The Stories We Live By

a free online course in ecolinguistics

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The Executive


Freqently Asked Questions

Part 3: Framings

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How do I get going with the course?  You just need to click The Course at the top of this menu and work through each part of the course by watching the video, reading the notes, looking at the PowerPoints and doing the exercises. You can also access extra materials by clicking Members at the top and logging in. The extra materials include readings, discussion groups, a glossary and bibliography. On the members page you'll find information about how to contact a tutor for free tuition and apply for a certificate. 


Why is the course free? It’s free because ecolinguistics is important for the world – it gets to the heart of the issues we face by questioning the stories we live by and contributing to the search for new stories we live by. It can only have an impact if a lot of people use it, so an open-access course is way of getting as many people as possible skilled in ecolinguistic analysis. It’s also free because a lot of people have volunteered their time putting it together without any kind of payment. And it’s free because the University of Gloucestershire paid for the filming and website and allowed me to share my teaching materials.


Do I need to buy the textbook that the course is based on?  No. There are enough notes, PowerPoints, readings and exercises provided to complete the course without the textbook. The book is just useful for extra background reading if you’d like to explore the topics in more depth. Perhaps you could ask your library to get a copy so that you and others can have access to it. There is also a full bibliography with other books and papers to explore on the Wikispaces site.  


Is free tuition available?  Yes. There are volunteer tutors from the International Ecolinguistics Association who can answer questions, discuss ideas, and give brief comments on exercises. The tutors can answer questions in a range of different languages. A list of tutors is available by click Free Tuition on the members page. However, the amount of tuition that is available will depend on how many tutors there are and how much time they are able to put into the tutoring.


How is the course assessed? To receive a (free) certificate of successful completion you will need to fill out a form which shows how you’ve engaged with the course and includes a reflection on the impact of ecolinguistics on your work and life. Click Apply for Certificate on the members page.  Your form will be read by a tutor and you will receive a certificate of successful completion if you’ve given enough information to show that you have engaged with and completed the course. If there’s not enough information you will be asked to engage with the course a bit more and resubmit the form. The certificate does not carry any academic credit, but can still be put on a CV or mentioned if applying for a job or research funding. You can write the form in any language and we will ensure it is read by someone who speaks the language or is translated (perhaps electronically if we can’t find a translator).


Can I use the materials in my class, or share them on my blog or on Facebook? Yes, please do make use of the materials in any way that you want. The more they are used and shared the more people will get skilled at ecolinguistic analysis.


Do the PowerPoints have explanations? Yes, there’s a full script that goes along with the slides. To view it, click ‘view notes’ on the bottom right of PowerPoint Online, or download the file and you’ll see the notes under each slide by clicking 'notes' at the bottom right.


How do I download files?  We use Office Online for viewing files because it means that we can update them easily. To download a file, view it in Office Online, then click the three dots ‘…’ in the top menu on the right. ‘Download’ should appear in the drop-down menu. If you have any problems accessing Office Online files then you can click 'direct download' in the bottom right of each part of the course. 


How do I edit/delete posts in discussions? Unfortunately, the internet host doesn’t have a function to edit or delete comments. If you’ve made a mistake then just type the message again and a moderator will delete the first one in a day or two for you. Or add a post ‘please delete previous post’ and we’ll do it for you. If you can’t wait then please email [email protected] and we’ll delete it as soon as we pick up the email.


How do I quit the course? Actually, this isn’t a frequently asked question, but someone might ask it one day. Just email [email protected] at any time and we’ll take you off this mailing list. And you can close your Wikispaces account by clicking on your name in the top right, then ‘account’, and ‘delete your account’. If you do leave then we’d thank you for joining us and hope that you found something valuable from the course.


How can I study ecolinguistics at university? The BA English at the University of Gloucestershire includes two modules on ecolinguistics, and ecolinguistics is a theme that runs through several other modules. The University also offers an MA by research and PhD degree in ecolinguistics. There are also a growing number of universities around the world that include ecolinguistics in their linguistic degrees, and offer PhD degrees.


Who do I contact if I have any questions? For questions about the content of the course (e.g., ‘what’s the difference between framing and metaphor?’) you will need to get in touch with one of the tutors. If you have questions about accessing the course or want to unsubscribe then please contact the membership officer [email protected]. If there is some kind of error in the course materials then please contact Arran Stibbe ([email protected])