Fall 2004- MWF: 10-10:50 a.m. SCIE 203
Instructor: Laura Savu
Mailbox: 133 McIver
Office Hours: MWF 11-12 p.m.
Course Information is available on Blackboard at: http://blackboard.uncg.edu/webapps/login
“Language is both a powerful and pernicious tool” (Jessica Parker)
This course will enable you to develop your writing and speaking skills through a critical examination of the way language both shapes and reflects society’s views on race, gender, age, disabilities, and sexual preferences. We will use the topic of “language and prejudice” to structure our readings and assignments, all of which will provide you with a basis for effective written and oral communication in your academic career and beyond in a multicultural world.
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
• become aware of, sensitive to, and respectful of communication skills and behaviors valued by different groups
• gain an understanding of the complex relationships among language, culture, and identity
• understand how discourse enacts the power relations and conflicts within society
• analyze and evaluate other people’s arguments
• use a variety of rhetorical strategies to construct and communicate coherent arguments of your own
• write for a variety of audiences and understand audience demands for oral and written situations
Valentine, Tamara M. Language and Prejudice. Longman, 2004
Fujishin, Randy. The Natural Speaker. 4th edition. Allyn and Bacon, 2003
3 two-pocket folders for your essays
1 loose-leaf notebook for your informal writings
Videotape (one per group)
E-mail/Internet Access: Please activate your UNCG email account and Novell password A.S.A.P. and make sure you can get onto the Internet. E-mail is the best way to contact me, while internet is absolutely necessary for accessing Blackboard and online sources.
Useful links: http://www.uncg.edu/cac (UNCG Speaking Across the Curriculum)
http://www.abacon.com/commstudies/index.html (Ally and Bacon Communication Website)
You will be responsible for fulfilling the reading, writing, and speaking assignments explained on the attached handout, “Overview of Course Requirements.” More details about the essays and the talk shows will be given in due course.
You will receive a tentative grade at midterm and a final grade. The breakdown is as follows:
Informal writings and Peer Evaluation Forms: 10%
Participation (includes attendance, impromptu speech, discussion, and conferences): 15%
Oral presentation: 15%
Essays: 40% (10% each)
Talk Show: 20%
Evaluation and Late Work
Evaluation is based on a variety of factors—meeting all course requirements, quality of written work, quality of speeches, participation, attendance, general improvement, and willingness to try new perspectives and take chances.
The speaking components of this class will be graded using a specific list of criteria established by me as well as your classmates. Because of the temporal nature of speech you will not be able to revise your speeches. If you are absent on the day you are to present, you will not be able to make it up.
Your informal writings will be given a check plus, a check, or a check minus, depending on the effort, completion, improvement, and depth of thought. The overall grade will be based both on the quality of your response and on the number of responses out of the total possible. If you miss class, the work is still due that day. Drop it off in my mailbox, or e-mail it to me as an attachment. However, I will not accept late entries from those who did come to class on the day that particular reading was discussed. (If you do an assignment after the fact, the reason for it is often lost).
For each essay, with the exception of the speech critique, you will produce a rough draft for a peer review, and then a revision of that draft for me to read and grade. I will ask you to turn in this revised draft in a two-pocket folder with the current draft for me on one side, and the rough draft, prewriting, peer review comments, outlines, notes, etc. on the other. When the rough draft is due for a workshop in class bring at least two copies. Failure to turn in a paper will result in a letter grade deduction of your overall final grade. You will be given a chance to further improve any one of these four essays through revision, and this final draft will be due no later than a week before the semester is over.
Because this class is centered on in-class discussions, writings, and speaking activities, regular attendance is crucial. You are allowed three absences, so use them wisely. Being late or leaving early also affects your final grade. Two tardies equal one absence.
4 absences = highest grade b
5 absences = highest grade c
6 absences = highest grade c-
More than 6 absences = consider withdrawing or risk failing the class
In the event of a real emergency, one with verifiable documentation, arrangements may be possible. However, computer or printer problems in the lab or at home are not excuses. No exceptions are made.
Respect for others is expected. Any behavior that disrupts, distracts, or is disrespectful will not be tolerated. Tardiness is rude and so is coming to class unprepared. Sleeping in class, putting your head down, and working off topic will be grounds for removal and thus counted as absences. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off during class time. You may be reached during classes or conferences at the department phone number (334-5311) in case of an emergency.
Using someone else’s ideas or words as your own on any type of written or oral assignment—is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and thus unacceptable. Crediting sources places your work in a textual conversation and allows you to see your own contribution to that conversation. For instructions on proper citation methods, refer to your handbook or go to www.edu/saf/studiscp/Honor.html.
In the form of The Writing Center, located in 101 McIver, UNCG offers this service for free at any stage of the writing process (brainstorming, planning, organizing, composing, revising, editing, or proofreading). Call (336) 334-3125 for an appointment, or just drop by.
The Speaking Center, located in 22 McIver, provides opportunities for students and faculty to receive assistance in speech preparation, delivery, and to develop knowledge and skills in the areas of interpersonal and group communication.
Special Accommodations: If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this course or for which you need accommodation, please contact me and/or the office of Disability Services at 334-5440.
The syllabus is subject to change. You are responsible to nENG 102S-03: Choosing
Language Wisely in Speaking and Writing
Fall 2004- MWF: 10-10:50 a.m. SCIE 203
OVERVIEW OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS
READING: This class will be reading intensive as much as it is writing and speaking intensive. You will not be successful in this course unless you do all of the reading and come prepared to participate in the class discussions. I will also expect you to keep yourself informed on current issues generating heated debates in the media.
RESPONDING: In this class, you will respond to the readings individually, as a class, and in smaller groups. Your first job as an individual reader is to identify words, phrases, passages, and ideas you find interesting, puzzling, unsettling, etc. This means reading with a pen or pencil in hand so that you can underline, highlight, or otherwise mark the material you want to discuss. Active reading will give you the tools to make connections not only between texts but between these and the real world as well.
CLASS PARTICIPATION includes almost anything you do to show interest in the class -- such as getting there on time, contributing to class discussions and group activities, coming in for conferences, visiting the Speaking Center, and the like.
• Diagnostic Essay
• Occasional freewrites on a reading-related topic
Almost each week, unless notified otherwise, you will write a 300 word response (preferably typed) to a particularly troubling or confusing section of the reading(s) you will have done for that day. Your notes, comments, analytic points, interpretive questions, tentative insights, etc. will be subsequently used as the basis of our class discussion. Hold on to these responses, for you can always expand on them while in the process of writing formal papers.
In this class you will produce 4 essays. The first two work nicely in conjunction with the course theme since they ask students to reflect upon and analyze the complex relationship between language and prejudice. The third essay requires you to do a rhetorical analysis of an argument of your own choice from Language and Prejudice. You will give and receive feedback on all of these 3 essays during peer review. Remember that I’m available for conferences about the assignments, and the Writing Center offers extensive hours with highly competent tutors to help you produce the best paper.
I. “My Experience with Prejudice” (3-4 pages; 600-800 words)
This paper gives you an opportunity to look at and analyze either a case of prejudiced behavior on your part or a situation when you were the target of discrimination. Consider these questions: Have you ever felt prejudice or acted in a prejudiced way against a member of a group different from your own? Or, Have others made you a target of their biased views? Describe the experience—the actions that took place and the language used—in detail. Then reflect on the incident, explaining what you can learn about the nature of prejudice from this example. Length: 2-4 pages (600-800 words)
II. “Prejudice in the Media” (3-4 pages; 600-800 words)
This assignment will require that you critically examine a television show, a movie, a news story, a set of related advertisements or songs that you believe involve prejudice and discrimination. Write a paper analyzing both the language and the images used/evoked by these media discourses.
III. Rhetorical Analysis of an Argument from LP (3-4 pages; 600-800 words)
This paper will give you an opportunity to practice close/critical reading skills in order to understand and evaluate arguments. Such an analysis provides the basis for writing about your research not only in this course, but in various academic disciplines as well.
IV. Critique of Speech Performance (2-3 pages; 500-700 words)
This essay is tied to the speech component of the course, as it asks you to attend an on-campus speech event and critique it in a written report both from the standpoint of content and delivery.
Peer Evaluation Forms
These forms will be used periodically through the semester to get feedback on both your speeches and your writing.
There will be opportunities for impromptu speech making (an equivalent of in-class writing) on various topics related to the course readings, or selected by your classmates. These individual declamations will last for about 1-2 minutes. Prompts will be given approximately five minutes in advance of when you need to make the speech.
Individual Presentations (10-15 minutes)
Each student will prepare and present one out of the five types of speeches described on pp. 142-43 in The Natural Speaker: explanation speech, demonstration speech, tribute speech, informative speech, and “what it’s like to…” speech. Note that there are three primary informative-speech designs: expository, descriptive, and narrative. See pp. 138-39 in NS for more details about them. On the day your presentation is due, you will need to turn in an outline of your speech.
This is a creative group project that requires you to incorporate research, part of which may be personal experience. First you will get together with your group members and brainstorm possible topics for an argument essay concerning a prejudice-related issue that is being debated on your campus, in your community, or around the world. Then you will prepare a thoroughly researched, compelling argument, which you will present as if your classmates were audience members at a talk show. One member of the group is the moderator/questioner, and the other members play the roles of topic experts. The moderator involves the audience (the rest of the class) by encouraging them to ask questions of the panel of experts. I will most likely cut out some class time for a library tour and/or library collaborative research. On the day your presentation is due, you are required to turn in a report on your research findings.
Student-Teacher Conferences: You will sign up for an individual and formal meeting with me in the course of the semester. Its purpose is for me to gain a better understanding of your speaking and writing-related concerns and for you to receive feedback on your course work. This meeting is important and will count as a class absence should you miss it.
Student-Group Conferences: Towards the end of the semester, I will hold conferences with each of the five groups to discuss their work on the final presentation (the talk shows).
Course Calendar (I)
This schedule of readings and assignments is tentative and may therefore be subject to change.
Aug. 16 Introduction
Hand out: course syllabus, schedule, and SC flyer
Aug. 18 Defining our terms and the relationship between them: language, prejudice,
rhetoric, and communication.
Read: Chapter 1 from TNS
Aug. 20 In-class writing: Diagnostic Essay
Last day to drop course for tuition and fees refund
Aug. 23 Read: intro and first essay from “Language and Society” (LP 1-12)
In-class Prejudice Quiz (LP 40)
Handout Essay 1
Aug. 25 RR: “The World of Double-Speak”
Getting into Groups
Aug. 27 Conferences; no class
Sign-up for Individual Presentations
Aug. 30 Read: Chapter 2 from TNS
“The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis” (LP 12-15)
Sept. 1 Read: Chapter 3 from TNS
Sept. 3 RR: Eva Hoffman, “Exile” (18-21)
Sept. 6 Labor Day. Class dismissed.
Sept. 8 Read: Chapter 8 from TNS
Speech # 1
Hand out Speech Critique Assignment
Sept. 10 Speech # 2
Draft of Essay 1 due for Peer Review
Sept. 13 Essay 1 due
Hand out Essay 2
Sept. 15 Speech # 3
Read: Chapter 4 from TNS
Groups sign up for Talk Shows
Sept. 17 Read: Chapter 5 from TNS
Library Tutorial: Room TBA
Sept. 20 Speech # 4
RR: “Proud to be an American Means Speaking any Language, for Some” (LP 32-34).
Sept. 22 Speech # 5
Read: Chapter 6 from TNS
Sept. 24 Speech # 6
Read: Chapter 7 from TNS
Sept. 27 Speech # 7
Read: intro and first essay from “Language and Ethnicity” (LP 35-38)
Sept. 29 RR: “Subcontinental Drift: The Mind of a Racist” (LP 79).
In-class viewing: Edward Said on “Orientalism”
Oct. 1 Speech # 9 & Speech # 10
Read: Guidelines for Avoiding Racist Language (LP 84)
Oct. 4 Speech # 11
Read: intro to “Language and Gender” (LP 89-91) and “Marked Women” (LP 129-35)
Oct 6 Draft of Essay 2 due for peer review
Oct. 8 Essay 2 due
In-class reading and discussion of “Small Ads: Matrimonials” (135-37)
Hand out Essay 3: Rhetorical Analysis of an Argument
Last day to drop courses without academic penalty