Note: Additional syllabi and teaching materials (readings, assignments handouts, etc.) can be found at the CLA Collective Teaching Resources page.

Learn more about CLA (Critical Language Awareness) at http://clacollective.org/

 Course Title  Description  Resources
The English Language in a Global Context In this course, we will discuss and write about the dominance of English in the global landscape. Course readings and film/media take an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. We will begin the course with a geographic and historical overview of World Englishes and then will examine the impact of English language dominance on individuals and societies, emphasizing themes such as migration, globalization, education, and identity. Throughout the course, we will explore the relevance of these issues to educators, linguists, and policy-makers around the world.

Fall 2022 syllabus

Spring 2018 syllabus

Spring 2017 syllabus

(also see summer 2012 SMC version, below)

Narratives in the News Media In this course we will consider questions such as: What linguistic strategies do the news media use to craft compelling stories? What are the dominant narratives at play about national and global social issues, and how are some journalists working to counter those narratives? We will employ Critical Discourse Analysis as a central framework, reading theoretical and empirical work by linguists such as Teun van Dijk, as well as from sociologists and political scientists. We will engage with “On the Media” and other podcasts, TED talks, documentaries such as Outfoxed (2004), and online magazines. Students will write for a variety of audiences.

Spring 2022 syllabus

Spring 2019 syllabus


Introduction to Sociolinguistics In this course, we will explore the ways that language creates and reflects social identities. We will look at the contextual factors-social, cultural, geographical, political, etc.-that impact language use and variation. Themes for this course will include linguistic variation, language and identity, language policy, and language in the media. We will consider questions such as: What distinguishes a language from a dialect? How and why do some language varieties become privileged? How do notions of politeness and respect vary across linguistic contexts? In essence, we will learn how language shapes our world, and how we shape language itself.

Fall 2022 syllabus

Fall 2016 syllabus
Spring 2014 syllabus

Spring 2011

Intro to TESOL/ Methodology In this course we will study theories and practices relevant to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the U.S. and abroad. We will examine curricular resources used with adolescent and adult learners, and practice developing materials applicable to a variety of classroom settings. We will also discuss critical issues in the field, such as linguistic prejudice, language maintenance, and social justice pedagogy. Class sessions are largely hands-on, and include student teaching demonstrations with peer feedback. Opportunities for community engagement are also available. The final project is a portfolio that includes a personal philosophy of teaching.

Winter 2020 syllabus

Winter 2016 syllabus
Winter 2011 website

Summer 2011 website (Chile)

Language and
Social Justice

(First Year
In this seminar we will explore questions: What is the relationship between language and power? How does linguistic prejudice contribute to social inequality? Is language a human right, and if so, what are the implications? We will engage with scholarly, journalistic, and artistic works, including writings by Julia Alvarez, James Baldwin, Deborah Cameron, Lisa Delpit, William Labov, Rosina Lippi-Green, Thomas Ricento, Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, and many others. Students will develop a range of reading, writing, and oral presentation skills, and will receive frequent feedback on their work throughout the semester.

Fall 2021 syllabus

Fall 2018 syllabus

Fall 2013 syllabus

English Grammar:
Concepts and Controversies
In this course we will study the structure of the English language, learning key terms and strategies for analyzing English syntax. We will explore English grammar from both prescriptive and descriptive perspectives and examine its relevance to language policy, linguistic prejudice, and English education. Readings will be drawn from a variety of texts, including Rhetorical Grammar (2009), Eats, Shoots & Leaves (2006), Language Myths (1999), and Origins of the Specious(2010). This course is relevant to students wanting to increase their own knowledge of the English language, as well as to those seeking tools for English teaching and/or research.

Spring 2019 syllabus

Fall 2017 syllabus

Spring 2016 syllabus

World English
(at St. Michael’s College)
In this course, we will explore the topic of English as an International Language (EIL), by looking at the varieties of English that are in use around the world, particularly in areas where English is expanding most rapidly.  We will consider the benefits of a curriculum focused on “global English,” and will identify the features that are most important for mutual intelligibility among non-native speakers of English.  We will also design teaching materials that incorporate an awareness and appreciation of World Englishes. Summer 2012
The American Dream: Fact or Fantasy?
(First-Year Seminar)
 This seminar is designed for non-native speakers of English, and aims to answer the question, ―What is the American Dream?‖ We will consider the ways that the American Dream has been conceptualized by historians, politicians, journalists, activists, and artists. We will read works by authors such as Alexis de Tocqueville, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, Howard Zinn, Maya Angelou, Julia Alvarez, and Jennifer Hochschild. Film screenings include How the West Was Won (1962) and Crash (2004). Students will develop a range of skills for academic speaking, reading, and research, and will write multiple drafts of short and long papers. Fall 2011 website
  Writing Workshops These courses are designed to help students from a variety of backgrounds build skills and confidence in academic writing. The theme I usually work with in these courses is “Language and Power.”

Spring 2017 syllabus
Fall 2009 website