ENGL 478

This is my course review for English 478 at University of Washington. I took the course in spring 2015 with Bojan Belić. The course is jointly offered with SLAV 470, SLAV 570, CHID 498, and LING 480. The course also has the title “What’s in a language name? The case of Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian”.

I took the course because of the new diversity requirement at UW.1 I probably would have waited until later to satisfy this requirement, but a friend invited me to take the course with him, so I obliged.

Content

The course was based on a series of readings (from a course packet one must purchase at the Rams Copy Center for around $20). It mostly centered around the language planning policies of the West South Slavic region and languages, specifically Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Bosnian.

Lectures

The lectures in general felt like a huge waste of time. At the beginning of each class, the professor would take attendance, but in doing so, would name each of the absent students; in addition, if a student came to class late, they were interrogated as to where they were, why there were late, and so forth. This tended to waste a lot of time each class period.

Take-home projects

Throughout the course, there were two take-home projects. The ones we did were the lexical analysis of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian; and the article review.

Lexical analysis

Article review

Grading

The grading for the two projects in the course seemed extremely lenient; I got a 98/100 on one (lexical analysis) and 100/100 on the other (article review). The syllabus that we used seems to indicate that there also used to be a presentation instead of one of the papers.

I’m not sure what I got on the attendance & participation2 and final portions, but given that my final grade in the course was good, it couldn’t have been too bad.


  1. This requirement seems to be yet another disservice to students, forcing them to take even more useless courses than they already have to. The general education requirements (which can mostly be fulfilled with AP/IB credits) were already bad enough.

  2. I ended up missing two lectures during the quarter. I spoke up maybe a little less than once per lecture, which was more than average, but there still were several students who participated much more frequently than I did.