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Linguistics

In this program you’ll study the nature of language and communication. You’ll explore:

  • acoustic and auditory phonetics
  • the cognitive, neural and biological aspects of language

Potential careers

What can you do with a linguistics degree? Here are a few jobs that relate to the program:

  • English as an additional language teacher
  • speech language pathologist
  • literacy facilitator
  • audiologist
  • social media manager       
  • program manager
  • technical writer
  • human resources coordinator
  • curriculum planner
  • immigration officer
  • Intelligence officer
  • volunteer coordinator
  • librarian
  • archivist
  • legal professional
  • global development worker
  • entrepreneur
  • foreign language teacher
  • pedagogical materials developer
  • test developer

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

Opportunities in the linguistics program

  • With the Co-op Program you can alternate study with paid work. 

Opportunities outside your program

  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to linguistics:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the linguistics program offer extensive hands-on learning.

Co-op

Co-op work terms
Alternate academic study with paid work terms to gain workplace experience

Course-based

LING 156 - Self-Directed Immersive Language Learning I
LING 256 - Self-Directed Immersive Language Learning II
LING 356 - Self-Directed Immersive Language Learning III
LING 456 - Self-Directed Immersive Language Learning IV
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Find, create and engage in communicative learning for Indigenous languages (75-100 hours)

Field experience

LING 158 - Indigenous Language Mentorship I
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Build oral fluency through mentorship with an Indigenous language speaker (75- 100 hours)

LING 183A - Documentation and Recording for Indigenous Language Reclamation
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Do language preservation and revitalization research with Indigenous communities

LING 183B - Advanced Methods for Indigenous Language Documentation
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Do language preservation and revitalization projects with Indigenous communities

LING 185 - Indigenous Language Revitalization Practicum
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Work with an Elder or fluent speaker on revitalization initiatives (70 or 140 hours)

LING 258 - Indigenous Language Mentorship II
LING 358 - Indigenous Language Mentorship III
LING 458 - Indigenous Language Mentorship IV
(involve engagement with Indigenous communities)
Build oral fluency through mentorship with an Indigenous language speaker (75- 100 hours)

LING 374 - Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching
Observe a language classroom  (e.g., English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Italian, etc.) 

LING 397 - Issues in Cross-Cultural Communication
Spend time in UVic’s English Language Centre to develop intercultural skills

LING 461 - Linguistic Field Methods
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Conduct field research to develop data analysis, organization and collection skills

Field placement

LING 185 - Indigenous Language Revitalization Practicum
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Work with an Elder or fluent speaker on revitalization initiatives (70 or 140 hours)

LING 476 - Seminar and Practicum in Applied Linguistics
Gain experience teaching in an ESL classroom (min 20 hours)

Research project

LING 475 - Current Issues in Applied Linguistics
Do a research project related to the development of instructional tools, resources or materials

LING 377 - Global Contexts of Language
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Work with First Peoples’ Cultural Council on research useful to specific communities

LING 392 - Canadian English and Dialectology
Conduct a small-scale web-based dialect survey

LING 411 - Advanced Syntactic Analysis
Develop an independent research project related to syntactic analysis

LING 412 - Advanced Phonological Analysis
Develop an independent research project related to phonological analysis

LING 431 - Community-based Initiatives in Language Revitalization
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Do language revitalization research focused on community-based initiatives

LING 486 - Experimental Phonetics
Design phonetic and phonological experiments in an independent research project

LING 495 - Language Variation and Change
Develop an independent research project related to language variation and change

LING 499 - Honours Thesis
Research and write a graduating honours essay

Professional and technical skill development

LING 474 - Assessment and Testing for Instructional Purposes
Learn how to asses language learners’ proficiency and performance

Work experience

Work experience work terms
Take part in a modified co-op program requiring one or two work experiences

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the linguistics program.

Phonetics and Phonology

  • examine and classify the inventories of sounds in human languages
  • describe how the human vocal tract is used to create sounds
  • describe the physical and acoustic properties of sounds produced by the human vocal tract
  • describe the properties of sounds
  • explain how sounds can change in different contexts
  • explain how sounds are used to distinguish meaning
  • describe the limits on the combinations of sounds in words

Morphology and syntax

  • understand how words are formed and put together to form sentences
  • identify the smallest meaningful units of language
  • analyze the internal structure of words
  • analyze the properties of words that determine their role in sentences
  • analyze the relations between different elements of sentences
  • analyze the meaning conveyed by sentence structure

Semantics

  • understand how language conveys meaning
  • analyze how words and their components convey meaning
  • analyze how the relations between and among words convey meaning
  • analyze how sentences and their structures convey meaning

Historical linguistics

  • understand how and why languages change through time
  • explore the possible origins of language
  • reconstruct languages that are no longer living

Psycholinguistics

  • understand how cognition and language are related
  • analyze how we produce and understand spoken and written language
  • analyze how children and adults learn language
  • analyze the pathologies that affect language use

Sociolinguistics

  • understand how language is used by speakers
  • describe the different dialects of languages
  • understand how and why social contexts such as gender or class affect language use

Anthropological linguistics

  • understand the relationship between language and culture
  • analyze the extent to which language affects our view of the world
  • analyze the extent to which culture shapes the language we use

Applied linguistics

  • understand how linguistics contribute to the teaching and learning of languages
  • understand the structures of language
  • understand the theoretical background of language acquisition
  • understand the principles of language teaching
  • teach English to speakers of other languages

What's next?

To explore more visit the linguistics site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.

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