Exam Work Essay examples

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English 300 – Fall 2013
Assignment 1

Your Linguistic Autobiography

Your autobiography is DUE in class on Sept 10

This assignment is designed to help you start thinking about the community contexts of language, language rules, and language learning. Write 2-5 pages about the experiences you’ve had with language and language learning that made the most impact on you. Use the Labov 1987 reading found at as a guide to help you think about ways to construct an autobiography of this type:


Write about anything that comes to mind, but here are some of the things you could include.

What is your name, year, major (and why).
My name is Jacob Hibbard and I am an fifth year English major. I chose to be an English simply because I liked to read, as well as the fact I didn’t know what else to do. Where are you from? Where have you lived?
I was born in Wisconsin, but I’ve lived in Maryland 21 years out of 22.

Who have you lived with?
I have lived with my parents and my brother for most of life. When I got to Coastal I lived with two guys; Myron and Eric. Then I moved second semester and lived in the honors dorm with three other guys; Mason, Will, and I forget the other one. There might not be another, but I was under the impression that all the dorms in the Woods are four person suites. The next year I moved to UP with my best friend Striker; a kid I have known since the third grade. As well as an RA named Garret and a guy named Kane. The next semester Kane transferred and Garret graduated, so those spots were filled by the new RA, John, and another student named Chris. My junior year I moved into a house with my good friend Blair and his friend Tibbetts. I lived with them my senior year too. As of today I live with my friends DK and Kyle.

What drew you this course? (Be honest—this is community based social science! !) It wasn’t so much that the course interested, but the fact that the other course was a british litature course made the decision easy. With linguistics I don’t know what to expect, because it’s the field of English I’m least familiar with.

Which of these social details do you think may have influenced the way you speak now? Are there other social details that you think are important/salient?
Growing up, I was surrounded by an extremely close group of guys.

Is there a language you used to know as a small child that you don’t speak so well any more?

Did you ever pass (even for a short time) as a native speaker of some other language? Is that one of your goals for language learning?

Have you noticed any