(The fourth printing of this First Edition omitted page 161, which may be obtained from the errata.)
This book addresses the growing need to familiarize classroom teachers with the structure and use of language. Teacher training programs around the country are beginning to realize the importance of linguistics in their curricula, especially as linguistic diversity in schools continues to rise. The result is that most teacher trainees find themselves in a linguistics classroom at some point during their education. Unfortunately, the vast majority of introductory linguistics texts currently available do not adequately address the needs of this particular population. These students may find that such texts provide information beyond the material relevant to their teacher training, thereby making the texts inaccessible.
This book is written with teachers and future teachers in mind. It addresses the core areas they will find most relevant to their purposes, and does so in a way that they will find accessible. It introduces students to various types of linguistic analysis while covering the basics of phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax. There is sufficient terminology to provide students with the vocabulary they will need for future study and professional growth, but not so much that they feel overwhelmed. Also appropriate for classroom teachers is the focus on English, their language of instruction.
The final chapter brings all the material together in a discussion of language variation that directly relates to classroom issues. Nonstandard dialects are analyzed at all levels -- phonetic, phonologic, morphologic and syntactic -- to illustrate their systematicity. The goal is to give students the knowledge needed to approach the teaching of standard forms from an informed perspective.
This book is designed to provide teachers with a foundation of linguistic knowledge and, more importantly, the skills to respond to whatever linguistic situations might arise in their classrooms. Each chapter includes numerous exercises designed to help students practice the various types of analysis using a data-driven approach. Additionally, this text can serve as a basic reference tool for future use outside of the linguistics classroom.