A wide array of courses discussing topics related to Language Ideologies and Linguistic Discrimination topics are regularly offered across different Departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Below is a comprehensive, but not exhaustive list including some of the classes relevant to LILD work.

If you are a UW-Madison instructor and don’t see your class listed here, please get into contact with us and we would be happy to add your course to our website!

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  • ANTHRO 430: Language & Culture
    Instructor: Falina Enriquez (
    Description: Anthropology 430 uses theoretical and empirical texts—primarily from linguistic anthropological scholars—as well as multimedia examples to introduce students to the concept of linguistic ideologies and linguistic differentiation. In learning to define and identify linguistic ideologies, students examine how such ideologies mediate social processes such as identity-building, inclusion, and various other kinds of sociolinguistic differentiation. Significant linguistic ideologies discussed include , for example, a) the hegemonic idea that nations should be monolingual—and the social inequality that this idea (re)produces, b) the essentialization of linguistic practices among marginalized sociocultural identities, such as those based on race, class, gender, and ethnicity and c) the historical and arguably, current, emphasis within Western hegemony of referentiality and semanticity as primary criteria for meaningfulness, rationality, and legitimacy.

Asian Languages & Cultures

  • ASIAN 100: Asian Languages & Identities
    Instructor: Junko Mori (
    Description: Coming soon!
  • ASIAN 358: Language in Japanese Society
    Instructor: Junko Mori (
    Description: This class enhances knowledge of and sensitivity towards social factors that influence how Japanese language is used in different contexts. Topics include language standardization and policies, dialects, gender differences, multilingualism, translation, and impact of technology on language. In addition to discussing books and articles on these subject matters, engage in the collaborative analysis of actual examples of Japanese language use taken from everyday interactions, interviews, traditional and social media discourse, popular culture, and public signage, among others. Through this process, evaluate critically taken-for-granted beliefs and assumptions about the Japanese language and its users; examine how particular beliefs and assumptions have been established, maintained, and challenged; and make informed choices in adopting different styles of language and in positioning themselves in a Japanese speech community.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • CSD 424: Sign Language I
    Amy Free (
    Description: Manual alphabet, numbers, 300 basic signs in American Sign Language (ASL) and the Manually Coded English (MCE) system. This class emphasizes words and signing skill for clinics and schools. Learning outcomes for the course include: 

    *Knowledge of North American Manual Alphabet including its appropriate usage
    *Understanding sign language parameters
    *Receptive comprehension of simple signed phrases, requests, and questions
    *Knowledge of signs specific for professionals working with children in educational or clinical settings
    *Exposure to fluent, native adult signers, including poets and artists
    *Awareness of Deaf Culture, hearing privilege, values, history, and controversy
    *Expressive ability of vocabulary signs, simple phrases, requests, and questions

Curriculum & Instruction

  • C&I 676: Biliteracy & Bilingualism in Schools
    Instructor: Mariana Pacheco (
    Description: This course functions within a broader framework of social, cultural, political, and ideological issues regarding the place and role of non-English languages—and their speakers—across program models and the development of bi/multilingualism in K-12 schools in the U.S. The class will grapple with the tension between subtractive, reductionist, and “quick-fix’ approaches and robust, theoretically-driven, and equitable approaches. The goal is to create an equitable, humanizing, balanced, learning-centered approach to bi/multilingual education that re-organizes learning and schooling for bilingual students (and English Learners [ELs]) in an effort to challenge approaches that seek to ‘fix’ them.
    The course is intended for practitioners and educators who serve bilingual students, including teachers already certified in English as a Second Language (ESL) who are now seeking a bilingual certification. It is, however, also open to non-certification students. It focuses on the implementation of teaching and learning strategies in students’ home languages and in English as well as explores different curriculum approaches that leverage and expand students’ linguistic repertoires. The course focuses on the sociocultural organization of home languages and English in bilingual classrooms and considers the effects of these practices on the development of bi/multilingualism, bi/multiliteracies, and content area knowledge for bilingual and ELL students. The goal is to address persistent educational inequities and develop appropriate ways to organize robust curriculum and instruction to enhance bilingual and ELL students’ learning opportunities and academic potential in the long term.
  • C&I 823: Coloniality of Language & Science in Education
    Instructors: Diego Román ( & Kathryn Kirchgasler (
    Description: This graduate seminar explores interdisciplinary theories on coloniality used in education research, with a focus on historicizing and interrogating hierarchies of language, race, and scientific reason. The course examines distinct analytics of power offered by postcolonial, decolonial, and anticolonial theories, raciolinguistic perspectives, postcolonial science studies, and postfoundational curriculum studies. Crucially, the ‘post’ in postcolonial does not suggest a relegation of colonialism to a distant past but a critical orientation to ask how attempts to cleave past from present persist in the coloniality of knowledge.
    Readings are juxtaposed to generate dialogue concerning shared assumptions and tensions within and across recent scholarship in postfoundational and postcolonial science studies, raciolinguistic studies, and cultural studies. These literatures provide scholars concerned with education new leverage to contest racial and linguistic power formations, question universalized hierarchies of knowing and being, and historically examine productions of Self and Other in educational research, policy, and practice. A purpose of the seminar is to support graduate students to examine distinct analytics of power across educational subfields. The course will provoke discussions about varying analytics of power by grouping articles on similar themes with distinct theoretical or methodological approaches. This is to support students concerned with various dimensions of inequality—such as educational disparities, linguistic hierarchies, health inequities, or environmental racism—to further articulate and situate their research projects in relation to critical scholarship foregrounding questions of difference, power, and coloniality.
  • C&I 975: Abolitionist and Liberationist Language Pedagogies
    L. J. Randolph Jr. (
    Description: Abolitionist and liberationist pedagogies invite us to imagine schools as places where historically (and presently) marginalized students experience empowerment, liberation, and joy as integral components of their schooling. This course critically examines interdisciplinary connections among such pedagogies and associated movements and explores how they might inform abolitionist and liberationist approaches to the teaching of world languages in US contexts. In particular, we will examine how these pedagogies challenge linguistic oppression and disrupt dominant language ideologies, curricular frameworks, and instructional practices.
  • C&I 975: Language Ideologies
    Mariana Pacheco (
    Description: This course is intended for doctoral students interested in language education, English as a Second Language, bilingual education, and the schooling experiences and educational trajectories of language minoritized students in public schools. It will address the extent to which beliefs, feelings, and views about language—and its speakers—relate “communicative action to political economic considerations of power and social inequality, to macrosocial constraints on language behavior, and discourse with lived experiences” (Woolard, 1998, p. 27). We will examine theoretical frameworks and conceptualizations that help educators and language researchers and practitioners examine how micro-level interactions and language practices link to broader macro-level structures, institutions, and discourses, including the extent to which race and racialization shape how we come to understand and make sense of these interactions and practices. The course will draw primarily from research in linguistic anthropology and the field of second language acquisition as well as from particular social science scholarship that has come to inform language education research and scholarship (e.g., Luis Moll, Kris Gutiérrez, Walter Mignolo). Of relevance, the class will explore how nationalist, anti-immigrant, and racist ideologies have been taken up in recent history (primarily post-desegregation) in different educational contexts (e.g., English-only states). We will explore as well how this appropriation has shaped the learning opportunities and schooling experiences of language minoritized students in U.S. public schools.

Educational Policy Studies

  • ED POL 205: Language & Social Inequality
    Instructor: Elise Ahn (
    Description: Language and social inequality, is a community based learning course that focuses on the intersection and interaction between language, politics, policies and practices in and through education. Drawing from a broad body of scholarship including anthropology, sociology, sociolinguistics, and critical applied linguistics, this course considers how policy, practice, and pedagogy work to reinforce, reproduce, and also reduce issues related to language and social inequality. In particular, the class explores how engaging within a plurilingual frame and utilizing plurilingual pedagogies may foster greater inclusion and subvert monolingual ideologies in structured settings like the classroom. While the course primarily focuses on the North American context it does include examples and cases from non-US contexts. By engaging with different community partners, students explore how the concepts and dynamics being discussed in class are realized in the context around them.
  • ED POL 595: Language Politics & Education
    Matthew Wolfgram (
    Description: This course draws on research, methods, and concepts in linguistics, anthropology, and education theory to understand how language and culture impact education policy and practice, and structure diversity, inequality, and institutional change in educational settings. This course is structured as a research practicum in which students will learn to analyze the role of language in educational settings by coding, analyzing, theorizing, and writing-up discourse data collected in the context of four ongoing research projects conducted at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.


  • ENGL 316: English Language Variation in the U.S.
    Juliet Huynh (
    Description: The course examines the relationships of the different geographical varieties of English in the United States in relation to the social identities that are associated with these varieties. While no variety is more important than another, this course will explore how these various dialects of English stand in relation to standard language ideology.
  • ENGL 318: Second Language Acquisition
    Juliet Huynh (
    Description: This course introduces the field of second language acquisition. The course will cover research topics including the differences between first and second language acquisition, language perception and production and how the first and second language are affected, and what the second language teaching implications are.
  • ENGL 319: Language, Race, and Identity
    Thomas Purnell (
    Description: This course studies how language influences racial identity in the United States. The subject draws on various fields, such as anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, and linguistics, to show the significant connection between language, culture, and our genetic makeup. The course explores the nature versus nurture debate and how languages work as a system and a product of group behavior. The course is divided into three sections: genetics of race and language, theories about language and its relation to the social construction of race, and language-related challenges in speech communities where non-standard components are dominant. The course emphasizes the need to comprehend the underlying mechanisms of phenotype and language to combat errors from the past. The variations in phenotype and language arise differently, with phenotypes by mutations and languages by contact, migration, and other ways.
  • ENGL 412: Bad Grammar and Metalinguistic Awareness
    Anja Wanner (
    Description: In this class we will explore the vexed relationship between descriptive and prescriptive approaches to grammar. A descriptive approach is grounded in actual language usage (for example, a descriptive grammar of English would account for the fact that, in informal situations, many speakers of English use double negation for emphasis purposed, as in “I didn’t see nobody”), while a prescriptive approach sets up rules that should be followed (it would argue that the sentence just quoted is not acceptable and should be changed to “I didn’t see anybody”). While the field of linguistics has long rejected prescriptive accounts of language use as irrelevant, misleading, and damaging, the broader culture is fascinated with such accounts, even if they are brought forward by individuals who openly profess that they have no interest in data- or theory- based learning about the structure of language or language change per se and feel entitled to judge other people’s use of language.
    In the spirit of Anne Curzan’s suggestion to “engage rather than dismiss” prescriptive voices in public discourses about language, we will make such approaches the object of our inquiry. We will learn about different forms of prescriptivism, the history of prescriptive grammar, the harm that it does, as well as constructions that have been/are targets of such approaches. Specifically, we will discuss data-based research on specific linguistic constructions that are often criticized as examples of “bad grammar,” such as studies of sentences ending on prepositions or so-called split infinitives.
  • ENGL 414: Global Spread of English
    Thomas Purnell (
    Description: This class examines the linguistic, social, and political impact of the spread of English around the world. Through readings, lectures, and discussions, we will critically consider questions such as: why and how is English spreading? Does English spread tend to perpetuate elites, or does it increase opportunity for the non-elites? What are some characteristics of new varieties of English? What are the issues surrounding standardization? Who “owns” English? What happens to local languages in circumstances of English spread? What is happening regarding English and other languages in such geographical contexts as Singapore? Japan? Tanzania? Peru? And transcending geography, we’ll also consider how English is an agent in the spread of American popular culture, the Internet, etc. We’ll see that the topics in this course will be very relevant to the national discussion on decolonizing the United States.
  • ENGL 420: Topics in English Language and Linguistics – Bilingualism and Heritage Language Processing
    Instructor: Juliet Huynh (
    Description: This course introduces students to topics related to bilingual speakers and bilingualism. The areas that will be covered include different types of bilinguals/bilingualism, heritage language speakers, bilingual education, heritage language education, cognitive benefits (or disadvantages) of being a bilingual, and language processing in bilinguals.


  • LINGUIS 211: Global Language Issues (cross-listed with Anthropology, Folklore, and International Studies)
    Instructor: Various
    Description: This course introduces students to topics related to bilingual speakers and bilingualism. The areas that will be covered include different types of bilinguals/bilingualism, heritage language speakers, bilingual education, heritage language education, cognitive benefits (or disadvantages) of being a bilingual, and language processing in bilinguals.
  • LINGUIS 237: Language in Wisconsin
    Joe Salmons (
    Description: For millennia, the place now called Wisconsin has been home to countless languages and dialects: Indigenous languages, immigrant/refugee languages and English. How and when did people learn English and when and why did they begin to speak only English? How has English developed in distinctive ways here? Focus is on hands-on, original research to answer these and related questions about English and other languages past and present in Wisconsin, as well as examining social and historical issues and issues of linguistic structure, drawing on local histories, archival data, Census records and audio recordings and there are opportunities to do fieldwork in communities across the state and the region. Learning outcomes that relate to language ideology/discrimination: Explore the history of languages other than English in Wisconsin, their repression and support for them, including educational and other policies; develop an understanding of the linguistic histories of particular communities and groups; identify attitudes about languages and dialects and understand their connections to today’s society.
  • LINGUIS 371: Survey of North American Indian Languages
    Monica Macaulay (
    Description: The course provides an overview of Native languages of North America, including topics such as history, distribution, diversity, government policy, language endangerment, elaboration of cultural domains, language and worldview, speech styles, language structure (phonology, morphology, grammatical categories), performance (narrative, song), writing systems. Some of its learning outcomes intend to: 

    *Recognize common misconceptions about these languages
    *Identify factors in language attrition and endangerment
    *Develop an understanding of the importance of language revitalization and reclamation

  • LINGUIS 373: Language Emergence
    Laura Horton (
    Description: This course explores the different methods that have been developed to explore the emergence and change of languages over time, including young languages in signing communities as well as experimental methods in laboratory settings and computer simulations. Key learning objectives for this class include: 

    *Think critically about the benefits and drawbacks of different methods for studying language emergence
    *Identify social and historical circumstances that lead to the emergence of new languages and articulate the larger structural and colonial forces that have shaped language movement and change globally
    *Discuss the theoretical and practical implications of classifying and comparing different “stages” of language emergence. Think critically about arguments for and against models that characterize some languages as proto-languages

  • LINGUIS 373: Sign Language Linguistics
    Laura Horton (
    Description: Introduction and overview of the linguistics of sign languages, signing communities, and perceptions of deaf people and sign languages. Topics will include: the grammar of sign languages, their use in signing communities, patterns in the transmission and acquisition of sign languages, and the emergence of new sign languages. Key learning objectives for this class include: 

    *Recognize false assumptions and claims about sign languages and challenge them
    *Discuss the ways that the study of sign languages expands and enhances our understanding of human languages
    *Appreciate that deafness and sign languages are valuable parts of cultural and linguistic diversity
    *Articulate ways to increase and advocate for accessibility and inclusivity for minoritized languages and communities

Spanish & Portuguese

  • SPAN 430: Spanish in the U.S.
    Fernando Tejedo-Herrero (
    Description: Spanish 430 covers topics such as language discrimination (mock Spanish; dialect self-discrimination); language ideologies and education (with respect to the imposition of a standard variety ideology; intradialectal ideologies in the minoritization of non-standard linguistic features), and language identities (e.g., development of Hispanic/LatinX identities; use of codeswitching/translanguaging and identity).
  • SPAN 446: Topics in Hispanic Linguistics – Bilingualism in the “Spanish-speaking” World: Linguistic, Cognitive, and Sociopolitical Issues
    Catherine Stafford (
    Description: In this course we explore the perhaps surprising complexities of the seemingly basic question “Who is bilingual?”, studying several of the bilingual communities found across the “Spanish-speaking” world. Additionally, we investigate the ways in which a broad range of factors (e.g., age of acquisition, context of acquisition, socio-affective factors, sociopolitical relationships between speech communities) can influence bilingual development, maintenance, and even loss.
  • SPAN 630: Topics in Hispanic Linguistics – The Bilingual Self
    Catherine Stafford (
    How do bi-/multilingual people navigate their identities through and across languages and cultures, and how does rejection or disparagement by others (i.e., other individuals, groups, or institutions) influence a bi-/multilingual self, particularly when that self is a user of a socially minoritized language? In this course we seek to answer these questions through critical examination of various scholars’ models, theories and research on identity in a range of contexts of bi-/multilingualism and second language acquisition.

Interdisciplinary courses (College of Letters & Science)

  • INTER-LS 102: Inventing Language (FIG)
    Laura Horton (
    Description: For almost as long as humans have been using language there have been efforts to improve on naturally occurring languages with invented or designed alternatives. In this class, students will explore the basic design features of natural language by studying their invented or constructed counterparts. Key questions for this class include: 

    *What has motivated people to invent languages, what perceived “errors” do they hope to remedy with their invented systems?
    *What are examples of languages created for artistic endeavors – e.g. films and literature – and what features of natural languages did their creators pull in, how do these features reflect assumptions and values about different varieties of languages and their users?