Date: Thu, 17 Feb 1994 21:28:03 -0800


Subject: Re: Net Resources?

Natalie's query seems to offer an opportunity for offering some

observations about using e-mail and networking in service to

the study of American English.

I teach a course titled Development of American English, senior level,

mostly senior English majors with a sprinkling of Educationists and a few

grad students.

Texts: Baron, Grammar and Good Taste (some history)

Glowka & Lance, Language Variation (survey of field)

Frazer, "Heartland" English (specific studies)

In addition, I require all students to have accounts on the mainframe

at UNLV. These accounts are generally set up before the first day of

class and based on enrollment information from the registrar (I let

user liaison handle all the paperwork and typing.

Students are given about one assignment per week to answer via e-mail.

Usually this involves some library work (looking at DARE, American Speech

or some such). In addition, I select discussion that come to my mailbox

from ADS and Linguist to forward to them. I toyed with the idea of

enrolling them all in ADS-L, but didn't, for excellent reasons. Some of

them like to respond to EVERYTHING. That would fill ADS-L with a large

group (29) of enthusiastic amateurs. You folks didn't need that. We

have enough problems of our own. And enough junk mail.

At any rate, the students are becoming computer-literate (which they

will have to be in spite of the fact that English majors are antediluvian

almost to the point of rejecting the electric typwriter as a machination

of Satan. They are learning that the Information Superhighway is near

and they are about to be ground under whilst still at the on-ramp. Those

headed for teaching are discovering that third graders now more than they

do about parts of speech and mice-driven studies.

Some of the items that I share with the students are answered in

detail and these responses I collect and forward to individuals in ADS-L

or Linguistics or wherever.

Anybody who wants a syllabus or further info can request same.


Thomas L. Clark