Course Descriptions

CSLC 20301 | Introduction to Linguistics (every Fall & Spring)

This course explores major branches of linguistics, including:

  • phonetics & phonology (the production and perception of speech sounds)
  • morphology and lexicon (the structure of building meanings in words)
  • syntax (the logical 'rules' of language use in speech or writing)
  •  semantics (the cognitive meaning conveyed through linguistic utterances).

Through this course, students gain the fundamental knowledge needed to digest and analyze linguistic research in a variety of contexts. With these understandings, students will begin to explore how the distinct branches of linguistic study inform interdisciplinary research in fields like sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics, historical linguistics, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics.

CSLC 20302 | Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Spring of odd years: 2023, 2025, 2027)

This course covers the inherently interdisciplinary underpinnings of sociolinguistics, the distinct subfield of linguistic study which seeks to understand the complexities of how human language is used in a myriad of contexts. More simply put: determining and measuring the relationship between language and society. Students examine spaces where language and constructs like class, gender, race, regional orientation, come together to affect our interactions on a micro (interpersonal) and macro (international) scale. With sociolinguistic lenses, we can evaluate how we use language to influence large-scale discourse like political rhetoric to anthropological understandings of diverse cultural identities and even internally investigating how our brains react to varieties of linguistic style, register, and dialect based on the social constructs informing the social group in question.

CSLC 20304 | Digital Literacy in Language Learning (Fall of odd years: 2023, 2025, 2027)

This course helps students build a comprehensive understanding of digital literacy in relation to how humans acquire language (either their native language or a second language). Students will learn various digital writing technologies and be trained to think critically about digital media's cultural and communicative consequences. Students will also gain the critical perspective and literacy tools needed to holistically understand and/or conduct research which relies on digital tools. From social interaction online to interfacing with generative AI, digital literacy is all around us and informs a great deal of how we perceive and produce modern language.

CSLC 30100 | Making Grammar Painless: What Teachers Need to Know (every Spring)

Did you ever dread your grammar lessons, either in a second language or your native one?You're not alone! Part of what makes grammar painful is not having a firm grasp on the why behind it all. This course examines the complexities and nuances of English grammar in the context of language teaching and learning to prepare pre-service teachers and volunteers to make grammar learning and teaching painless. Throughout the course, students receive practice in translating grammar knowledge to grammar teaching/learning which is ideal for our students in ACE, TESOL, and ESS programs, or any student preparing for teaching service through Teach for America, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, or similar experiences.
Note: students who took Pedagogical English Grammar (CSLC 20303) prior to spring 2023 can use that course to satisfy Linguistics or TESOL minor requirements.

CSLC 30101 | Introduction to Second Language Acquisition (Spring of even years: 2024, 2026, 2028)

Most of us don't recall having to try to learn our mother tongue (L1) -- we acquired it before our formative years, in tandem with our consciousness. To be taught another language (L2) explicitly is a distinctly different experience and is processed, housed, and accessed differently in our brains. This course provides an overview of the principles of language learning--both L1s and L2s--which is knowledge for language learners and teachers alike. The course also delves into challenges of conducting and applying SLA research including issues in proficiency assessment, bilingualism, multicultural school settings, learner motivations/attitudes, and more.
Strongly recommended but not required pre-requisite:  Intro to Linguistics (CSLC 20301)

CSLC 30102 | Methods in Second Language Teaching (every Fall)

This course is an overview of various methods used to teach a second language to non-native speakers of all ages. Topics include: commonly-used methods and techniques, principles of second language pedagogy, connections between theory and classroom practice, and the roles of teachers and learners in a variety of linguistic contexts. 
Strongly recommended but not required pre-requisites: Intro to Linguistics (CSLC 20301) and/or Intro to SLA (CSLC 30101)

CSLC 40000 | TESOL Practicum (Fall, Spring, and Summer as needed)

This is the culminating course for the TESOL Minor. Graduating seniors typically complete the practicum in their final spring semester after completing their core and elective TESOL courses. The practicum results in a professional e-portfolio which students can refer to as they enter the job market after graduation. Components of the portfolio/practicum showcase a variety of TESOL professional skills and proficiencies, amounting to 30 hours of contact engagement. The portfolio includes:

  1. Planning and Lead 8 micro-teaching sessions in the EAP Spoken English Skills (6 hours)
  2. Volunteer for 12 EAP tutoring sessions (6 hours)
  3. Attend 2 English Conversation Tables (2 hours)
  4. Observe English Language Instruction (via Spoken English Skills course) (15 hours)
  5. Participate in 3 professional development opportunities (workshops with NDLearning, intercultural development, local TESOL institutions, etc.) (3 hours)

Students write a 1-2 page reflection on each component of the portfolio above. The TESOL DUS and EAP coordinator review the portfolios at the conclusion of their semester to verify completion of requirements and encourage students to continue to build on their professional e-portfolios when entering the job market.

CSLC 48000 | Linguistics Capstone (Fall, Spring, and Summer, as needed)

Linguistics minors typically take this course during the spring of their senior year, although some who finish the preceding minor courses early may instead choose to take it in the fall. The course is designed to function similar to a directed reading; there are no official course meeting times nor any lectures, as the idea is that the student will take what he or she has learned in their previous linguistics courses to design a research project in consultation with their faculty advisor, with the final product being a paper in the format of a journal article. Students choose faculty advisors by determining topics they have come across in their past courses (those taken as part of the minor) that they are interested in, and then requesting that a faculty advisor whose research interests align with those advise them. Faculty advisors must agree to serve in this capacity prior to the start of the term that the student takes the Capstone course.

For questions, please email Mary Breezley (Davis).