Each of our discussions explores the similarities and differences between societal attitudes toward dialects in China & Japan, and those in the U.S. To take a closer look, click on one of the links below and let the waves carry you to the shores of each country!
Language and dialects are an important part of our identities. They are connected to our communities, culture, and origins, and they're the gateway to who we are. Most people don't realize that everyone has a dialect, and some people even deny that they themselves have a dialect.
The variation and differences between ways of speaking, regardless of whether or not it is the same language, tensions can arise. That is why it is so important to promote understanding of dialects and the history behind them.
Our group encourages others to take interest and engage in our discussion of these differences, as our research may provide broader insight into linguistic discrimination in many countries, as opposed to only in the U.S. Via our broadened insight, we ask and even challenge others to extend on our discussion to help gain a more comprehensive linguistic prejudices and their root causes.
Language and other modes of communication affect everyone. In turn, it's important that our readers know the importance of our research. The way we speak in many ways influence how others view us. Therefore, through our studies and the help of others' observations, we strive to negate negative stereotypes and stigmas associated with specific dialects and other language variants.
Projectgoals | aim
Dialectal attitudes vary depending on two factors: language and social context. Our group focuses on different societal perceptions toward dialects in China, U.S., and Japan. In our course, Living Multilingualism, we discussed the negative influences of Standard English on non-Standard forms of English.
Such influences have resulted in linguistic hierarchy in the U.S., manifested in the dissonance between different cultural groups. Our readings, mainly by Vershawn Ashanti Young and Suhanthie Motha, voice alternative linguistic perspectives that emphasize the strengths of English dialects.
Applying this form of logic to other languages, and specifically other cultures, we seek to gain more insight on an international-level perspective on dialects. We pose that such insight could extend on Young and Motha’s discussion taking varying contexts into consideration, creating a more comprehensive understanding of the nuances between dialects and cultures.
We are excited to share our research, and provide the means for a specific template for the reconstruction of language pedagogy that emphasizes the importance of acceptance of not only other languages, but also the subcultures inherent within each language.
add to the discussion | ask !
Please add to our discussion by providing personal narratives or other sources that relate to our research. Our project and analyses are dependent on others' experiences with attitudes toward their cultural identities and modes of communication. From your experiences, we can piece together a broader understanding of how dialects and language influence societal attitudes and perceptions of people of specific subcultures and regions.
where our oceans intersect
While our projects focus on distinctly different countries, the discussions overlap and complement one another.
Jesse's discussion of Chinese dialects focuses more intently on the stigmas and negative influences that an overemphasis on standard dialects can have on a population of people. He poses that these influences are primarily the result of subcultural tensions and misunderstandings between people of disparate Chinese communities and regions.
In turn, Jalyn and Jacob's discussions focus predominantly on specific proposals of how to change pedagogy in their respective countries, based off of their interpretations of societal attitudes toward the standard languages.
Jacob's argument emphasizes a need for linguistic standards and courses that bring linguistic material about English dialects into English-language pedagogy, specifically in middle schools and high schools. He poses that these changes would establish an understanding of dialects for younger students, thus preventing the perpetuation of negative stigmas and stereotypes.
Similarly, Jalyn also provides reasoning for establishing proper understanding of and providing legitimacy for dialects to students of a younger age. Such methods of providing legitimacy, Jalyn references, include encouraging students to use code-mixing and code-switching in class.
reasoning | proposal
As a whole, our exhibit thoroughly explains the reasoning of why dialects, in general, are important to study in language-pedagogy, as well as specific ways to induce change in international language-pedagogies in order to negate the negative connotations commonly associated with dialects. Thus, while we each contend that standard dialects and languages have an important and perhaps even necessary role in societies, we also argue for the importance of providing legitimacy of and studying dialects.