Cal Poly's English Department offers a range of linguistics and applied linguistics courses designed for the beginning linguist or the non-linguist. Linguistics, the science of language, studies our mental capacity to produce and comprehend language, the varied patterns that the world's languages use to express meaning, and the natural facts of diversity and change within and across languages. Applied linguistics in our department includes teaching English to speakers of other languages, applications of linguistics in the K-12 language arts classroom, history of English, language and gender, and other varied topics.
Linguistics enriches the English major's understanding of and appreciation for English and other languages, not just by acquainting them with the structure of English, but also by exploding popular myths which often lead to ill-informed personal or policy judgments.
Study of linguistics can be useful as preparation for a variety of occupations: teaching language arts, English, or other languages; working in journalism or editing and publishing; engagement with literature in teaching, criticism or authorship; and a variety of applications in computer-mediated uses of language.
The English Department offers a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) as well as a Linguistics Minor. The TESOL Certificate provides an advantage for those who are interested in teaching English in the USA or abroad. The Linguistics Minor is suitable for those who develop a deep interest in language and those who may consider graduate studies in linguistics.
For more information about linguistics in the English Department, contact Dr. John Battenburg, chair of the Linguistics Committee.