The role of language in human life is much larger than simple communication. Rather, language is used to describe our world, to interact with people from our own or other cultures, to strengthen and weaken relationships, and more. The linguistics major at Saint Joseph’s University welcomes students who are interested in studying how all aspects of language work physiologically, cognitively, pragmatically, and socially.
Classes cover four of the main areas of linguistics: pragmatics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and phonetics. Course topics range from language learning, discourse analysis and language contact to language teaching methods and forensic linguistics. Several linguistics classes are cross-listed in other departments, such as sociology and philosophy, allowing students to integrate the study of linguistics with other fields of interest.
Majors have the option of choosing a general linguistics concentration, learning how languages work, where they originate, how they are used in society, how they change over time and how they are learned. Alternatively, the linguistics program also offers a major concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) for students interested in teaching English at home or abroad. Opportunities are available for students to intern as English language instructors or other linguistic fields, and undergraduates are invited to publish their research in Explorations in Linguistics, the University’s online journal.