Foreign Languages and Literature

Youth Language and Culture [Full]

Bożena Tieszen, Senior Lecturer

Course: FLL 192, SEM 003
Class Number: 27822
Credits: 3 HU
Time: TR 2:00 – 3:15 PM
Place: NWQ G566

Course Description:

Have you ever wondered how people who don’t know each other’s language seem to carry on a mutually intelligible conversation while gaming online, chatting or IM-ing? This course will give you the answer! We will examine a variety of creative ways young people use to connect via digital media. We will analyze gamers’ ‘netspeak’ and investigate the influence of manga and animé on English. We will also evaluate impact that English has on other languages such as Arabic, French, German, Polish, Swedish, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. We will attempt to define and describe “global youth culture” and what it means to be a member. Does being ‘global’ imply not having a sense of national belonging? Is English becoming “Globish”? Let’s find out!

Work Involved:

  • weekly readings and preparation
  • attendance and participation in class activities, discussions etc.
  • weekly written assignments
  • Midterm Project – a 4-5 page paper on a topic of your choice related to topics covered by the readings
  • Final Project and in class presentation. Students will be asked to choose a topic (different than chosen for the midterm project) that relates to youth culture and communication and write a 7 page paper.

Course Evaluation:

Attendance and Participation   25%
Weekly written assignments 30%
Midterm Project 20%
Final Project 25%

Sample Materials:

Danet, B., Herring, S.C. (Ed.) The Multilingual Internet. Language, Culture, And Communication Online. 2007. Oxford University Press.
ISBN 978-0-19-530480-0
Thurlow, C. Mroczek, K.   (Ed.) Digital Discourse. Language In The New Media. 2011. Oxford University Press.
ISBN 978-0-19-97544-4

About the Instructor:

My name is Bożena (Bo) Tieszen. I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. Languages, their history, structure, function and use has been my passion since I was in Middle School. I pursued my interest and after receiving my PhD in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison I have been teaching a variety courses and done research in both formal and applied linguistics. My most recent interests and research involve examining role of language as a communicative tool in society, i.e. the relationship between language and gender, language and the law, language and religion and the language of digital media.

Aside from being a linguist I am an animal lover, I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking and travel.