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Abstract

Abstract

This article details how introductory linguistics courses can increase student engagement and learning through a project-based approach, whereby the students first study the subfields of linguistics with a view to complete the main project of the course, namely to construct a novel language. I provide information from a semester-long course with specific project-based activities teachers could utilize in their classes. I also thoroughly examine the constructed language projects based on 33 student submissions in an introductory linguistics course in the US. The analysis indicates a high level of engagement and creativity by the students in creating a distinct orthography, phonetic, morphological, and syntactic rules and semantic properties for their constructed languages. The results from a 20-item questionnaire and student exit interviews indicate that the project-based approach adopted in the completion of their constructed languages proved effective in (a) improving student motivation and engagement; (b) helping students apply the knowledge of the material to carry out linguistic analysis; (c) enhancing students’ language learning skills; (d) encouraging them to study additional foreign languages; and finally (e) promoting linguistic diversity. Hence, as an innovative and effective method still in its infancy, project-based learning should be more widely implemented in linguistics instruction.

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/content/journals/10.1075/pl.21013.koy
2021-10-21
2021-12-04
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: teaching linguistics ; constructed languages ; project-based learning (PBL)
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