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ELS Syllabus 1

Introduction to English Language Studies / ENGL 3653

Fall 2016
Dr. Aleksandra Kasztalska Mondays & Wednesdays 12:10-1:30pm Wilson 316
870-235-5230 F-to-F (0-24% online)
Office: Wilson 314 80 min per class, 27 meetings per term
Office Hours: TTh 8:30-9:30am, TTh 12-2pm, W 1:30-3:30pm 3 credit hours

Credit Hour Description

For every course credit hour of a 15-17 week semester, the typical student should expect to spend approximately
45 clock hours per term of concentrated attention on course-related work, including but not limited to time
engaged in class, as well as out-of-class time spent reading, reviewing, organizing notes, preparing for upcoming
quizzes/exams, problem solving, developing and completing projects, and other activities that enhance learning.

University Mission Statement

The mission of Southern Arkansas University is to educate students for productive and fulfilling lives in a global
environment by providing opportunities for intellectual growth, individual enrichment, skill development, and
meaningful career preparation. The University believes in the worth of the individual and accepts its responsibility
for developing in its students those values and competencies essential for effective citizenship in an ever-changing,
free, and democratic society. Further, the University encourages and supports excellence in teaching, scholarly,
and creative endeavors, and service.
College Mission Statement
The mission of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts is to foster students’ ability to think critically, become
tolerant of diversity, adhere to ethical values, communicate effectively, cooperate successfully, and become
responsible citizens in a changing global society. In addition, the College seeks to instill in each student an
appreciation of literature, languages, history, politics, geography, music, theatre, and art, and to provide the
campus and region with opportunities for participation in these disciplines.

Department Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of English and Foreign Languages is to provide the portion of a libera l arts
education that employs language, literature, and written communication to develop the students’ ability to think
critically, understand and appreciate diversity, adhere to ethical values, and communicate effectively in a global

Learning Goals and Course Content

University Learning Goals: Personal and Social Responsibility, Critical Thinking, Content Knowledge

Department or Program Learning Goal: Students will demonstrate their awareness of the history, structure and
use of the English language.

Course Description: With a primary focus on English, a study of the basic concepts of language, the principles of
linguistic investigation, the methods of linguistic analysis, the nature of linguistic change, the history of English, and
the acquisition of language. Fall, even years.

Course Learning Objectives: During this course, students will:

• Develop an understanding of the basic concepts of language
• Learn the principles and methods of linguistic investigation and analysis
• Learn about the history of English and the nature of language change
• Understand how language is acquired and developed
• Gain an appreciation for the complexity and creativity of language
ELS Syllabus 2

Required texts
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. (2014). An Introduction to Language (10th or 9th ed.). Boston:
Cengage Learning.
Baugh, A. & Cable, T. (2012). A History of the English Language (6th ed.). London: Routledge.
Supplementary materials will be available on Blackboard.

Online course tools

We will use Blackboard extensively in this class. By logging into our class Blackboard page, you will gain
access to online course materials, including the syllabus and schedule, assignments, handouts, and any
additional materials. Please check Blackboard before emailing Dr. K in the event that you lose your
materials or have questions about the schedule.
Dr. K will also use Blackboard to send out announcements, which will be accessible on Blackboard as
well as delivered to your SAU e-mail account. It is YOUR responsibility to check the course Blackboard
page and your SAU e-mail account regularly.
Please note: Due to privacy concerns, Dr. K will NOT respond to e-mails sent form non-SAU accounts
or e-mails that are not signed with the student’s full name.

Course grades
Assignments will be given letter grades based on the percentage of all possible points a student receives
for a given assignment. Similarly, final grades will be assigned based on the percentage of all possible
points the student has received throughout the semester. The percentages and corresponding letter
grades are as follows:
A = 90-100% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69% F = < 60%
If you have any questions, concerns, or other inquiries about your grades, you must contact the
instructor within 10 days of receiving the grade.

Points will be awarded in the following amounts, for a maximum of 500 pts:
Exam 1 100 pts
Exam 2 100 pts
Exam 3 100 pts
Homework 100 pts (5 x 20 pts)
Reading reflections 50 pts (10 x 5 pts)
Attendance and participation 50 pts

We will have three in-class exams over the course of the semester. Each exam will cover the material
since the last exam. You will be allowed to bring some note cards but you will not be able to use the
textbooks or other materials on the exam.

You will turn in a total of 5 Homework assignments throughout the semester. Each assignment is worth
10 pts and must be turned in—as a hard copy—at the beginning of class when it is due. You can discuss
the Homework with others but you must write your own answers! Please keep in mind that copying
other people’s answers is considered plagiarism and defeats the whole purpose of these assignments: to
help you practice the new material. Finally, for every day a Homework is turned in late, 5 pts will be
deducted from the score.
ELS Syllabus 3

Reading reflections
You are required to turn in at least 10 Reading reflections over the course of the semester. Each
reflection is worth 5 pts and must be turned in—as a hard copy—at the beginning of class. A Reading
reflection is a short piece of writing that demonstrates your active and critical thinking about the
assigned course texts, which you are expected to read before coming to class. In other words, a
reflection is a brief (3-5 sentences) discussion of the readings assigned on a particular day. For example,
you could discuss and elaborate on an idea that you found particularly interesting in the text, or relate
the idea to your own life. You could also ask a question about a concept that was confusing, unclear, or
perhaps discussed in too little depth in the text. You could even contest a statement made in the text, if
you have a different opinion or interpretation of the data. In brief, the goal of the reflection is to show
your active engagement with the course readings and to start a class discussion. Thus, the reflections
will be evaluated on the basis of quality over quantity.
You may sometimes be asked to read your Reading reflection out loud. Finally, please note that
Reflections that are too short, that do not demonstrate sufficient effort, or that are turned in late will
receive an automatic score of 0.
Please note: You are required to turn in 10 Reflections but you can only submit one Reflection on
one day. It is YOUR responsibility to keep track of how many Reflections you’ve turned in (but you
can always check with Dr. K). Moreover, for each reflection beyond the 10 you’re required to
submit, you will receive 2 pts extra credit (these can add up pretty quickly!).

Attendance and participation

Attendance and participation are worth up to 50 pts. You are expected to attend ALL class meetings, but
you are allowed two unexcused absences. Please note that for excused absences (caused by illness or
other unavoidable circumstances), you must submit an excuse to the instructor in writing, such as a
doctor’s note. When extenuating circumstances for absence exist, you should discuss the matter with
the instructor at the earliest possible moment. Moreover, as stated in the Student Handbook:
“If a student is absent from a class more than the equivalent of one week of instruction . . . those
absences will be reported to the dean of students. The dean will then send the student a notice of
pending action. The student is advised to contact the instructor as soon as this notice has been
received. Ten calendar days after the report is submitted by the instructor during a regular semester
or after seven calendar days during a summer session, a student may be dropped from the class for
excessive unexcused absences at the request of the instructor. If this occurs, a grade of WF
(withdrawal with failure) will be given for the course.”
In this course, if you miss more than two class meetings, you may be dropped.
You are also expected to come to class on time. During the semester, you will be allowed a total of two
unexcused late arrivals if you are no more than 5 minutes late. Any additional late arrivals OR any
arrival of more than 5 minutes late will result in 10 pts being automatically deducted from your
Attendance and Participation score. Moreover, if you are regularly late (even if only by a few minutes),
your grade for the class may also be lowered.

All major assignments and deadlines are listed in the course schedule. However, please keep in mind
that during the semester the instructor may alter some assignments, change deadlines, or create new
assignments that you are required to complete. It is YOUR responsibility to stay informed about what is
due and when. You should attend all classes and check your e-mail and Blackboard regularly, so that you
do not miss any important information or updates.

Emergencies and university functions

If an assignment is submitted late due to an emergency or other special circumstances, you must notify
the instructor as soon as you can to ask for an extension. If you know in advance that you will have to
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miss any classes due to university-mandated activities (ex. sports events, club trips, etc.) you must notify
Dr. K in advance and make advance arrangements to complete the missed work. If you do not make
arrangements in advance, you will NOT be given an extension after you miss the due date or
immediately before it.

Technical difficulties
Technical difficulties are NEVER an excuse for late or missed work! Dr. K will not excuse late or missed
work because of broken computers, problems with Internet connectivity, or other technology-related
issues. You should always plan extra time to ensure that you will be able to complete and submit your
work before the due date. Moreover, you should always back up your work; the instructor especially
recommends backing up your files online and can suggest specific programs to interested students.

Contacting the instructor

If you need to contact Dr. K outside of class or office hours, you may use the contact information listed
on the first page of this syllabus. When emailing the instructor, please use proper email etiquette:
include a helpful subject, begin with an appropriate greeting, use appropriate grammar and spelling, and
sign with your full name. When calling the instructor, remember to provide your full name and, if
relevant, a phone number. If you fail to use an appropriate form, the instructor may be unable to
respond in a timely manner.
Please give Dr. K at least 24 hours to respond to your e-mails. Also, please note that Dr. K will generally
check her e-mail only between 8am-6pm on a weekday and she may take longer to respond during
Finally, please keep in mind that Dr. K will not discuss specific questions regarding grades via email. If
you wish to discuss your grade or go over Dr. K’s feedback, please make an appointment to meet in
person or via Blackboard Collaborate.

Additional policies:
• You are expected to be prepared for all class meetings, meaning that you have completed any
and all assigned homework and readings prior to the beginning of class and that you have
brought all appropriate materials (including textbooks, other readings, and your notes) to class.
• While class is taking place, you are not allowed to use your cell phone. If you use your phone,
you will be asked to stop immediately, and 10 pts will automatically be deducted from your
Attendance and participation score for EACH time you break this rule.
• While class is taking place, you may NOT wear headphones in your ears or chew gum or tobacco.
You also may not eat during class.
• You are expected to participate cooperatively, constructively, and to the best of your ability in
all class activities, while respecting the different experiences, beliefs and values expressed by
everyone in this course. Any behavior that could be distracting to the instructor or your
classmates—including but not limited to off-topic conversations, use of cell phones, or
chewing/spitting tobacco—is considered disrespectful and should be avoided. If you fail to
behave in an engaged and respectful manner, you may be asked to leave a class meeting and
will receive an unexcused absence. In both your in-class and online interactions with classmates,
you are expected to avoid any language that may be construed as hate speech—in other words,
any words or phrases that could be understood as threatening, insulting, or degrading to a
person or group based on characteristics such as race, gender, or sexual orientation.
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Additional University Policies

Disability Support Services: It is the policy of SAU to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal
law, state law, and the University's commitment to equal education opportunities. Any student with a disability
who needs accommodation should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. Students with disabilities
are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disabilities Support Services, 216 Reynolds Center, 870-235-4154.

Academic Integrity Policy: Academic integrity at SAU is an organizational and individual responsibility to honesty in
all learning experiences. Any act of dishonesty in academic work constitutes academic misconduct and is subject to
disciplinary action. Acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to:
A. Plagiarism—the act of taking and/or using the ideas, work, and/or writings of another person as one’s own.
B. Cheating—an act of dishonesty with the intention of obtaining and/or using information in a fraudulent
C. Fabrication—faking or forging a document, signature or findings of a research project.
D. Resubmission—submitting a work you have submitted for credit in a previous class.
If you are caught committing plagiarism or any other act of academic dishonesty, you will automatically receive a
grade of 0 on the assignment and be required to meet with the dean of the College of Liberal and Performing Arts;
other penalties may be assessed at the instructor’s discretion, depending on the severity of the offense.

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