Let’s Talk about Talk! (FNDS 1309)

Post-it note with Let's Talk on it.
The wonderful thing about studying talk and conversation is that it is important in every major and every career.

“We tend to think of conversation as something spontaneous, instinctive, habitual. It has been described as an art, as a game, sometimes even as a battle. Whichever metaphor we use, most people are unaware of what the rules are, how they work, and how we can bend and break them when circumstances warrant it.” (David Crystal “Let’s Talk”)

Why do we talk? 
Why do people interrupt? 
Is swearing always bad? 
What is the purpose of gossiping? Should gossiping be discouraged? 
Is linguistic politeness a universal concept? 
Can one be funny in one culture but not in another culture?
Is talking always better than silence?

These are some of the questions we will discuss in this class.

This course covers topics in the disciplines of Linguistics, Communication, English.


Who should take this course?

Students interested in all kinds of talk—small, “big”, and everything in between.

More about this course

Course number: FNDS 1309

Number of Credits: 4

Search UM-Dearborn Class Schedule to find out more.

Dearborn Discovery Core requirements met: Critical and Creative Thinking

Meet your faculty member: Jamie Shinhee Lee, Professor of Linguistics

One of the benefits of taking a Foundations course is gaining a faculty mentor that can support you throughout your college career. Get to know Jamie Shinhee Lee, faculty member for Let’s Talk about Talk!

Jamie Lee
Jamie Lee


Jamie Shinhee Lee is Professor of Linguistics and editor of World Englishes in Pop Culture (with Yamuna Kachru) and English in Asian Popular Culture (with Andrew Moody). Her research interests include world Englishes, language and popular culture, globalization and education policy, bilingualism, and Korean pragmatics /discourse analysis.

She has lived and worked in Korea, Japan, and China, which enabled her to experience and observe how talk works in other cultures.


Have questions about this course? Email Dr. Lee at [email protected].