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Linguistics Courses overview
Linguistics is the study of how language is structured. It analyses the sound and formation of language for the sake of speech pathology, language pedagogy and more. Postgraduate study explores the functionality of discourse, language learning in a communal context, intercultural communication, reading development and much more.
The discipline we know of today finds its origins in the 19th century, but people have dabbled in proto-linguistic practices for centuries. Second millennium BCE Akkadian scribes would teach Sumerian through the use of clay tablets, treating it similarly to how modern people treat Latin. The practice evolved across continents, with early linguistic texts being found across India, China, ancient Greece and Rome.
Modern linguists utilise the scientific method to determine the origin and proper use of speech sounds across both modern and archaic languages.
Is linguistics for me?
Linguistics is a unique subject area best suited to those with two distinct sets of interests. First, an interest in history and the surrounding reasoning behind natural languages. Second, an interest in the mechanics of speech. For instance, why do we make this sound for that vowel and not some other sound? As such, a career in the field is best suited to those who hold both these interests.
Linguistics can be taken up to master level, with graduate diplomas and certificates being available in between.
The University of Queensland and similar institutions offer the Graduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics, which is a short six-month full time course that can be completed in up to a year part time. They feature highly practical skills, like units in proper language teaching methods, the structure of language, second language acquisition and more. Applicants can be from any discipline, making these programs a great way to enter the field.
Graduate diplomas are the ideal way to gain more extensive knowledge of the field, taking one year of full time study to complete or up to two years part time. The University of Sydney and other institutions provide these courses to students from any discipline, making them another great path into the field. In addition to units studied in a graduate certificate, students can expect to learn about academic English for postgraduate study, global employment and migration, language and communities, the language of business, media industries in East Asia and a great deal more. This makes them conducive to internationally focussed careers and assessing language in a cross-cultural context.
Master degrees provide an extensive insight into the field, taking two years of full time study to complete or up to four years part time. The University of Melbourne and similar institutions offer these to students from all disciplines, making them one of the most comprehensive forms of postgraduate linguistic study. Students can expect to learn how to design language curriculums, utilise transcultural communication, make use of technology in linguistics and more.
Having such an astute understanding of how language is formed makes graduates natural language teachers. They are able to describe speech sounds and proper articulation to the highest degree, making them well-suited to this particular field. Teaching English either as a foreign language or native one can be equally rewarding.
Knowledge of language is quite useful in editing. It provides knowledge of pleasing syntax, grammar and a host of other linguistic capabilities that can elevate any standard of writing to new heights. Companies like Capstone Editing are ideal employers for this sort of work.
Speech and language therapist
This is a similar application of skills to teaching, only you’re using them for rehabilitative purposes. It’s a rewarding career choice, as it provides the chance to work with people who are struggling and ease their speech conditions with unique expertise.