Linguistic Justice Canvas Module


            The University’s Writing Center has always advocated for an inclusive writing environment for our campus community. The student consultants who work in the center recently chose to prioritize learning about linguistic justice as a way to combat social justice inequalities in academic communities. Through a consultant-led, semester-long professional development activity, these amazing students developed a Canvas-based module to educate their ECU campus community on linguistic justice and how we can all advocate for linguistic justice.

            Created in Fall 2022, the linguistic justice Canvas module presents research our student consultants did on the theories and practice of linguistic justice and asks participants to reflect on the material in order to see how it might impact their thinking about language and prejudice. The module is broken down into a student section and an educator section. The student portion of the module presents four sections for the students to work through. The first section is an introduction to linguistic justice that explains linguistic justice and linguistic bias. It aims to illustrate the importance of linguistic justice within academia. The second section highlights the connection between linguistic justice and identity by demonstrating the importance of dialect and identity and encouraging students to consider their own relationship with their dialects. The third section offers insight into how students can advocate for linguistic justice in the classroom and provides additional resources that stress the importance of identity and linguistic choice. The fourth and final section provides additional resources that covers a variety of linguistic justice concepts to further broaden students’ knowledge and understanding.

            The educator portion of the module also presents four sections for educators to work through. The first section, which is very similar to the student section, introduces and explains linguistic justice and linguistic bias and how it is important within academia. The second section focuses on linguistic justice in the classroom and introduces, defines, and illustrates the importance of linguistic justice syllabus statements. The third section delves further into linguistic justice practices in the classroom by discussing the need for deemphasizing traditional grammar instruction for all students, by incorporating linguistically inclusive practices into assignment guidelines, and by reflecting on future student writing feedback. The final section presents additional resources and research for educators, and allows them to share their own resources and research that may not have been presented in the modules.

            Stemming from what consultants see in individual writing center centers, the Linguistic Justice Canvas module is one way consultants are sharing their experiential knowledge with the campus community. Together, we can all work toward creating inclusive writing practices in and out of the classroom. The University Writing Center celebrates this innovative work by ECU students and is excited for our campus community to engage with their research and ideas on effective teaching practices.