Welcome, readers!

My name is Olivia Theodore, and I am a junior at Durham Academy.

This Independent Study revolves around the study of language and how we use our voices to create change in our world. I am uncertain as to when my interest in language and communication began, but I became increasingly amazed by the complexities of a major aspect of our lives that we don’t often stop to think about. 

As one component of this project, I will be learning the basics of American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture in order to experience one of the languages for people who are unable to vocally communicate. I am considering this to be Unit 1, as the course I am taking will end in late February. My second unit is an introduction to the field of Linguistics, the study of language. Throughout this unit I will be looking into aspects of this field which include the origins of spoken language, etymology (study of word origins and evolution), and the psychology behind language. My final unit focuses on the impact of people’s figurative voices in their communities and larger society. This section will feature exploration into the movements which resulted in monumental social or political changes.

My hope for this project is for readers to find these topics intriguing and reach an understanding of the importance of language and communication in our world.   

Unit 3: Introduction

In my third and final unit, I am going to be learning about influential protests and their social movements. At first glance, this may not seem related to linguistics or learning sign language. Before, I was learning about people’s literal voice through both linguistics and American Sign Language, a form of communication without using said …

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Unit 2: Final Thoughts

The processes involved in speech and the many complex components of language are fascinating. I was surprised to find out that for something that we use every day, I didn’t know much about it. I have always taken the amazing ability of speech for granted, except for the times where I have lost my voice. …

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Independent Study Assembly

Thank you to everyone who came out to see the poster and ask questions about our independent studies!

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