Ling 201 materials and guidance

Syllabus. Ling 201 is a General Education course that meets the R2: Analytic Reasoning requirement. Your syllabus must include a statement of how Ling 201 meets this requirement, but this can be brief, as in these example syllabi: (SC, KBJ). Please see this UMass webpage for further guidance on creating a syllabus for a GenEd course. The fact that 201 is an R2 course has two other important implications. First, many of your students will be taking the course just to fulfill this requirement (though you will also have many students interested in languages or communication disorders, and the occasional one who is interested because they know something about what linguistics is). Second, the content of the course should emphasize formal analysis. This course is also the first course in our major, and a prerequisite to many higher level courses, but beyond teaching your students how to do some phonological and syntactic analysis, and some phonetic transcription, you do not need to worry about structuring your syllabus to prepare them for the upper level courses. Focus on just teaching them how to do some formal analysis, and why this is important, interesting, and even fun.

Your syllabus must also contain a clear explanation of the requirements, your expectations and policies, and basis for grading. In addition, you must explain how the UMass academic honesty guidelines apply to your course.The syllabus is in effect a contract between you and the students.

Materials. Ling 201 gets taught in a variety of ways, and most people don’t use a textbook. Especially when you are teaching it for the first time, it’s a good idea to try to base your course on someone else’s, borrowing as much as possible. Not only will the materials be tried and true, but you will be spared the huge amount of time that it takes to create materials from scratch. Try looking at a few full courses and picking one that you like the best, and then adapting it to suit your own preferences/style. You can always ask classmates who have taught it recently to take a look at their materials, but here are some to start with:

Seth Cable  (link to website)

Kyle Johnson (link downloads .zip file)

Kathryn Pruitt (link downloads .zip file; .tex source available from Kathryn on request)

Anisa Schardl (link downloads .zip file)

Martin Walkow (link downloads .zip file – here is his syllabus from a similar course he did at UCLA, and here are some notes on a latex document class for making exams and assignments, illustrated in the .zip file)

Materials from earlier 201’s were collected and organized by Karen Jesney on a now defunct Google web site, which was then turned into this .zip file by John McCarthy.

From Martin Walkow: “If students are looking for inspiration for a 201-type class I can also recommend the course readers by Ed Stabler and Bruce Hayes from UCLA. The equivalent of 201 is called Ling 20 here, and both Ed and Bruce have complete readers for their versions of the class on their websites. The readers contain example problems sets with solutions and in general give free and well tested examples of how this kind of class can be taught.”

Problems, questions. Faculty who have taught 201 welcome your questions, and are also good people to talk to if any problems arise (this includes Lisa Green, Seth Cable and Kyle Johnson). This handout by Maria Gouskova is a guide to preventing cheating, and dealing with it when prevention fails.  This is the outline/materials from the April 20, 2016 TA Training.  These are the slides from the May 5, 2017 TA Training. Both of these are relevant for 101 and 201.