By a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee, the LSA approved the following Statement on the Scholarly Merit of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).​

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) combines two traditionally distinct functions of the academy—research and teaching. The combination provides both for new pedagogical insights and for enhanced disciplinary inquiry. SoTL, first identified by Boyer (1990) in Scholarship Reconsidered, is already well-established within a number of disciplines including chemistry, sociology, physics, and psychology, for example, with disciplinary organizations and journals dedicated to SoTL. Additionally, Doberneck (2016) reports that a number of major research universities recognize the value of published work on SoTL as research.

SoTL scholars engage in research on pedagogy and student learning, situate that research in relevant literature, and importantly, publish it in peer-reviewed venues (Felten, 2013, Gurung, 2009), which distinguishes SoTL from the scholarly teaching practices that many linguistics instructors already pursue. The increasing appearance of SoTL research in peer-reviewed publications across disciplines distinguishes it from the discussions about approaches to scholarly teaching practices that may be more familiar to many linguists. The two intersect, but they are distinct (Hiramatsu and Temkin Martinez 2021, Kuiper 2011, for example).

SoTL also provides evidence-based solutions which enable linguistics teaching to advance social justice across diverse environments. Research indicates that diversifying content and pedagogy to address the needs of students from historically marginalized backgrounds counters the effects of systemic racial and gender inequalities in the discipline and attracts new students (Calhoun et al. 2021; Charity Hudley et al. 2020a, Cépeda et al. 2021, Tsikewa, 2021), both stated strategic goals of the LSA (2019a, b). Additionally, with nearly 20% of students in higher education having disabilities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019), linguistics instructors need to attend to complex issues of accessibility. SoTL research can help diversify linguistics content and pedagogy to be inclusive of historically marginalized communities.

Many linguists are already engaged with SoTL efforts and there has been movement in the LSA to build capacity for this work. For example, the Executive Committee approved the Teaching Linguistics section of Language in 2012, offering a platform for the peer-review and publication of selected SoTL manuscripts. The associate editors of Teaching Linguistics further secured NSF funding in 2019 to facilitate a Faculty Learning Community on the topic of SoTL, which also led to the creation of a special interest group (Scholarly Teaching SIG) in 2020. The SIG currently consists of 144 members. In 2021 and 2022, the FLC and SIG collaborated on several organized sessions on scholarly teaching at the annual meeting. However, in the absence of its formal recognition by the LSA, SoTL in linguistics remains not only significantly less visible, but also often misunderstood, and therefore undervalued as a relevant and productive discipline. With this statement, the Linguistic Society of America supports the recognition of peer-reviewed Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as scholarly contributions in decisions on hiring, tenure, retention, and promotion of faculty.

Works Cited

Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Calhoun, K., Charity Hudley, A.H., Bucholtz, M., Exford, J., & Johnson, B. (2021). Attracting Black students to linguistics through a Black-centered Introduction to Linguistics course. Language 97(1), e12-e38. doi:10.1353/lan.2021.0007.

Cépeda, P., Kotek, H., Pabst, K., & Syrett, K. (2021). Gender bias in linguistics textbooks: Has anything changed since Macaulay & Brice 1997? Language.

Charity Hudley, A.H., Mallinson, C., & Bucholtz, M. (2020a). Toward racial justice in linguistics: Interdisciplinary insights into theorizing race in the discipline and diversifying the profession. Language 96(4), e200-e235. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0074.

Felten, P. (2013). Principles of good practice in SoTL. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 1(1), 121-125. doi: 10.20343/teachlearninqu.1.1.121

Gurung, R. A. R. (2009). Applying method to (seeming) madness: Doing SoTL in your class. In S. A. Meyers & J. R. Stowell (Eds.), Essays from excellence in teaching (Vol. 8, pp. 16-18). Retrieved from

Hiramatsu, K. & Temkin Martinez, M. (2021). Publishing in the Teaching Linguistics Section of Language. Language, 97(2), 406-408.

Kuiper, K. (ed.). (2011). Teaching Linguistics: Reflections on Practice. London/Oakville, Connecticut: Equinox Publishing.

Linguistic Society of America. (2019a). Long Range Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

Linguistic Society of America. (2019b). LSA Statement on Race.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Digest of Education Statistics, 2017 (NCES 2018-070).

Tsikewa, A. (2021). Reimagining the current praxis of field linguistics training: Decolonial considerations. Language 97(4), e293-319. doi: 10.1353/lan.2021.0072

Other References

Blaylock, R., Bradley, E.D., Bunger, A., & Sharp, T. (2021). Emergency remote teaching in linguistics during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 6(2), 5111. DOI:

Bunger, A. (Ed.). (1979/2017). Special volume: Reissue of Innovations in Linguistic Education. IULC Working Papers in Linguistics, 17(2-6).

Charity Hudley, A.H., Mallinson, C., & Bucholtz, M. (2020b). From theory to action: Working collectively toward a more antiracist linguistics (Response to commentators). Language 96(4), e307-e319. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0081.

Clemons, A., & Lawrence, A. (2020). Beyond position statements on race: Fostering an ethos of antiracist scholarship in linguistic research (Response to Charity Hudley et al.). Language 96(4), e254-e267. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0077.

Doberneck, Diane M. (2016) Are We There Yet? Outreach and Engagement in the Consortium for Institutional Cooperation Promotion and Tenure Policies. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. the consortium-for-instructional-cooperation-promotion -and-tenure-policies/

DeGraff, M. (2020). Toward racial justice in linguistics: The case of Creole studies (Response to Charity Hudley et al.). Language 96(4), e292-e306. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0080.

Gaby, A., & Woods, L. (2020). Toward linguistic justice for Indigenous people: A response to Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz. Language 96(4), e268-e280. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0078.

Hiramatsu, K., & Temkin Martinez, M. (2021). Publishing in the Teaching Linguistics section of Language. Language 97(2), 406-408. doi:10.1353/lan.2021.0023.

Kuiper, K. (2011). Teaching linguistics: Reflections on practice. Equinox.

Langendoen, D.T. (1988). The status of undergraduate education in linguistics in the United States and Canada. Report of the Linguistics in the Undergraduate Curriculum project. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America. Retrieved from

Leonard, W.Y. (2020). Insights from Native American Studies for theorizing race and racism in linguistics (Response to Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz). Language 96(4), e281-e291. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0079.

Linguistic Society of America. (2020a, January 13). LSA Invited Plenary Talk Anne Charity Hudley (Fostering a culture of racial inclusion in linguistics: For the children of the 9th Ward circa 2005).

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Linguistic Society of America. (2020b, August 14). Centering linguistic diversity and justice in course design.

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Linguistic Society of America. (2020c, August 21). Creating more just and inclusive learning experiences.

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Linguistic Society of America. (2020d, September 11). Scope, positionality, and graduate apprenticeship when diversifying the linguistics curriculum.

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Linguistic Society of America Faculty Learning Community on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for Linguists. (2020, August 13). Scholarly Teaching in Linguistics.

Montoya, I.L. (2020). Enabling excellence and racial justice in universities by addressing structural obstacles to work by and with people from racially minoritized communities: Response to Charity Hudley et al. Language 96(4), e236-e246. doi:10.1353/lan.2020.0075.

Witman, P.D., & Richlin, L. (2007). The status of the scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline. The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1(1.14).