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Linguistics/TESL Program

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The Major

Linguistics studies human language, seeking to define its nature, to establish its relationship to human thought, to discover what distin- guishes human language from other forms of communication (human and non-human), to understand how children develop a language and acquire additional ones, to understand the ways in which languages may differ from one another and to describe how human beings use language in context to engage in all the other “human” activities.

Presently, the Linguistics Major is, for the most part, an Upper Division Major. Four linguistics courses are available for GE credit at the 200- and 300-levels. Students are encouraged to complete their GE work and to pursue study in languages other than their native language in preparation for their work in Linguistics. Entering freshmen who are interested in Linguistics should consult with the Coordinator/Advisor.


The questions that linguistics teaches students to ask about language are related to a wide range of fields and professions, including law, psy- chology, education, computer science and technology, anthropology and sociology, to name a few. Students who earn Bachelor’s Degrees in Linguistics may seek careers in any of these fields, or may pursue advanced degrees in Linguistics and related fields.

The M.A. Degree in TESL, the TESL Minor and the TESL Certificate prepare students—each at different levels and with dif- ferent applications—to teach English to speakers of other languages. For information on the TESL Minor and the TESL Certificate, see TESL in the Catalog.

Academic Advising

The Linguistics/TESL Program helps students select the program and courses that best satisfy their individual needs and interests. Contact Program Coordinator Evelyn McClave at (818) 677-5019 to schedule an appointment. The College of Humanities (COH) Student Services Center/EOP reviews students’ progress to ensure that the requirements of a major or minor in Linguistics/TESL are fulfilled. Call (818) 677- 4784 or (818) 677-4767 to schedule an appointment with the COH Student Services Center/EOP.

Program Committee:

Fredric Field (English), Catherine Jackson (Communication Disorders and Sciences), Anna Joaquin (Linguistics/TESL), Bessie Karras-Lazaris (Intensive English Program), Sharon Klein (English), Rebecca Litke (Communication Studies), Kenneth Luna (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures), Evelyn McClave (English), Sabrina Peck (Elementary Education), Ana Sánchez-Muñoz (Chicana/o Studies), Enchao Shi (English)

Adjunct Faculty:

Gaianee Acopian, Joseph Galasso, Shadi Ganjavi, John Gides, Gayaneh Hagopian, Cynthia Hagstrom, Terrie Mathis, Christina M. Scholten, Wendy Snyder