July 26, 2016

Alex Motut featured in U of T News: Innovations in teaching

Alex Motut (Ph.D.) and her instruction of LIN204 (English Grammar) were recently featured in U of T News' "Innovations in teaching" series, in an article available here.

LIN204, which the article notes is one of the most popular course offerings of our department, has an enrollment mostly of students in disciplines other than linguistics—putting Alex in the position of providing the first (and possibly last) substantial taste of our field to a large number of students.

With this opportunity she introduces them to fundamental principles of how linguists approach language (descriptively rather than prescriptively), and encourages them to think like linguists by asking them to reflect on why sentences like "I went to the bank" sound fine even if the listener isn't familiar with the particular bank being referred to.

The article also highlights her incorporation of non-standard and innovative uses of English into the course, including "man" as a "street pronoun" that is flexible when it comes to person, number, and gender (as seen in the example "it's her personality man's looking at"), a usage that U of T alumnus Derek Denis (now at the University of Victoria) is currently working on in his research.

No comments:

Post a Comment