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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2009

SPN 383N • Biligualism

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48279 TH
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

This course aims to present a comprehensive review of the most important aspects of bilingualism and evaluate the current state of relevant research in societal and individual bilingualism. The survey examines a diversity of theoretical and practical issues, addressing the following, among others: problems, issues, and approaches in the description and assessment of bilingualism; bilingual acquisition; language choice, language maintenance, and language shift; lexical borrowing and code-switching; language attrition and language death; attitudes towards bilingualism; and language and national/ethnic identity. The focus of the course will be Spanish-speaking bilinguals and societies (e.g., Spanish-Italian bilinguals in Argentina, Spanish-Catalan bilingualism in the Balearic Islands, Spanish-Quechua bilingualism in Peru, Spanish-Nahuatl bilingualism in Mexico, Spanish-German bilingualism in Spain, Spanish-French bilingualism in Canada, Spanish-Creole bilingualism in the Dominican Republic, Spanish-English bilingualism in the United States and Gibralta). The course assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and will prove of particular interest to those students pursuing advanced training in languages and linguistics and in the cognate areas of psychology, cultural anthropology, speech pathology, and communication. Instruction will be delivered in English.

Grading Policy

Students will be required to read and assimilate the core texts and to think critically on the research articles. Several components of the course will be graded, each described in turn. 40% Written assignments (2) Each student will select two sets of focus articles for critical response. 20% Presentations In pairs, students will select a focus article for a fifteen-minute presentation; the presentation should be accompanied by a handout or visual aid. 40% The final paper Each student will be required to present a written proposal for future research on any aspect of bilingualism. The paper must include a literature review a well-articulated methodology


The course readings include chapters from seminal texts and sourcebooks on bilingualism (e.g., Romaine's Introduction to Bilingualism, Myers-Scotton’s Multiple Voices: Introduction to Bilingualism, Li Wei’s Bilingualism Reader, Zentella’s Growing up Bilingual, Silva-Corvalán’s Spanish in Contact, Bhatia and Ritchie’s Handbook of Bilingualism, Bullock and Toribio’s Handbook of Linguistic Code-switching) and selected journal and compendia articles that profile scholarship specific to Spanish-speaking bilingual individuals and societies.


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