The Chicagoland Language Project


Are you a South Side local interested in participating in our project?

Here are some FAQs about the interview:

How long are the interviews?
We do casual recorded interviews typically lasting 45 to 90 minutes depending on how much you feel like talking with us.

 What do you want to learn in the interviews?
We’re interested in hearing about your life and experiences growing up, how your community has changed in your lifetime, how you think it compares to other areas of Chicago, and what observations and thoughts you have about accents and languages spoken across Chicagoland. While we have plenty of questions prepared related to these topics, we’re most excited about what you think is important to share with us about yourself.

We’re also trying to learn whether Chicagoans have their own unique ways of speaking, so we’ll be asking some questions about words, expressions, and pronunciations you hear in the area. After the interview, we’ll also ask you to read a short list of words that have distinctive pronunciations across the U.S.

How will you conduct interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the ongoing pandemic, we can do interviews virtually via Zoom, or in person, at the location of your choice. When you fill out our online form to participate, you’ll be contacted by one of our research team members to set up a time and place that is convenient for you.

Do I need any special equipment to do the interview?
If you are okay with virtual interviews, then you just need access to Zoom, a quiet room, and preferably headphones with a microphone in it. If interviewing in person, the interviewer will have sanitized recording equipment on hand.

Will there be compensation for the interview?
Yes. All participants will receive a $20 gift card at the end of the interview.

Do I need to still currently live on the South Side in order to do the interview?
No. If you grew up in the area or nearby we would still be interested in speaking with you about your experiences.

Can I bring a friend or family member to the interview?
It is okay to bring a guest to the interview, but we prefer to speak with people 1-on-1 as it is better for the audio recording.

Will anyone else hear my recording?
Yes, but your identity will be anonymized relative to the recording. Further, we can redact whatever you are uncomfortable with in the interview and with your consent, we may share excerpts on our site or in our research to showcase the amazing narratives you all have.

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