Beyond Grammar: Language, Power, and the Classroom: Resources for Teachers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Beyond Grammar

Language, Power, and the Classroom: Resources for Teachers, 1st Edition

By Mary R. Harmon, Marilyn J. Wilson


256 pages

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Beyond Grammar: Language, Power, and the Classroom asks readers to think about the power of words, the power of language attitudes, and the power of language policies as they play out in communities, in educational institutions, and in their own lives as individuals, teachers, and participants in the larger community. Each chapter provides extended discussion of a set of critical language issues that directly affect students in classrooms: the political nature of language, the power of words, hate language and bullying, gender and language, dialects, and language policies.

Written for pre-service and practicing teachers, this text addresses how teachers can alert students to the realities of language and power--removing language study from a “neutral” corner to situate it within the context of political, social, and cultural issues. Developing a critical pedagogy about language instruction can help educators understand that classrooms can either maintain existing inequity or address and diminish inequity through critical language study.

A common framework structures the chapters of the text:

* Each chapter begins with an overview of the language issue in question, and includes references for further research and for classroom use, and provides applications for classroom teachers.

* Numerous references to the popular press and the breadth of language issues found therein foreground current thought on socio-cultural language issues, attitudes, standards, and policies found in the culture(s) at large.

* References to current and recent events illustrate the language issue’s importance, cartoons address the issue, and brief “For Thought” activities illustrate the point being discussed and extend the reader’s knowledge and awareness.

* “Personal Explorations” ask readers to go beyond the text to develop further understanding; “Teaching Explorations” ask teachers to apply chapter content to teaching situations.

Beyond Grammar: Language, Power, and the Classroom is intendedfor undergraduate and master’s level courses that address literacy education, linguistics, and issues of language and culture.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Language Matters: Introduction to Language and Language Study. What We Mean By "Knowing" a Language and How We Come to Know It. The Power of Words. Hate Language and Bully Language: The Language of Destruction. Language and Gender: The Cart Before the Horse? Dialects: Expression or Suppression? English Language Learners, Bilingualism, and Linguistic Imperialism. Afterword.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / General