Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Cole

Second Advisor

Dr. Colin Charlton

Third Advisor

Dr. Danika Brown


The oppressive ideology of standard language in the US perpetuates linguistic discrimination in all facets of life, from the classroom to the housing market to politics. Many Americans justify the degradation of non-standard language users by identifying the imagined cognitive deficiencies of those who do not use standard language. In response to previous research providing evidence of linguistic injustices, this research confounds existent ideology and exposes the gravity of the injustices perpetuated by the US government and educational system. By comparing this linguistic social justice movement to the American Civil Rights Movement and by borrowing the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., the project uses service learning to translate theory into practice to affect social justice for Americans of all linguistic backgrounds. The data collection surrounding an event celebrating linguistic diversity in the author’s campus community reveals attitudes towards linguistic identity and service learning in university students.


Copyright 2015 Natalie A. Tupta. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American