Sunday, March 2, 2014

Students, argh!

Time for a rant. On our take-home, open-book midterm in linguistics, one question was: "Which statement best captures the relationship between language and dialect?" Of those who answered (n=32), just 9 chose the correct "groups who have power speak languages; groups without power speak dialects." Of the 23 who gave an incorrect answer one chose "less-educated people speak dialects; educated people speak languages." The rest (22) all answered "dialects are simple forms of languages."

Sigh... How is it possible to spend half a semester with me and not get this most basic thing right? Anyway, coming soon if I have time, an analysis by academic major...


  1. If it makes you feel any better, this lesson not only stuck with me for the past 9 years but also made a profound impact on my personal prejudices. I continually remind my students things like, "We all speak with an accent, even if you don't hear it."


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