Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 09:26:58 -0500


Subject: Re: Linguistics in the Core Curriculum

At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Introduction to Language is an option

to fulfill 3 credits of a 12-credit humanities/fine arts requirement in the

general education core. Introduction to Language is pretty much a standard-

issue introductory linguistics course which enrolls a very diverse population--

students from English, ESL, communications, foreign languages, philosophy,

elementary education, theatre, information sciences, urban & regional studies,

etc., etc. We offer two sections a year and enroll about 100 students a year.

Our total enrollment is about 4,300 FTE, and my enrollments in Introduction to

Language are comparable to sections of general humanities and introduction to

literature courses.

For what it may be worth, I use Fromkin & Rodman, supplemented by a bushel of

handouts in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language

variation, and language acquisition. (This is the sequence I prefer, which

makes later editions of F&R harder to use.)

Following up on Bethany Dumas's comments, I too use take-home exams, in the

following way: the exam questions are announced two weeks in advance, along

with a general invitation for late-night anonymous telephone calls, e-mail,

etc. The students are permitted to bring a 75-word outline to class when they

write the exam, which seems to get me out from under some problems with

"teamwork." The students may (and usually do) discuss the exam questions in

small groups, but they are on their own when they actually write the exam. I

also assign four or five problems in addition to the midterm and final exams:

investigation of a specialized vocabulary, a phonology problem, a morphology

problem, a semantic analysis, and (if I can fit it in) a syntax problem.