Dauenhauer, Nora Marks and Richard Dauenhauer. 1998. ‘Technical, Emotional and Ideological Issues in Reversing Language Shift: Examples from Southeast Alaska.’ in: Grenoble, Lenore A. and Lindsey J Whaley. Endangered Languages: Current Issues and Future Prospects Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pg. 57-98
Day, Richard. R. 1985. ‘The ultimate inequality: linguistic genocide.’ Language of Inequality. N. Wolfson and J. Manes. Berlin, Mouton Publishers: 163-193.
Dorian, Nancy C. 1973. ‘Grammatical Change in a Dying Dialect’ Language 49:2 pg. 413-438
Fasold, Ralph. 1984. The Sociolinguistics of Society. NY: Basil Blackwell. [Chapter 8: Language Maintenance and Shift. pg. 213-245.]
Fishman, Joshua A. 1990. ‘What is Reversing Language Shift (RLS) and How Can It Succeed?’ in: Durk Gorteret al (eds.) Fourth International Conference on Minority Languages Vol 1: General Papers Bristol PA: Multilingual Matters, Ltd
Huntington, Samuel P. 2004. ‘The Hispanic Challenge’ Foreign Policy, No. 141 (Mar. - Apr., 2004), pp. 30-45
Krauss, Michael. 1992. ‘The World's Languages in Crisis’. Language 68: 4 -10.
Krauss, M. 1982. In Honor of Eyak: the Art of Anna Nelson Harry. Fairbanks: Alasaka Native Language Center, University of Alaska.
Kulick, Don. 1998. ‘Anger, Gender, Language Shift and the Politics of Revelation in a Papua New Guinean Village.’ in: Bambi B. Schieffelin, Kathryn A. Woolard, and Paul V. Kroskrity, eds. Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Leonard, Wesley Y. 2008. ‘When is an ‘Extinct Language’ Not Extinct? Miami, a Formerly Sleeping Language.’ in: King, Kendall A., Natalie Schilling-Estes, Lyn Fogle, Jia Jackie Lou and Barbara Soukup (eds.) Sustaining Linguistic Diversity: Endangered and Minority Languages and Language Varieties Washington DC: Georgetown University Press. pg 23-33
Nettle, David and Suzanne Romaine. 2000. Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove. 2000. Linguistic Genocide in Education - or Worldwide Diversity and Human Rights? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pg. 291-378
Spolsky, Bernard. 2004. Language Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Toelken, Barre. 1996. ‘From Entertainment to Realization in Navajo Fieldwork.’ in: Bruce Jackson and Edward D. Ives, eds. The World Observed: Reflections on the Fieldwork Process. Illinois University Press. pg. 1-17
Tosco, Mauro. 2004. ‘The case for a laissez-faire language policy’ Language & Communication 24:2 pg.165–181
Vail, Peter. 2006. ‘Can A Language of A Million Speakers Be Endangered? Language Shift and Apathy Among Northern Khmer Speakers in Thailand’ International Journal of the Sociology of Language. Volume 2006, Issue 178, Pg. 135–147
Film: Mar a Chuannic Mise: Nancy Dorian agus a Ghàidhlig
Film: The Linguists. 2008. Directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller & Jeremy Newberger. Ironbound Films, 65 minutes.
In this class you will write a series of increasingly complex papers.
We will start with precis writing, in which you critically summarize articles and arguments of other authors.
You will then write a 'state of the field' paper, in which you critically assess and organize a body of materials on a topic relevant to the course content (in this case Language Death). The course culminates with a paper in which you test the validity of a given theory or paradigm in the course content area by applying it to a fresh set of primary source data. Papers will be supplemented with many practical in-class exercises designed to sharpen your writing skills.
Assessment in this class is based almost entirely on your written work, with some credit given to class participation and presentations. There is no final exam.