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Unit 1: Understanding Bilingualism and Language Policy

The purposes of these two assignments are: 1) to develop your understandings of language use and translanguaging, linguistic diversity, first and second language development, and bilingual education, and 2) to provide you with opportunities to explore some of the methodologies used to study bilingualism and bilingual education. You are NOT expected to have prior research experience to complete these assignments, nor are you expected to conduct a formal study. Rather, your investigation should inform your understanding of course concepts and theories.

Part 1: Language Observation (15 points)

For this assignment, you will conduct a 10-minute observation in a setting that allows you to attend closely to how people use language(s) in their everyday lives. This setting could be a classroom, a playground or park, a coffee shop or restaurant, a city bus, a church, or any other setting in which several people are present and using language in various ways. You could also explore language use in a movie or television show. In order to develop an understanding of the dynamic nature of language and bilingualism, and the fluid ways in which languages are used in the 21st century, you will spend some time noticing how people “language” in this setting. Your observation should consider:

· Who is present in the setting? What activities are they engaged in? How do you know? Be careful to delineate what you see from your assumptions about what you’re observing.

· In what languages and/or language practices are people engaged? How do they use language for different purposes or with different individuals? Consider the use of receptive (listening, reading) and productive (speaking, writing) language skills, standard and non-standard languages, registers, translanguaging, as well as the use of technology.

We will review how to conduct the language observation in more detail in class.

Your final assignment should consist of the Your final assignment should consist of the following components:

Introductory paragraph: Where did you observe? Why did you select this setting?

Analysis (1.5-pages):

○ What did you notice in terms of the languages and/or language practices being used? How did the people you observed use language to make meaning or otherwise communicate with one another? How do you know? Be sure to share how people used language(s) to engage in various activities or interactions, with some description of dynamic uses of language.

○ How did attuning to the use of language help you “see” different language practices? What did you notice that surprised you?

○ How did what you observed highlight concepts from at least two of the readings or other materials from this course?

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