Paul Reed

Paul Reed

Distinguished Teaching Fellow 2021-2024

Paul E. Reed, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of phonetics and phonology in the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama. His research centers on sociolinguistic variation in varieties of English in the American South, with a focus on Appalachian English. His work highlights how a speaker’s connection to place, what he calls rootedness, helps to explain certain kinds of phonetic variation.

He teaches courses on phonetics, the study of how humans produce speech sounds, and phonology, how our minds create patterns of speech sounds. He has recently designed a course on the intersection of sociolinguistics and speech-language pathology, helping students understand societal sources of language variation.  

Teaching Philosophy 

As a scholar and teacher of phonetics and phonology, I understand my courses require challenging previously accepted beliefs about language and language sounds. To that end, I have structured my teaching around three crucial learning goals, each utilizing technology as a crucial aspect: 1) learning basic acoustic concepts; 2) understanding language variation; and 3) acquiring transferable analytical skills.  

My primary goal in teaching is to help students acquire knowledge about language that they can apply to a variety of contexts throughout their collegiate career and beyond. I try to foster an environment where opinions and perspectives can be shared, yet with the understanding that their perspectives might be challenged as they acquire more knowledge and understanding, and also how to engage with others respectfully and inquisitively.