Linguistics Chapter 9 Instructors Manual This Covers The Protections Title Vii The Civil

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
English with an Accent: Language-- Ideology and Discrimination in the United States 2nd Edition
Rosina Lippi-Green
Chapter 9
Instructors Manual
This chapter covers:
The protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and how they regulate (or fail to
regulate) linguistic discrimination in the workplace.
Sample answers to the questions from the text and the website
From the textbook
1. In Kyomugisha v. Clowney and the University of Wisconsin, Clowney asked the following
question during her deposition: “How about the burden on the other person to go and take
courses and study and to be understood as well why should the burden be on the recipient?”
How would you characterize Clowney’s position? How do you think someone in her position
might fail to see the flaws in her arguments?
2. Matsuda talks about positive reactions to accents, which may charm, surprise, intrigue.
Which accents do you perceive positively? Pick one, and think about what underlies your
positive evaluation. Is there any more substance to this positive evaluation than there is to a
negative evaluation?
3. One of Matsud's students once wrote: What would be the point of being a citizen if non-
citizens had equal rights? How would you answer that question?
4. The courts have sometimes disagreed with the claim that accent is immutable. There is
generally agreement that skin color is immutable, but language features are not. How do
technological advances change our understanding of "immutability?" As it becomes possible to
change skin color and gender, does that mean race and sex should no longer be protected?
Where does religion another protected category fit into the question of immutability? See if
you can come up with an interpretation that justifies the use of immutability in some cases and
not others, and decide where language features fit into the bigger picture.
5. Of the cases presented in this chapter, which is most reminiscent of the language
subordination model? Which is least?
From the website
1. Listen to the clips that provide examples of the accents mentioned in Chapter 9. What do you
think about these accents being used in the workplace? Do you think there are certain accents
that should not be allowed in certain occupations? Why do you feel the way you do?
“Cheryl Cole Dropped from X Factor US”
BBC News, 26 May, 2011
1. What do you think of Cheryl Cole’s accent? Do you think it would be difficult for American
audiences to understand? She may not have been dismissed from the show because of her accent,
but if she was, do you think that it would be the television station’s right to terminate her on
account of her accent?
Suggested activities and discussion questions
1. Many people have strong reactions against help desk workers who have foreign or U.S.
regional accents. Can your students think of any reasons why there is such a reaction to call-in
help desk workers in particular? Are there other job positions that people react negatively to
when the worker has a foreign accent? Are there any job positions that people react positively to
when the worker has a foreign accent? Why do people react the way they do to foreign-accented
workers in these jobs? Ask them to evaluate these reasons based on what they have learned in
Chapter 9.
2. Find out if any of the students have ever been discriminated against at work because of their
accent. If anybody feels this way, ask them to explain the circumstances of the discrimination
3. Ask the students to imagine they are starting up their own business and are interviewing
several qualified applicants who have foreign accents of varying levels of subtlety. Have them
reflect on how they think they would have felt about hiring applicants with foreign accents
before taking this class. Have their feelings changed since taking this class? In what ways have
they changed or remained the same? Ask them to explore the complexities involved in this issue,

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