Log in

You will find the following resources helpful when designing lessons for classes in general semantics

Want to Teach General Semantics?

You will find the following resources helpful when designing lessons for classes in general semantics.  Skilled teachers in general semantics have contributed teaching guides for students of all ages, syllabi, course materials, tutorials, exercises, and handouts.

Also included are links to books that aid in the instruction of general semantics.

Teaching Guides

Lecture Notes on Teaching General Semantics

by Lance Strate, Ph.D.

This excellent and detailed outline used for teaching general semantics Dr. Strate employed for many years in his course introducing students to the field of communication. In this outline, he presents general semantics “on its own terms, as a separate topic and unit.” Of note, Dr. Strate bridges general semantics to other communications fields, making for a contextual understanding of general semantics in the field of communication.


A Continuing Education Guide to Teaching General Semantics

by Martin H. Levinson, Ph.D.

This guide contains twelve continuing education lessons in general semantics. Each lesson includes an Introduction (for the teacher) of the basic GS ideas to be presented, a Motivation to begin the lesson, and Suggested Activities for students. Lessons can be combined or abbreviated depending on the time constraints of the course and wishes of the instructor.


Awareness & Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior

by Mary P. Lahman, Ph.D.

This ebook aims at increasing awareness of faulty language behavior and motivating daily action to correct such behavior.  In the first two sections of this text, Dr. Lahman shows how general semantics can be used as a systematic inquiry into language behavior. In the remaining four sections, Dr. Lahman follows with an application of these formulations, including case studies.


Twelve General Semantics Lessons for Middle School Students

by Martin H. Levinson, Ph.D.

This curriculum provides twelve science-based general semantics lessons for middle school students. It was developed as part of a research study that used the ideas and techniques of general semantics to reduce feelings of alienation among seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade students.


Seminar: Language, Thought and Culture

by Eva Berger, Ph.D.

This syllabus (in Hebrew) outlines a seminar that deals with the relationship between symbols, brain, meaning, language, thought, and culture.  The first goal of this seminar is to stimulate students’ thinking about the ways in which symbols, especially language, are involved in the process of human thinking and behavior. The second goal is to help students hone their critical thinking, which is closely related to language.

Course Materials

Seminar-Workshop Participant Notebook

from June 2006

The following materials come from the June 2006 Seminar-Workshop participant notebook.  They include an abundance of lessons and instruction for teaching and learning general semantics.

Seminar-Workshop Notebook Materials

These materials come from the June 2006 Seminar-Workshop participant notebook.  They include an abundance of lessons and instruction for teaching and learning general semantics.


Tutorials, Exercises & Handouts

Language Revision Worksheet

by Ben Hauck

This worksheet provides students with examples of different examples of problematic speech — from exaggeration, to lack of consciousness of abstracting and the general semantics recommendations to treat them. Students have the opportunity to revise problematic statements with their own general semantics solutions.

Four Kinds of 'Science'

by Stuart A. Mayper & Robert P. Pula

This worksheet is used for discussions of the epistemology of science as a human issue.

The following worksheet, prepared by Dr. Stuart Mayper and Robert Pula for use at Institute Seminar-Workshops, is used for discussions of the epistemology of science as a human issue. The sheet represents a mere summary of points raised and debated at joint sessions conducted by Mayper and Pula which are designed to sharpen awareness of formulations and orientations which subtend Korzybski’s system. An aspect of the session is the application of general semantics formulations to general semantics formulations, including investigation of the degree to which general semantics can be evaluated as an empirical science in the predictive as opposed to the merely descriptive sense. – Ed.

I. Accepted Science

Theories that are not yet refuted, after rigorous tests. Counterexamples must be accounted for or shown to be in error. Theories “tentative for ever”, but not discarded frivolously. Good replacements are not easily come by. A new theory must account for not only the data that the old theory doesn’t, but also all the old data that the old theory does.

II. Erroneous Science

Theories that are not yet refuted, but are tested by false data:

(a) Fake Science — scientist intentionally deceives others: Cyril Burt, John Darsee, Piltdown man, Walter Levy (Rhine’s successor at Duke);

(b) Mistaken Science — scientist unintentionally deceives self (and others): Blondlot (N-rays), Psi investigators, Wilhelm Reich, etc.

III. Pseudoscience

Theories inconsistent with accepted science, attempts to refute them avoided or ignored: Astrology, Numerology, Biorhythms; Velikovsky; Dowsing,

Health Frauds: Krebiozen, Laetrile, Vitamin B-15, “Life Extension”, Psychic Surgery — Diagnosis by: iridology, blood spot or hair, Kirlian photography, etc.

Wild extensions of accepted scientific findings (usually not by the one who made them): some interpretations of Bell’s inequality, plant communication, etc.

IV. Fringe Science

Theories inconsistent with accepted science, not yet refuted, but attempts to do so invited: Unified field theories (data accumulate faster than theory construction), Rupert Sheldrake’s “morphogenetic fields”, Schmidt’s ESP findings, etc.


Free Web Books

Instant PEP for Language

Instant PEP for Language

by the Staff of Fort Myer Elementary School

A guidebook developed by the Postman Enthusiasts Project (PEP) at Fort Myer Elementary to teach students about the behaviors related to language, from a distinctly general semantics perspective.

Words and What They Do to You

Words and What They Do to You

by Catherine Minteer

Beginning lessons in general semantics for junior high and high school students.

Books in the IGS Store

Classroom Exercises in General Semantics

Classroom Exercises in General Semantics

Edited by Mary Morain

Lively exercises and demonstrations show how to improve our communicating and evaluating. Topics include perception and description, inference chaining, logic and clarity, conflict resolution, and more.

Teaching General Semantics: A Collection of Lessons Plans for College and Adult Classes

Teaching General Semantics: A Collection of Lessons Plans for College and Adult Classes

Edited by Mary Morain

Written by teachers, executives, and trainers, this popular teacher’s guide gives you a powerful tool for giving your students power over their own lives.

General Semantics: An Outline Survey

General Semantics: An Outline Survey

by Kenneth Johnson

A fantastic, highly organized overview of general semantics.

When you become a member of the Institute of General Semantics, for one year you will receive our quarterly journal as well as special discounts.

Become a Member



The Institute of General Semantics
72-11 Austin Street #233
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Phone: +1 (201) 745-3693
Contact IGS

Quarterly Journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics

ETC contributes to and advances the understanding of language, thought, and behavior. Each issue of ETC provides the latest research and discourse on general semantics.

Enter the IGS Store

The Institute of General Semantics is a qualified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1938.

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management