Linguistics Chapter 3 Instructors Manual This Covers The Social Power Myths And The

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
English with an Accent: Language-- Ideology and Discrimination in the United States 2nd Edition
Rosina Lippi-Green
Chapter 3
Instructors Manual
This chapter covers:
The social power of myths and the myth of the non-accent
A discussion of the definition of accent, dialect, and language
The difference between L1 and L2 accents
The analogy of the Sound House to explain the development of an L1 and L2 accent and
explain the difficulty involved in trying to eliminate one accent in favor of another
Sample answers to the questions from the text and the website
From the textbook
1. What does the idea of style shifting do to the Sound House analogy? Many people are
bilingual or multilingual, and for each language they also have multiple styles. Is there a way to
adapt the metaphor to account for this, or does it simply break down?
2. How many prominent people (politicians, actors, policy makers, educators, media
personalities, etc.) can you think of who speak English with an L2 accent? What impact does a
foreign accent seem to have on the individual's life?
3. Interview some friends or family a group of three or four people / and try to elicit how they
feel about different varieties of English and different L2 accents. Take notes. On what do they
agree? Where do they differ? (One might find accent x friendly while the other one finds it
unsophisticated, for example.) Can you account for the differences, or lack of differences?
What surprised you?
4. What accents do you personally dislike or find irritating? Describe a situation in which you
reacted this way to a variety of English other than your own. After reading this far, do you have
any insight into your own reactions?
5. Think about this statement: Discrimination does not justify discrimination. How this might
relate to the topic at hand?
6. Do an internet search for accent reduction and lose your accent. What kind of articles
and advertisements come up? What credentials do the people offering these courses have? Do
you see any patterns?
Sample Answer: A Google search for accent reduction” and “lose your accent” brought up
500,000 and over 6 million hits, respectively. The hits on the first page of each search were
From the website
1. Listen to the clips of speakers from Maine, New Orleans, Appalachia, and Utah as well as the
clips of Native American, African American, and Jewish speakers. Do you think you could have
identified where the first speakers are from? Could you have identified the second speakers
ethnicities? If so, what features do you think indicate geographical region or ethnicity? If not,
why not? Is it a simple matter to identify a speaker’s geographical region or ethnicity from voice
2. Listen to a selection of the clips that demonstrate the language varieties mentioned in this
chapter and revisit the definitions of language, dialect and accent discussed on pages 4446. Can
all of these language varieties be considered dialects or are some just slang or bad English?
Consider this question from page 46:
Why do people call the variety of English that many African Americans speak Black slang
(or a Black accent or African American English) but call Cockney and Gullah dialects?
3. Listen to a selection of the clips that demonstrate the language varieties mentioned in this
chapter. What do you think about these accents being used by famous figures or news anchors?
Would any of these accents impede a person’s career in politics or broadcast media in your
area? Why or why not?
1. What assumptions underlie this story regarding accents in the workplace and the effectiveness
of accent reduction courses?
Sample Answer: This story has several underlying assumptions about accents in the workplace
and the effectiveness of accent reduction courses. First of all, a major underlying assumption is
Suggested activities and discussion questions
1. Discuss the myth of the non-accent and how the perception of an accent is a matter of
2. Have the students think about the L2 accents they have in any other languages they speak.
What sounds in their L2s do they have trouble with? Have they ever had a communication
breakdown that was attributed to their L2 accents? If so, do they think the communication
breakdown was entirely their own fault?
3. Revisit the case of James Kahakua and pose these questions from page 52 to your students:
If *SAE is something logically and reasonably required of broadcast news reporters, why
was it required of James Kahakua, and not of Peter Jennings (Canada) or Dan Rathers
And, a more difficult question: what is right or wrong about asking Mr. Kahakua to
pretend? If he is capable of faking an accent, why shouldn't his employer ask him to do
this, for those few minutes he is reading the weather on the radio?
4. Ask students to listen to local, national, and international news programs over the course of a
week, examining the language varieties used by the news anchors. Do all the anchors speak a
variety that aligns with the students’ ideas of *SAE? Are there any anchors that speak with any
discernible L2 or nonstandard L1 accent? If so, how do their L1 or L2 accents affect their job
5. To enhance discussion of this chapter, please visit the companion website and check out the
audio and video clips available for use in your classroom.

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