Elizabeth Peterson, "Making Sense of 'Bad English': An Introduction to Language Attitudes and Ideologies" (Routledge, 2019)


Brynn Quick speaks with Dr Elizabeth Peterson about language ideologies and what we think when we hear different varieties of English. The conversation centers around Dr Peterson’s 2020 book Making Sense of 'Bad English': An Introduction to Language Attitudes and Ideologies (Routledge, 2019). The book discusses how the notions of “good” versus “bad” English came about, and some of the consequences of these views of language.

The book is a must-use for teachers and professors who introduce their students to sociolinguistics as it contains discussion questions at the end of each chapter as well as recommendations for further reading. However, you don’t have to be a Linguistics student to enjoy this book. Making Sense of “Bad English” is for anyone who has ever wondered how it’s possible to have so many different varieties of one language, what the Standard Language Ideology has to do with Santa Clause, and why English spelling is so chaotic.

For additional resources, show notes, and transcripts, go here.

Your Host

Language on the Move

Language on the Move is a podcast about linguistic diversity in social life. Produced and edited by Ingrid Piller and Byrnn Quick, our aim is to have in-depth and fun conversations with key thinkers about multilingualism, language learning, and intercultural communication in the contexts of globalization and migration.

To find out more about the Language on the Move research team at Macquarie University, follow our research blog, or find us on Twitter/X, Bluesky, Facebook, and YouTube.

View Profile