Barbara Schwarte Directory Page

Barbara Schwarte
Associate Professor
Teaching English as a Second Language/Applied Linguisticsschwarte


Contact Information

331 Ross Hall

Spring 2014 Office Hours:

MW 3:15-4:45 & by appointment (email to set up)

Courses I am Teaching

English 219: Introduction to Linguistics
English 220:  Descriptive English Grammar


Ph.D. , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign    •    Linguistics
B.A., William Jewell College    •   Classics

Research Areas

English as a Second/Foreign Language; Pragmatics; Gender and Language

About My Teaching

Everyone comes into a linguistics class with a lot of intuitive awareness about language.  Many people come with a lot of interest about language and languages as well. And all of us come in with a lot of assumptions and some prejudices about what is proper and good about language and what is not. Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t have systematic ways to talk about language or the ability to separate our descriptions of language from our attitudes about language. This is where linguistics is important. The study of linguistics provides new ways to think about language and the analytical approaches and tools needed to describe language patterns and how they function in society.  Studying linguistics is best done by “doing” linguistics and so in my courses, class time and course materials often involve acquainting students with analyses at a variety of different linguistic levels (e.g., phonetic, phonological morphology, syntactic, etc.) and doing tasks that exemplify and apply concepts and principles presented in the textbook.  An important component of this task-based approach is the sharing of observations and experiences.

How I came to Teach what I Teach

I have always been fascinated by language.  My undergraduate degree was in Latin and Greek and I enjoyed the analytical aspects of this training.  I entered graduate school expecting to focus on historical linguistics but I soon discovered that I also enjoyed helping others learn English and so I focused instead on second language learning.

Current Research

My current scholarship interests focus on compliments, including how compliment usage can differ according to both gender and culture.

Outside of the University

My passions are downhill skiing and traveling.   Whenever I can, I try to combine the two by going to interesting places to ski!