Innovations in linguistic equity, diversity and inclusion in the linguistics curriculum and beyond

Innovations in Linguistic Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Linguistics Curriculum and Beyond

[We] work to address various issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the linguistics curriculum.

– Dr. Nathan Sanders


In this project, we work to address various issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the linguistics curriculum, by creating course materials, improving teaching methods, providing a repository of resources, and inviting guest speakers to address specific types of inequity and injustice in linguistics. We also collaborate with other departments and institutions to help them address language-based biases.


Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts & Science

Project lead(s)

Professor Nathan Sanders, Professor Keren Rice, and Professor Naomi Nagy

Year LEAF Granted


Funding Stream


LEAF Priority Area(s)

Curriculum Design


Impact of the Project on Students

This project has impacted many courses, including LIN101, LIN228, and ENG285 with an approximate enrollment of 350, 150, and 45 students, respectively.

Impact of the Project on Faculty

A joint workshop was held with the WIT program on affirming writing for instructors and TAs of WIT courses in linguistics, and though the Diverse Names Database is still in a preliminary form, linguists from around the world have asked for it.

Resources Developed from the Project

This project has developed a website that hosts various existing or upcoming resources, including a handbook on addressing language-based biases, the Diverse Names Database, and talks and publications. The site can be accessed here: (

Future Plans

In the final year of this project, it is planned to get the online repository fully functioning, with the Diverse Names Database completed.

The final two colloquium speakers, one on Indigenous languages and one on signed languages, will be invited to complement the previous two speakers (one on Black representation in linguistics as a field, and one on gender diversity in linguistics research).

The team has also planned to write a book chapter on EDI teaching and a journal article on the repository.

The team will continue working with the WIT program to refine and expand the affirming writing workshop.

Working with Catherine Anderson (McMaster) on the joint research on EDI issues in online education in linguistics courses in Canada will continue.

The team will also continue ad hoc advising for various instructors who want advice on how to improve their courses with respect to EDI issues.

Partner(s) Development

A partnership with Catherine Anderson at McMaster University was formed to collect and analyze data on various EDI issues for students in online linguistics courses across Canada. The data was collected during the 2020–2021 academic year, and it is hoped to have it analyzed and published by next year.

The project partnered with the WIT program to develop a workshop on how to teach students to write in a more affirming way when talking about marginalized communities. It has been planned to expand this workshop into a yearly two-part series, beginning next year.