Spanish/Latino Studies 427

Spanish/Latino Studies 427, Fall 2019, Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-3:15

Language policy and cultural identity


“You’re in America, speak English. It’s our official language.”

“Multilingualism threatens our national unity and is confusing to children.”

“Today’s immigrants are not learning English as quickly as those of the past.”

“African American English is ungrammatical.”

 “U.S. Spanish is a random mish-mash of English and Spanish.”


These five myths regarding language are fairly prevalent in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century. In this course, taught in English, we will examine linguistic diversity in the U.S. from several perspectives, with a particular focus on Spanish and Latino identity. Students will learn about ways in which language both creates and reflects societal power imbalances and how different groups utilize language to reflect their identities and resist oppression through social justice agendas.



Fought, Carmen. 2006. Language and ethnicity. Cambridge. Ebook available via UIC’s library.

Lippi-Green, Rosina.  2011.  (Second edition).   English with an accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States.  

Mooney, A. & Evans, B. 2015. (Fourth edition). Language, society, and power: An introduction. Routledge. Chapters 1, 5, 6, 9.