About Us

The Department of Linguistics offers an M.A. major in Applied Linguistics, a B.A. major in General Linguistics, a B.A. minor in Linguistics with four areas of concentration, a B.A. minor in Japanese Language, and a five-course module in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) as well as a four-course module in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The department also offers specialized language training in English as a Second Language (ESL), Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, and Swahili.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Linguistics is to (1) engage students and faculty in linguistic theory and empirical research, (2) provide professional-level teacher education to novice and experienced language teachers, (3) offer language instruction to learners of Arabic, Chinese, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Swahili and a small selection of additional African and Southeast Asian languages.

The three components of the department’s mission are described in more detail below.

  1. Engage students and faculty in linguistic theory and empirical research. The department values theoretical advances as well as exploratory and hypothesis-driven empirical research on the nature of language, language use, and language acquisition. The department’s stance is that a solid understanding of linguistic theory and research is valuable not only to researchers but also to language learners and language teachers. The department offers courses in several core areas of linguistic inquiry: phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and psycholinguistics.
  2. Provide professional-level teacher education to novice and experienced language teachers. Students in our teacher-education program represent diverse backgrounds and are recruited from around the world. The department offers teacher-education modules at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and provides extensive professional education in language pedagogy, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and language assessment to its M.A. majors. Through global partnerships with foreign institutions, our students also have opportunities to receive practical training as teachers of English as a foreign language in authentic foreign settings. Students who successfully complete our teacher-education program are competitive candidates for high-level language teaching positions around the world.
  3. Offer language instruction to learners of Arabic, Chinese, English, Japanese, Swahili and a small selection of additional African and Southeast Asian languages. The department’s ESL and EFL offerings generate revenue, attract and help retain international students at OU, offer outreach services to non-English speakers living in the community (including spouses of international students and faculty), and prepare international students for enhanced academic performance and future professional success. The department’s core foreign-language offerings provide students with new language abilities, multicultural experiences, opportunities to study abroad, and the ability to fulfill language requirements necessary for graduation. Our offerings in African and Southeast Asian languages bring in government revenue, provide vital interdisciplinary support to the Center for International Studies, and allow students to gain cultural insights and linguistic skills that are critical to the U.S. government’s foreign diplomacy efforts.
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