Language Creation in Early Learning

Danny is a middle school English teacher based out of Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, Louisiana. He’s taught middle school for more than four years in both Louisiana and Massachusetts. He specializes in combining traditional English education with modern digital humanities pedagogy. While he still finds teaching rhetoric and informal/formal logic highly important in the classroom, he nonetheless includes the digital humanities in more than 50% of his instruction (He sometimes teaches his students through a virtual world after all). For Danny, the digital humanities is our present and our future. In this vein: to help his students visualize the settings, characterizations, and actions in a novel like The Call of the Wild, he’ll require his students to reenact a scene in a digital wolf simulation, and next explain their reenactments through the written word. Or, to teach his students narrative types, he may challenge his students to play games like Loneliness or Coma, and construct their own narratives based off their gameplay. You’ll witness his melding of traditional English education and the digital humanities in his study below, which investigates how conlanging impacts learning outcomes in a middle school English classroom.

Danny has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Loyola University New Orleans. In 2017, he’ll be a graduate candidate for a master’s program in English literature with a concentration in the digital humanities.


This paper explores how conlanging impacts learning outcomes for middle school students in a structured English classroom. Starting in May and ending in the same month, 6th and 7th graders from Iberville Charter Academy in Plaquemine, LA created conlangs for their end-of-the-year English projects. 44 students participated. Danny Garrett, their teacher, oversaw the project, taught the necessary material for it, and studied the project’s pre- and posttest data. The data and highlighted student works are presented in this paper, framed in their proper historical, pedagogical, linguistic, and literary contexts. To protect student identities and statuses as minors, all student names are fictional and thus obscured in accordance with California law.

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