Conversations on Teaching

The Conversations on Teaching were started in 1999 as an outgrowth of the Carnegie Foundation's "Campus Conversation on Teaching" initiative, which was aimed at fostering opportunities for teachers and would-be teachers on college campuses to reflect with one another about what it is they do when they teach (working towards developing the "scholarship of teaching"). They began as quarterly, informal roundtable discussions whose purpose was to generate ongoing discussion about undergraduate teaching in the department, with the goal of sharing ideas and helping fellow teachers. They now range from informal, focused discussions to presentations by university professionals and outside visitors on various topics related to undergraduate teaching. The outside visitors come as part of our annual Lecture on Linguistic Pedagogy, and this lecture is now a regular element in the Conversations in a given year. The Conversations take place once each term during the academic year; the following is a comprehensive list of what they have involved. An asterisk (*) marks those that were the Pedagogy Lecture for that year.

*Autumn 2015:
Dr. Anne H. Charity Hudley (College of William and Mary): "Engaging Undergraduates Through Community-Based Participatory Research”

*Autumn 2014:
Dr. Mike Flynn (Carleton College): "Undergraduate Linguistics and the Field"

*Spring 2014:
Dr. Anne Curzan (University of Michigan):  "Teaching Toward the Rethinking of Everyday Experiences with Language"

*Autumn 2012:
Dr. William Laduslaw (University of California, Santa Cruz): "Making Semantics Relevant"

*Winter 2010:
Dr. Kirk Hazen (West Virginia University): “Teaching to the choir and beyond: Being overt with the foundations of science, linguistics, and 21st century America”

Autumn 2009:
Chris Manion, OSU Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing “Writing as a tool for teaching critical thinking, with particular reference to its use in linguistics classes”

Spring 2009:
Area-group reports on introductory graduate teaching in our respective subdisciplines: Common themes, common problems, common solutions

*Winter 2009:
Pedagogy Week – Dr. David M. Perlmutter (University of California, San Diego) teaching a “Master Class” and then de-constructing it, coupled with subdiscipline-specific discussion groups on introductory graduate teaching in our respective areas.

Autumn 2008:
Prelude to a Year-long Departmental Discussion on Teaching content at the introductory graduate level: “On the Goals of area-specific graduate instruction”Spring 2007: Academy of Teaching mini-conference on Good Teaching.

*Winter 2007:
Dr. Chip Gerfen (Pennsylvania State University): “Mentoring Undergraduates into Research: Many paths to success”

Autumn 2006:
Informal Discussion: “The Use of Electronic (and Other) Teaching Aids in the Classroom and Supports for the Mechanics of Teaching”

Spring 2006:
Demonstration of and Follow-up Discussion to teaching without a textbook: “Would it work for you?”

*Autumn 2005:
Dr. Jorge Hankamer (University of California, Santa Cruz): “Teaching without a Textbook”

Spring 2005:
Informal Discussion: “Active Learning in the Linguistics Classroom”

*Winter 2005:
Dr. Tom Wasow (Stanford University): “Linguistics in an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Program”

Autumn 2004:
Departmental panel discussion: “Research and teaching — doing both well"

*Spring 2004:
Dr. Christina Kakava (Mary Washington College): "Introductory Linguistics in a Small Liberal Arts College"

Winter 2004:
Informal Discussion: "What to Include — and Why — in Linguistics 201"

Autumn 2003:
Stephanie Rohdieck, OSU Office of Faculty and TA Development ( "Developing Your Teaching Portfolio"

*Spring 2003:
Dr. Gregory Ward (Northwestern University): Interdisciplinization, Corporatization, and other Polymorphemic Horrors Facing Linguistics Today

Winter, 2003:
Brenda Boyle, OSU Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing ( "Responding to Student Writing"

Autumn 2002:
Informal Conversation: "Teaching Highs and Lows."

Spring 2002:
Pam Tracy & Brenda Boyle: OSU Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing ( "Creating Writing Assignments"

*Winter 2002:
Dr. Beverly Flanigan (Ohio University): "Incorporating Dialect Awareness into the Teaching of Introductory Linguistics"

Autumn 2001:
Video and Discussion on "Civility in the Classroom"

Winter 2001:
Informal Conversation on "What Every Educated Person Should Know About Language and Why" (based on 2001 Linguistic Society of America Symposium)

Autumn 2000:
Dr. Li Tang, OSU Office of Faculty and TA Development ( "Adjusting for Differences in Learning Styles"

Spring 2000:
Informal Conversation on the Purchase of Teaching Materials and Possible Involvement in the Linguistic Olympics (

Winter 2000:
Informal Conversation on "Developing Ourselves as Teachers"

Spring 1999:
Informal Conversation on the "Scholarship of Teaching as It Pertains to Teaching Introductory Linguistics"