Linguistic Diversity “Starter Kit”

This is a hastily written, flawed introduction to linguistic diversity and linguistic justice, but I put it together at the request of some colleagues and thought others might find it helpful. Some caveats: this is not a syllabus, this is not an academic lit review, this is in no way complete. This is just a way of getting started, for those who are not used to thinking about linguistic diversity as such, and who don’t have the time/inclination to read a book about it (yet!).

The problem:

People are discriminated against every day because of how they speak and write English in ways that are usually a proxy for other identities/social categories/ways of being, like race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic class, nationality, region, etc., even though there is no linguistic basis for the idea of one “correct” way to speak English. The idea of “Standard” English in the U.S. is largely ideological and historically situated, with roots in white supremacist and colonial ideas and power structures. For some, the stakes are low. For others in the U.S. (perhaps especially African Americans), there are serious consequences to linguistic bias and discrimination. 

How Do We Know? (Selected Scholarship):

Listen, watch, and read more:

Poetry and Performances:



Articles and Blog Posts:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: