Teaching is equally important to me as my research, for both inform the other. And more important, teaching is a way to foster language awareness. While in grad school at Michigan Technological University I taught French and first-year composition. Previous to grad school, I had a career as language arts teacher at Batavia Junior High School in Batavia, Ohio and at Williamsburg Junior-Senior High School in Williamsburg, Ohio, where I also taught high school French. Currently, I teach undergraduate and graduate linguistics courses in the English Department at Grand Valley State University. The courses I regularly teach include the following:
ENG 261 Foundations of Language Study: An introduction to linguistic principles through a study of modern English. A review of historical and contemporary writings about the language and language use. Discussion of the premises underlying various approaches to English grammar, and the use of these grammars to understand English phonology, morphology, and syntax.
ENG 362 History of the English Language: Examination of the external and internal history of the English language from Old English to present day English. Investigation of regional and social varieties of English and the question of usage in the context of cultural change.
ENG 364 Sociolinguistics: Study of sociolinguistic theories investigating the interaction of language and society. An examination of the social and cultural aspects of language and language use: social stratification, power, gender, race, ethnicity, class, geographic origins, and networks.
ENG 392 Language and Power: Examines language as a means of achieving personal and cultural freedom and as a tool for controlling and oppressing others. Students study various theories of language use and explore the tension between our right to use language freely and our need to protect ourselves from the way others use language.
ENG 461 Language and Gender: Examination of theoretical approaches to the dynamics of language and gender. Investigation of the relationship of language and gender with social categories such as age, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Application of social and linguistic theories to analyses of data with particular attention to contexts of the classroom, workplace, and media.
ENG 641 History of the English Language
Presents the assumptions and historical background necessary to an understanding of the changes in the English language. Also emphasizes one aspect of linguistic change, such as vocabulary and dictionaries, varieties of English, grammatical change, or phonology.
ENG 670 World Englishes: the external and internal history of the English language from Pre-English to present day English with emphasis on the development, change, and variation of regional and social varieties of World Englishes. We will investigate the effects of external forces, such as geographic, social, and cultural events on the internal features of the language on all levels, from phonological to pragmatics. Examining the origins and history of Englishes allows us to understand of how it has come to be the global language it is today, with all its oddities and irregularities of vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and use.