Speaking and understanding your native language seems easy. So easy in fact that most people don’t really pay much attention to it. This creates a big perception problem for linguists: many students expect complexity in fields like mathematics, chemistry, and biology. But because language seems so simple and straightforward, linguistics should be simple and straightforward. Most students who have never taken a linguistics course before do not realize that there’s complexity in language. One of my favorite things about teaching linguistics is guiding students to discover the many ways that language is complex and how it reveals very deep insights about human nature.

I am also dedicated to educating a diverse group of students about the interdisciplinary connections between linguistics and other fields of study, such as computer science and psychology. I am currently developing this aspect of my teaching as a W. Taylor Reveley, III Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellow. Working with Prof. Maurits van der Veen in the Government Department, we are developing a new course called “Language and text analysis in a world of big data.”.

I am also currently a William & Mary Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience (WMSURE) / Mellon Foundation Fellow, which focuses on increasing opportunities for students from first generation and lower income families, and historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups, to participate in research under faculty supervision.

Courses I regularly teach at William & Mary

Study of Language (LING 220)

Syntax (LING 304)

Psycholinguistics (LING 370)

Computational Methods in Language Science (LING 380)

Special courses and guest lectures

Language and text analysis in a world of big data (Reveley Fellowship course, co-taught with Maurits van der Veen)

Breaking Intuition (INTR 100)

Language and its Media (LING 474)