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A new book by Dr. Sarah E. Hercula is a call-to-action for linguists to work to change attitudes toward stigmatized language. This includes English variations like African American English, Chicano English and Appalachian English because they teach students how language works and how they study it, Hercula says.
Hercula is an assistant professor of English and technical communication. Her 232-page book, Fostering Linguistic Equality: The SISE Approach to the Introductory Linguistics Course, was released by Palgrave Macmillan last week.
The book advocates for linguistic equality and gives teachers and researchers tools to counteract prejudicial attitudes and disinformation about language, both in and outside the classroom. It is a resource for linguistics teachers, applied linguists, curriculum developers, students and scholars of language attitudes and language variation, and anyone seeking more information about the relationships between diversity, inequality and language.
It offers a possible solution in the pursuit of linguistic equality by exploring how the Structural Inquiry of Stigmatized English (SISE) approach to linguistics pedagogy can be used to empower linguistics students and researchers as ambassadors for change. By using stigmatized English varieties as the primary analyzed data, the SISE approach encourages linguistically principled language attitudes among students, supported by Hercula’s own research in applying the method.
Hercula joined Missouri S&T in 2016 and holds a Ph.D. in English studies with a specialization in linguistics and a graduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Illinois State University, as well as an M.A. in English with an emphasis in teaching and a B.A. in education from Western Michigan University.
Learn more about the book on the publisher’s website.