23
Aug 16

SSOFT: The Linguist’s Kitchen

This is the final HLBLL blog feature in Summer Series on Fall Teaching (SSOFT). We hope that our brief writeups and links to resources in the CUNY world and beyond have helped you prepare for the upcoming semester of teaching in CUNY.

This week, SSOFT features The Linguist’s Kitchen.

Past SSOFT features:

Open Educational Resources
The Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center
Free course sites and Social Paper: OpenCUNY, The CUNY Academic Commons, and Social Paper
Resource Repositories: CUNY Syllabus Project, CUNY Academic Works

The Linguist’s Kitchen

Ian Phillips, PhD candidate in Linguistics at the Graduate Center, developed The Linguist’s Kitchen with the support of the New Media Lab and a Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant. The application will be launched shortly. Ahead of its launch, creator Ian Phillips shared a bit about how The Linguist’s Kitchen came to be and how CUNY instructors and students might use it in the classroom. Read our interview below.

 

The Linguist's KitchenThe site is called “The Linguist’s Kitchen.” So what does it mean to “cook” data?

If you go out there and collect linguistic data in the world, that’s a bit messy, you need to clean it up. So the idea is that [using The Linguist’s Kitchen] you can cook it up, clean it up. In linguistics, cooked data will allow you to learn something, come to a generalization.

Could you tell me a bit about how you came up with the idea for the Linguist’s Kitchen? Why do you think it’s a helpful application?

At the time I was in the ITP [Instructional Technology and Pedagogy certificate] program and also teaching a course at City College called Languages and Dialects in Cross-Cultural Perspective. I was teaching this course and most of the students had never thought about language as a system, something that could be analyzed for something other than meaning. One of the important parts of the course is talking about syntax and how all languages have syntax. But we didn’t get really deep because it was introductory. We talked about syntactic constituents and identified phrase structure rules. And the students had a hard time with that because there are so many ways to analyze a sentence.

The other part of it, I had 41 students in that class and there were something like 29 different languages spoken by students in the class. So we talked about how what makes a dialect different than a “standard” language is perception. “Standard” languages are spoken by people in power. And homework examples [for this class] would focus on dominant, standard languages, but you wouldn’t do a lot of work analyzing those other languages that students spoke and most of the students who spoke non-standard language varieties (of English or Spanish mostly) also didn’t have a high opinion of their own language. They viewed these languages as “broken” or “incorrect.”

So the idea was, since all languages have rules, why can’t we analyze their own language practices. That was the motivation [for this site], and maybe it will help student engagement because they are analyzing their own languages. They are the experts.

How do you expect to see The Linguist’s Kitchen being used in classrooms?

Test groups thought that even just a portion of this site, like identifying parts of speech of a sentence, would be great for some classes. A recurring theme is that it would be good to use in conjunction with classroom instruction. It’s not quite at the point where the students can just go at it alone.

It can be used for students to analyze their own languages, but a good starting point would be to have instructors give students lists of sentences to be analyzed that they know would work out well.

This interface also would be good to analyze sentences where there is code switching, which a lot of students are interested in.

It could also be used for any course where you’re teaching anything about language learning. Sometimes students come in and don’t know the parts of speech.

I’d like to emphasize that this was an experiment in pedagogy, and I really just wanted to see if this could improve teaching and learning in the classroom.

—–

As tips for use of The Linguist’s Kitchen in your classroom, Ian also adds that while the end goal is to have instructor and student roles, and possibly even a researcher interface, at this point the site will be most beneficial for student learning if paired with classroom instruction and if students are given curated sentences to “cook.”

If you choose to use The Linguist’s Kitchen in your classroom this fall, Ian appreciates feedback on how you and your students use the site, and on any bugs you find.


25
Jul 16

Summer Series on Fall Teaching (SSOFT): Resource Repositories

Each Monday from now until the beginning of the school year, the HLBLL blog will feature a Summer Series on Fall Teaching (SSOFT), with brief writeups and links to resources in the CUNY world and beyond to help you prepare for the upcoming semester of teaching in CUNY.

This week, SSOFT features two resource repositories at CUNY: CUNY Academic Works and the CUNY Syllabus project.

CUNY Academic Works

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 2.02.12 PMCUNY Academic Works is an open-access institutional repository for the CUNY community, coordinated by the Office of Library Services at CUNY Central. CUNY faculty, professional staff, and graduate students can upload their open-access materials, including articles, conference presentations, theses and dissertations, and materials prepared for teaching courses. Committed to the ideas of a public university and open access, anyone with an internet connection can download materials from CUNY Academic Works for free.

The repository is growing, with nearly 12,000 CUNY-wide submissions since its recent launch, and over 2,000 submissions from the Graduate Center community alone. Downloads of CUNY Academic Works materials total over a quarter of a million! Among other benefits, adding your work to the repository will result in greater visibility for your scholarship on search engines such as Google.

Browse CUNY Academic Works by CUNY school or by discipline, or use the search tool to narrow your search.  Prepare for the 2016-2017 year in your Spanish language classroom with “The politics of normativity and globalization: which Spanish in the classroom?” by Professor José del Valle. The article appeared in the Modern Language Journal in 2014, and is now also housed on CUNY Academic Works.

Follow Academic Works on Twitter for updates.

CUNY Syllabus Project

The CUNY Syllabus Project (CSP) is a syllabus repository collecting syllabi from all CUNY instructors across all campuses and disciplines. The project was launched this year by Laura Kane, a Phd Candidate in Philosophy, and Andrew McKinney, a PhD candidate in Sociology. The goal of the project, according to its organizers, is to “become a robust resource providing a way to search, compare, and visualize syllabi across institutions, disciplines, and departments at the City University of New York.” This goal can only be accomplished, however, through a critical mass of syllabus contributions from CUNY’s instructors.

The CUNY Syllabus Project is currently in its collection phase and is seeking contributors to upload current or past syllabi. Contributors can also allow for their syllabus to be publicly available for searches on the site under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Follow the CSP on Twitter for updates.


css.php
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar