Voices of North Carolina Dialect Awareness Curriculum

The multimedia Voices of North Carolina dialect awareness curriculum was developed by NC State faculty members Jeffrey Reaser and Walt Wolfram in 2005 and updated in 2007. The culmination of Wolfram’s work in the public schools over the past twenty years, Voices of North Carolina is the first state-based curriculum on language variation in the country.

It is designed to help teachers better meet  thestandard course of study for 8th grade social studies and it is endorsed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The curriculum is designed to be teachable by teachers without any background in linguistics. The curriculum was proven to be highly successful in pilot runs in Johnston County, NC, and in Ocracoke, NC.​ For various resources and materials, see below for Workbooks, Videos and an online version of Dialect Jeopardy!

The curriculum goals are:

  1. To develop a respect for the systematic patterning of all language varieties
  2. To develop an appreciation for the link between historical development and language
  3. To develop an awareness and appreciation for the connection between language and culture
  4. To gain authentic knowledge about how dialects pattern
  5. To develop an awareness and appreciation of other ways of speaking

I really think the students got a lot out of it (not the least of which was the challenging of a lot of stereotypes they might have had that are tied to language). I know it was enlightening for me and I truly enjoyed it

Leatha Fields-Carey, Johnston County, NC​

Download Materials


Dialect Jeopardy!

Dialect Jeopardy! is an interactive online game made in the style of the popular Jeopardy! television show. Play Dialect Jeopardy! (requires Macromedia Flash player)


You may stream the curriculum's accompanying video files in MP4 format by clicking the below links, or download all files in Quicktime format:

Language Attitudes

Chapter 1: What Speech Tells Us  [6.5MB]
Chapter 2: Examining Language Prejudices  [6.1MB]

The Linguistic Continuum

Chapter 3: 30-some years  [1.3MB]
Chapter 4: Massive boats  [2MB]
Chapter 5: John Andrew  [1.7MB]
Chapter 6: Pony Penning  [1.3MB]
Chapter 7: Mounted Boy Scouts  [1MB]
Chapter 8: Styrofoam Coolers  [420KB]

Individual Variation

Chapter 9: Mandarins  [1.4MB]
Chapter 10: Fish Retail  [736KB]
Chapter 11: Studying Speech  [376KB]

Southern Vowel Pronunciation

Chapter 12: List A  [736KB]
Chapter 13: List B  [660KB]
Chapter 14: List C  [684KB]

R-Dropping in English Dialects

Chapter 15: List A  [420KB]
Chapter 16: List B  [416KB]
Chapter 17: List C  [880KB]
Chapter 18: List A  [1.1MB]
Chapter 19 List B  [828KB]
Chapter 20: List C  [876KB]

Outer Banks English

Chapter 21: Outer Banks Speech  [39.9MB]
Chapter 22: Ocracoke Brogue  [40.9MB]
Excerpt from The Carolina Brogue [65.9 MB]

Appalachian English

Chapter 23: Mountain Talk, Part I  [49.9MB]
Chapter 24: Mountain Talk, Part II  [52.3MB]

Native American Language in North Carolina

Chapter 25: Cherokee Language  [56.8MB]
Chapter 26: Lumbee Dialect  [67.5MB]

African American English

Chapter 27: African American English  [  50.5MB]

Language Change

Rural African American English

Chapter 28: Hyde County African American Male  [2.3MB]
Chapter 29: Daughter  [1.3MB]
Chapter 30: Granddaughter  [1MB]
Chapter 31: Great-Granddaughter  [2MB]

Rural European American English

Chapter 32: Hyde County European American Male (Older)  [1.4MB]
Chapter 33: Hyde County European American Male (Younger)  [1.9MB]

North Carolina Cities

Chapter 34: North Carolina Cities  [42MB]

Spanish in North Carolina

Chapter 35: Bilingual or not?  [3MB]
Chapter 36: Spanish in North Carolina  [32.7MB]