Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
From the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop; the Alabama group, with UT Arlington Linguistics &Student Lori McLain Pierce

Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington

CoLang 2014: Institute on Collaborative Language Research



Service Learning with Undergraduates


Friday, June 20 1:00-3:00 pm

Service-learning has gained steam as a recent trend in higher education in the United States. Bringle and Hatcher (1995: 112) characterize service-learning as "a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility." This workshop will present an overview of service learning in the linguistics curriculum, with a focus on partnership building and reflective activities.
Service-learning offers a way to build partnerships and serve underrepresented communities. I have developed service-learning into various courses (undergraduate phonology; language documentation and revitalization; field methods; language, race and equality; introductory linguistics) and along a parallel path, developed fruitful, mutually beneficial partnerships with Native American language communities and organizations. Using service-learning pedagogy integrated into a course along with a theory of ethical partnerships helps students to learn responsible collaboration in practice, along with readings on community-based language research (Rice 2006, Czaykowska-Higgins 2009). As a researcher, this offers a practical way to 'give back' and to support existing activities in language programs in a sustainable way. The work establishing an initial partnership(s) can be used to create a framework of activities that recur each semester or year as the cycle of courses repeat. Post-service critiques with the stakeholders and the students offer ways to improve service activities to better serve indigenous language communities, building long-term service-driven research and teaching partnerships with university departments and indigenous partners.
Workshop attendees will get enough materials to take home and design their own courses: a set of reflective prompts, a short bibliography, several core readings, and case studies for discussion.

Bringle, Robert B., & Julie A. Hatcher. 1995. A service learning curriculum for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2.112-122.
Fitzgerald, Colleen. 2009. "Language and Community: Using Service-Learning to Reconfigure the Multicultural Classroom" Language and Education 23:3, 217-231.
Fitzgerald, Colleen. 2010. Developing a Service-Learning Curriculum for Linguistics. Language and Linguistics Compass 4:4, 204-218.

Service Learning
Reflective Activity


Colleen Fitzgerald - Click here to view her biography.