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Linguistics in K-12 Education


One prong of my research involves the integration of linguistic knowledge into K-12 teaching. I am involved in a number of projects that work toward this goal. That knowledge of language is important is reflected in teacher education programs in many states that require linguistics courses for prospective teachers, at least for English/Language Arts teachers. Also, collaboration between linguists and educators has begun to emerge on a national scale, producing work that aims to identify what aspects of linguistic knowledge are most useful for teachers to know, as well as producing a number of curricula, lesson plans, and resources. The interdisciplinarity of linguistics means that it can be a part of social studies, humanities, and science curricula.

WWU students, are you interested in getting involved? See some opportunities here. 

Middle School Linguistics:

A current project, originally started with David Pippin and conducted in the Boston Public School district, is now in development in the Bellingham Public Schools. The draft overview of this project can be found here. WWU students who are interested in collaborating with me on this project during the 2023-24 academic year, please contact me.

Pacific Voices Report: 

An ongoing project with Edwin Battistella of Southern Oregon University and Anne Lobeck of WWU. See here for the current report, and contact us for more information.

Linguistics in the High School:

If you're a teacher interested in learning more about linguistics in the high school, check out the following links and articles. And please feel free to contact me!

High School Linguistics by Amy Plackowski

Linguistics in the School Curriculum Committee of the Linguistic Society of America

Linguistics in the High School Informational Packet - August 2018

The AP Linguistics Initiative - Richard Larson, Kristin Denham, Anne Lobeck

High School Linguistics: A secondary school elective course - Suzanne Loosen

My books on Linguistics in Education:


Linguistics at School: Language Awareness in Primary and Secondary Education

co-edited with Anne Lobeck


Language in the Schools: Integrating Linguistic Knowledge into K-12 Teaching

co-edited with Anne Lobeck


Some of my linguistics in education chapters, articles, and handouts:


“Positioning Students as Linguistic and Social Experts: Teaching grammar and linguistics in the United States.” L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature 20, 1-17, 2020

“Sustained Linguistic Inquiry as a Means of Confronting Language Ideology and Linguistic Prejudice,” (co-authored with David Pippin). In Teachers' and Linguists' Perspectives: Practical Strategies for Teaching Language Variation and Language Ideologies, edited by Michelle Devereaux and Chris Palmer, London: Routledge. 2019.


“Reflections on What Teachers Need to Know about Language,” (co-authored with Anne Lobeck). In What Teachers Need to Know about Language, 2nd Edition by Lily Wong Fillmore and Catherine Snow. Washington, DC: CAL. 2018.

Examining Linguistics in the Language Strand of the Common Core

published in Language and Linguistics Compass 9:3 (2015): 139-149. 


Language Study as Inquiry: Rediscovering Parts of Speech  

published in ATEG Journal, Summer 2014, Vol. 23: 1, 20-32.


White Paper: History of the Study of Grammar (And how historical knowledge of the controversies informs how and why to teach language in the K-12 classroom ) - August 2014


Teaching Teachers to Teach Scientifically - AAAS 2012 


Linguistics in a Primary School 

published in Language and LInguistics Compass 1:4 (2007): 243-259.


Linguistics in a One Room Schoolhouse - LSA 2006


Ludlings Teach Language Diversity and Change: From Pig Latin to Ubby Dubby - NCTE 2005


Teaching Kids about Language Change, Language Endangerment, and Language Death - 2005


Learning Grammar through Studying Language Change - ATEG 2004


Linguistics First, Then Grammar - ATEG 2003


My websites:


Exploring Language: Daily Language Investigations for English Language Arts, grades 3-8

TeachLing: Lessons plans on language and linguistics in K-12 education.

Middle School Linguistics: A blog about language in your upper elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Includes lesson plan ideas and links to lots of resources.

Voices of the Pacific Northwest



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