Mission Statement

The Department of Linguistics/TESL is committed to student success, with a focus on equity and inclusion. Students in the department engage with the study of human language from a broad spectrum of perspectives. These perspectives include formal, cognitive and social approaches to linguistics, as well as the theory and practice of language teaching and learning. Courses in linguistics seek to illustrate the importance of language across social interactions, focusing on both language knowledge and use. Many of our courses discuss the ways in which language is a site for social oppression and self-expression. Courses in TESL are oriented toward the application of linguistic and educational research on language teaching, assessment and curriculum development. The department fosters an appreciation of the diversity of language learners and the variety of educational settings. The faculty of the department is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service, with the knowledge that an appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity is a crucial aspect of an inclusive society.

About the Department

The Department of Linguistics/TESL at California State University, Northridge, is an interdisciplinary department in the College of Humanities. In addition to full-time, tenure-line faculty, the department’s teaching and advisory faculty include lecturing faculty as well as tenure-line faculty housed in related departments. At the undergraduate level, the department offers a major in Linguistics, and minors in Linguistics and TESL. At the graduate level, the department offers an M.A. in Linguistics, an M.A. in TESL and a TESL Certificate.

Academic Advisement

The Department of Linguistics/TESL helps students select the program and courses that best satisfy their individual needs and interests. For information about the degrees offered, please consult the Department of Linguistics/TESL website. Undergraduate majors and minors should consult with an advisor in the College of Humanities (COH) Student Services Center/EOP to ensure that all university requirements are fulfilled. For undergraduate advisement specific to major or minor requirements, contact the associate chair, Dr. Stephanie Kim. For graduate advising, contact Dr. Laura Ruth-Hirrel (M.A. in Linguistics) or Dr. Stephanie Kim (M.A. in TESL and TESL Certificate).


The questions that linguistics teaches students to ask about language are related to a wide range of fields and professions, including law, psychology, education, computer science and technology, anthropology and sociology, to name a few. Students who earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree 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 different applications—to teach English to speakers of other languages.

Clubs and Societies

  • Linguistics Student Organization


The Department of Linguistics/TESL currently presents the Delphine Ulibarri Lucero Memorial Award to Linguistics or TESL students, undergraduate or graduate, who have shown persistence in their studies despite obstacles. The award is presented at the end of the Spring semester.


Department of Linguistics/TESL
Chair: Anna Joaquin
Associate Chair: Stephanie Kim
Sierra Tower (ST) 805
(818) 677-3453