Patricia Leon, Current MA student
I wanted to express how the Sociolinguistics class has benefited me both professionally and personally:
- Being able to grasp that although groups have different worldviews, there are universals; no two worldviews are so far apart that one cannot find commonalities in the human experience. Thus while cultural particulars are to be honored, it is possible for communities to bridge perceived differences even in such cases as where there are present misunderstandings based on historical intergroup conflict.
- Individuals are not just members of one community. For example, I am not just a member of the Puerto Rican community, but am very much Puerto Rican American regardless of the controversy that surrounds the experience of the latter in the United States, i.e., being historically excluded from equal access to resources, status of Puerto Rico, etc. This course has assisted me in perceiving that although I may have the experience of being Puerto Rican, America is also a part of my consciousness and there are also positive elements in the former.
- An efficient approach to teaching language, or working with diverse communities, is to expand ones cultural knowledge base. This facilitates the learning and teaching experience. Consequently, it reduces incidents of misunderstandings between the students and the teacher.
Fall 2009 Dr. Mahootian's Ling 201: Students discuss homework problems