SHORT ASSIGNMENT #1: Inventory
Back to the Syllabus
Due Tues 15 Dec
Write a brief essay that considers the following questions:
- What is your native language?
- Do you speak a second language, or a third, or more?
- Where and when did you acquire the language(s) that you speak?
- Did you ever consciously experience a major change in the way you speak one or more of your language(s)?
- Can you read or write, with some facility, a language you don't speak, or speak one you can't read or write? What are some of the major differences between your ability to speak and your literacy in various languages, including your native language?
- Is your linguistic background homogeneous or heterogeneous? IOW, did /do the significant people around you as you were acquiring language, or today, speak all pretty much the same way, or are there important differences among these people?
- Would you say that you have an "accent"? How would you describe it?
- Do you feel that you speak "correctly" or "incorrectly"? How about your family members, co-workers, and other significant people: do they speak "correctly" or "incorrectly"? Or does the issue never come up?
- Do you find yourself using language differently in different social situations? (This could be in terms of accent, vocabulary, grammar, or other factors.)
- When you hear standard American English on TV or radio, are you conscious of differences between your speech and that standard?