“Studying linguistics with TESOL involves becoming a language expert. This means not just improving your language and communication skills but also learning about languages in the world through topics like sociolinguistics (how language is related to social class, gender, age and location), multilingualism (individuals and societies speaking more than one language), and language policy (how languages are managed by families, schools, governments and companies), and using language data.
The modules involved in the Linguistics with TESOL programme are diverse, but they are basically all about how language works: how we use language in different ways with different people, and why that might be; the impact of language on the world around us and its impact on us; how we might go about describing language well; and, how can we use what we know about language to teach it and learn it and improve our communication. Successful students are passionate about language itself and want to know more about the language sciences that help us to describe how it works.
How can we describe accents?
What is the difference between written language and spoken language?
What processes help us to understand something as vague in conversation as Look at the state of yer one…!?
Are there such things as female language and male language?
Is there a connection between language and culture?
How is power enacted and exercised through language?
As well as learning about all of these dimensions of language, you also have the opportunity to acquire skills in teaching English. This is both an exciting and a challenging time to be a teacher of English as a second or foreign language as a result of changing socio-political trends in English worldwide and key developments in linguistics which are beginning to impact in different ways on our classroom practices and perspectives.
Faculty are research active in a range of teaching, learning and linguistic disciplines, and bring a huge range of research expertise and teaching experience to the programmes they contribute to.
Graduates who study linguistics with TESOL as part of their degrees have gone on to pursue Master’s and Doctoral level linguistic research of their own, as well as using their degrees to qualify to teach English all over the world as they develop their careers in a profession that is continuing to grow and inter-connect with many others including academia, the business world, psychology, science and technology, speech therapy and mainstream education. Understanding how languages work and being sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity makes you a highly skilled communicator who is adaptable to different situations and cultures.
Language is how we get things done in the world. Being able to communicate, to understand, to interpret, to mediate, to empathize, to negotiate, and to explain are all based on language and are central to politics, business, healthcare, entertainment, media, education, science. The way that language is used often means the difference between success and failure in international contexts. And, in our contemporary world, where information is considered by many to be the most valuable commodity, language expertise has never been more in demand.”
Dr Elaine Vaughan
- Visit the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics website
- Study Linguistics with TESOL at the University of Limerick