You will create an annotated bibliography of web resources (at least 10) focusing on one particular language or language variety (e.g., Korean, African American Vernacular English, Tex-Mex Spanish, Vietnamese, etc.)—be sure to identify which one you are focusing on. Your write-up should list, for each of the 10 sites, (1) the URL of the site; (2) at least one thing you learned from the site; (3) your annotation of what the site contains; and (4) a short evaluation of to what extent and for whom it’s useful. Please do NOT just copy and paste content from the website into your review; you need to show that you are thinking and evaluating it. To find appropriate sites, you may want to do a
search on terms like “Hmong phonology ”, “Korean language features”, “grammatical features AAVE”, etc. The websites should NOT be sites that TEACH the language but should provide information comparing and contrasting the particular language or language variety with Standard American English. As you review the websites, consider how this information can be applied to classroom practices and give examples of how this information might be useful to the classroom teacher.
Here is an example:
The Chinese Outpost:
The Chinese Outpost “aims to give you a broad foundational grasp of the principles behind Mandarin Chinese, without going into the granular details you might find in introductory linguistics courses.” The site is divided into three broad sections: Pronunciation, Characters, and Grammar. The Pronunciation section provides the most comprehensive treatment of the subject, including both Wade-Giles and Pinyin transcription systems, tones, and tone shifts. The site admits that no Internet button can really teach a beginner how to pronounce Chinese, and recommends (1) getting a tutor and (2) watching a lot of Chinese films (a list is helpfully provided at the end of the section, and the site does have a link to a Harvard website that has audio clips). The second section, Characters, has as thorough a treatment of the subject as one could reasonably expect from a website intended for the general population. It begins with the basics—the 11 most commonly used strokes—and proceeds to construction principles, radicals, and character styles. The illustrations are clear, and the tone of the instructional narrative is light and informal. My favorite section was Grammar, where I learned, among other tidbits, that pronouns are made plural simply by adding “men” to the singular, and that Chinese word order is similar to English, and perhaps even more rigid, because verbs are not conjugated at all. Tense is expressed with adverbs (“I go yesterday”) or particles. I found the Chinese Outpost site fascinating. Although at the end of my exploration I still couldn’t speak a single phrase in Chinese, I had become much better acquainted with the spirit of the language. I would recommend it highly for anyone (high school age or older) who is thinking about studying Chinese. It’s a great introduction to the language.
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