Hawaii Pacific University

Hawaii Pacific University
AL 2000 Introduction to Linguistics Section ____
Semester and year, meeting times
Instructor: Name, contact information and other relevant information about the instructor.
Course description: A general introduction to the nature of language and to the various fields of
linguistics: human language vs. animal communication, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax,
sociolinguistics, and language acquisition. Emphasis is on language situations familiar to students.
Course prerequisite: Any Communication Skills A Course or consent.
General Education Requirement: This course is classified under the World Cultures Theme and meets
the requirement for a course in World Cultures C: Other World Cultures Courses.
TESL Requirement: This course is required for TESL majors and must be passed with a C or better to
continue in TESL.
General Education Student Learning Outcomes and the Five Themes: HPU’s general education
curriculum is focused around five themes. This course emphasizes the World Cultures Theme and
provides students with opportunities to achieve the following related general education student
learning outcomes.
Students will describe the significance of important movements or themes which have shaped
the world’s diverse cultures. Conquest, exploration, city building, migration, and globalization
are important movements that have shaped the world’s diverse cultures and influenced its
languages. In AL 2000, we explore the effects of these movements on the development and
spread of English and other languages. For example, three significant events in the story of
English that were triggered by geo-political or social movements include the Norman Conquest,
the Great Vowel Shift, and the growth of the British Empire. Other topics of investigation
relevant to this outcome include language contact and borrowing, historical change and
reconstruction, language families and relationships, and the development of writing.
Students will investigate the roles that race, ethnicity, class, power, belief systems, and gender
play in past and present cultural systems. Our membership in, as well as exclusion from groups
defined by race, ethnicity, class, and gender influence our attitudes toward and use of language.
In AL 2000, we investigate the interplay of these issues by looking at geographic, class, gender,
and other varieties of English. We also examine social, political, and situational influences on
language use. Furthermore, we examine our own membership in (or exclusion from) various
groups and how our linguistic behavior derives from or is affected by the groups in which we
Students will develop skills that will enable them to assess and engage with cultural difference in
a compassionate and systematic fashion. One of the primary tags of cultural difference is
linguistic difference.. Judgments based on linguistic difference happen instantaneously and are
often robust and resistant to change. In AL 2000, we investigate these phenomena by identifying
characteristics of accent, nonstandard grammar, and slang, for example, as well as the value
judgments that are placed on their use. In order to approach these issues in an objective and
systematic fashion, students develop skills in identifying the phonological, syntactic, and lexical
differences that characterize their own speech and that of others. By learning to use the
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), students see that the sound systems of all languages can
be transcribed in way that allows us to observe similarities and differences between them.
Compassion is fostered as students are led to the linguist’s perspective that there are no
“simple” languages although there may be nonstandard varieties, such as the language known
as Pidgin in Hawai‘i. Similarly, compassion for non-native speakers of a language is fostered as
students learn how complex the task of language learning really is. Finally, students examine the
effect on speech of non-linguistic factors such as unconscious, idiosyncratically resolved issues
of identity, access to language education, and input from others.
The course also addresses the Values and Choices Theme by providing students with opportunities to
achieve the following related general education student learning outcomes:
Students will analyze the interrelationships among beliefs, choices, and cultural, social and/or
scientific institutions and practices. We examine the interrelationships between beliefs, choices,
and social and cultural practices when we discuss the factors that influence language policy and
planning in various settings. For example, we examine local issues such as English standard
schools and the renaissance of Hawaiian language, national issues such as the call for an official
national language and English-only vs. bilingual education debate in immigrant communities,
and international issues such as policies on the use and teaching of languages in various
countries and regions of the world.
Note: Purple text shows places where specific course information must be filled in. Red text provides
explanatory notes to the instructor which should be deleted before using the syllabus. Blue explanations
above should be rephrased by the individual instructor to reflect the specific approach in that section of
the course. Course specific outcomes below are an example and may also be rephrased or modified by
the instructor.
Course-Specific Student Learning Outcomes for AL 2000 Introduction to Linguistics
By the end of AL 2000, students will have
1. closely examined (and probably adjusted) their beliefs and attitudes toward language,
2. become more aware of the differences and the similarities among the world’s languages,
3. explored the following subfields of linguistics, becoming comfortably familiar with the scope and
specialized terminology of the sub-fields: morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology,
sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, and language acquisition,
4. developed a beginning level of competence in using some of the tools and techniques of linguistic
analysis (particularly in morphology, phonology, and syntax), and
5. (if they are Applied Linguistics (TESL/MATESL) students) begun to apply their new knowledge of
language and linguistics to the future goal of language teaching OR (if not) apply their new
knowledge of language and linguistics to social and cultural issues in the community around them.
For the rest of these required syllabus items see the details in the faculty handbook. Delete this note
once the syllabus is complete. For online courses there are some additional requirements given at this
Texts List textbooks with ISBN’s and include this language as well
All textbook information (pricing, ISBN #, and e-books) for this course can be found on the HPU
Bookstore website: hpu.edu/bookstore.
If you have any questions regarding textbooks, please contact the HPU Bookstore at:
Or e-mail:
Assignments and mode of evaluation
Summary of important dates and deadlines (if the schedule is a separate document and due dates are
not given with the description of the assignments).
Class rules and policies (including regarding attendance, late work and academic dishonesty)
Schedule of events (may be attached separately)