Limestone College Preceptor of English and Modern Languages Dr. Jack Knipe will present research at The Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment at the University of Cambridge on July 2.
At the upcoming conference being held at the prestigious research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Knipe will present his study based on his recent time in Scotland.
Knipe spent time at a Gaelic Medium Education School in Scotland where all the subjects are taught in Scottish Gaelic. Although the students use Gaelic throughout the school day, they are bombarded with English, Scots, and a number of immigrant languages as soon as they leave school, Knipe explained.
“With so few speakers of Gaelic, these students are helping to keep the language alive,” Knipe said. “However, the language is starting to change as they mix in words, phrases, syntax, and sounds of the languages they uses outside of school. I was interested in how teachers handle this. Do they correct the students? Do they allow the language to change?”
Although Knipe’s research has focused primarily on the revitalization of Scottish Gaelic, he noted that it has great implications on many endangered languages spoken in the United States, such as Cherokee and Gullah.
The conference invites papers that reflect on issues based around language revitalization.
"The primary aim of language revitalization is to set an endangered language back on its feet, so to speak,” Knipe said. “Revitalization strategies may be developed and implemented by linguists, the State, language activists, and the speakers themselves. However, these strategies, which attempt to make the endangered language an attractive and useful resource for modern users, may result in the transformation of the endangered language rather than restoring it to its old self.”
Knipe received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Education and Linguistics from George Mason University. He also holds a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Arts degree in Spanish from Middlebury College, a Master of Education degree in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Bob Jones University. He has studied on four continents and lived on five. His previous research in International Education has focused on Intercultural Communication/Intercultural Competence, Service Learning, Short Term International Study, and Study Abroad.
His family is from the Highlands of Scotland, and he is a speaker of Scottish Gaelic. Knipe has over 15 years of experience teaching Social Studies, Geography/Culture Studies, Language Arts, Latin, English as a Second Language, Spanish, French, and sign language. His research deals with international education and the role of language as it relates to education.
Last year, Limestone’s Division of Student Success appointed Knipe as the International Student Liaison in an effort to support the global student population and highlight the multiple diverse backgrounds and cultures on campus.
Knipe coordinates events on campus to promote intercultural awareness. He also serves as the advisor of the International Club on campus, advising worldwide students on issues relating to academics, cultural practices, and social events at Limestone.
Along with other faculty members, Knipe offers transportation to international students for personal needs (groceries, banking, etc.). He also oversaw the recent rollout of a faculty/staff international student mentorship program, and he coordinates with the Office of Student Success, the Office of Student Life, and faculty members to ensure the students’ academic success and retention. The College continues to work diligently to create programs that will help its international students to socialize and adapt to life on campus.