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Language Documentation as a Tool for Post-Baccalaureate Success
4th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (2015)
  • Michal Martinez, Boise State University
  • Timothy J. Thornes, Boise State University

Situated in Southwest Idaho, Boise State University is the largest university in the state, priding itself in serving the local community. One such way, of course, is educating Idaho’s youth. Another, no less significant one, is ensuring the preparation of its students to contribute to their communities upon graduation. In this poster presentation, we will illustrate the ways in which the inclusion of language documentation opportunities for students in the linguistics undergraduate program has helped not only prepare them for success in graduate education in linguistics, but also for post-baccalaureate opportunities with Idaho’s growing refugee community.
In 2011, Boise State University underwent a major curriculum overhaul. During the revision process, faculty members were asked to look for ways in which a capstone experience for their students will reflect not only the academic knowledge gained in their programs, but also prepare students to better serve their local communities. The capstone course in Linguistic Field Methods proposed by linguistics faculty members focuses on the documentation of languages spoken by local refugee community members and serves as a culminating experience by solidifying students’ understanding of linguistic structures and language documentation, in addition to providing an educational opportunity in refugee resettlement issues.
During the curriculum revision process, a new set of eleven university-wide learning outcomes were adopted. Capstone courses, required in every program, had to meet learning outcomes having to do with effective written and oral communication, critical inquiry, and teamwork. In addition to the required learning outcomes, faculty members were able to incorporate other university learning outcomes such as ethics, and diversity and internationalization (as they all apply to working with refugees as a vulnerable population).
In addition to volunteering and seeking employment with the many local refugee resettlement agencies, students’ interests in seeking advanced degrees in linguistics has also been on the rise following the implementation of the new capstone course.  It is our belief that the inclusion of language documentation as a culminating experience for undergraduate students has allowed for implicit and explicit instruction that prepares them to contribute to the field of linguistics and to their local communities.
  • linguistics,
  • language documentation,
  • scholarship of teaching and learning,
  • undergraduate
Publication Date
February 26, 2015
Citation Information
Michal Martinez and Timothy J. Thornes. "Language Documentation as a Tool for Post-Baccalaureate Success" 4th International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation (2015)
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