This assignment is your chance to further explore interesting topics within the broad area of cross-cultural communication. Your primary goal is to make a brief (500+ words) scholarly argument that demonstrates proficiency in course concepts and engages with course-relevant research. You will present this to the class as your initial post. You will then comment on other posts and/or follow up on comments to your post.
Choose one of the following project/topic options:
Option #1: Pick any topic that relates to the content covered in the course. Feel free to come up with a topic that builds on a discussion post, a topic presented in class lectures, or some aspect of an academic article.
Option #2: Describe a Community of Practice [CoP]. For this option, you will do a more in-depth version of the Module 4 discussion activity by focusing on a particular CoP (or related sub-CoPs that make up a larger CoP etc..). A typical post of this sort would deal with how the communicative practices of a CoP intersect with issues of identity, linguistic relativity, and/or ideology.
Option #3: Take a position on the official status of English in the US. For this option, you will engage in this somewhat controversial topic, which comes up in our national political conversation from time to time. At the moment, English is not recognized in the US Constitution as the official national language. For your initial post, use course concepts to make an argument about the following proposition:
The US Constitution should be amended to make English the official language of the US
To be sure, course concepts can be applied to support more than one side of this issue.
Regardless of which option you choose, you need to include a thesis (or descriptive argument) about your topic that involves at least one of the analytical concepts from the course. Here is a list of some of our course concepts: indexicality, language ideology, modality, community of practice, linguistic relativity, performativity, code switching, metaphorical framing
Note: See the “Example Arguments” document in the Reading Material folder for examples of strong thesis statements that use analytical concepts from the course.
YOUR ACADEMIC SOURCES
No matter what your topic is, as part of your initial post you must engage with ideas from at least two academic research articles that are relevant to the course. Feel free to use any of our course readings. Remember, when you use an academic source, don’t just cite it. Make it clear why and how you are using it.
Note 1: The topics of your research articles do not have to match your topic. It is more important that you engage with the ideas, findings, or models in the articles.
Note 2: Use a standard style for all the references that you make to published material. In general, it should be very easy for a reader to track down the source of your citations if need be! If you are not sure about what a standard style is, use the American Anthropological Association style ( http://www.aaanet.org/publications/guidelines.cfm ).
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