Linguistics Minor

West Chester University

Program Coordinator:
Israel Sánz-Sánchez
Main Hall 113
isanzsanch@wcupa.edu


What is the Linguistics Minor?

(Adapted from the LSA website: http://www.lsadc.org/info/ling-faqs-whymajor.cfm)

When you choose to minor in linguistics, you're choosing a minor that gives you insight into one of the most intriguing aspects of human knowledge and behavior and at the same time exposes you to related disciplines. Minoring in linguistics means that you will learn about many aspects of human language, including the physical properties and structure of sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology), sentences (syntax), and meaning (semantics). It can involve looking at how languages change over time (historical linguistics); how they vary from situation to situation, group to group, and place to place (sociolinguistics and dialectology); how people use language in context (pragmatics); or how people acquire or learn a language (language acquisition). Faculty members in linguistics programs are experts in at least one (if not several) of these subfields. The Linguistics Minor at West Chester University allows you to explore a variety of these areas, often by connecting them to your specific professional goals. For this reason, a Linguistics Minor is often attractive to students who are majoring in Languages, Communicative Disorders, Communication, Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science and Social Work, among many other areas.

Why minor in Linguistics?

The Linguistics Minor is a smart choice if you enjoy languages and / or you are intrigued about how human beings use language to communicate. Our courses allow you to explore a wide range of exciting issues, ranging from why and how children learn to speak a language in only a few years to the linguistic diversity of the United States, the history of the English language, the role of body language and non-verbal signals in communication, or the application of linguistic techniques to the teaching of languages in the classroom, among many others. Also, by minoring in Linguistics, you will make sure that prospective employers are aware of your work in this area and of your interest in the field. A Linguistics Minor will help prepare you to face some of the challenges you may encounter in your future professional life, whether you are planning on working with non-English speaking communities as a teacher, a nurse or a social worker; starting a career in the customer service or human resource industry; thinking about becoming certified as a medical or legal translator or interpreter; preparing to work for the government; or pursuing graduate work in the Sciences and the Humanities.

How long will it take me to complete the Linguistics Minor?

Like any other minor at West Chester University, the Linguistics Minor is comprised of 18 credits (6 courses), divided into required courses and elective courses. Keep in mind that it may possible to apply several of the courses that are required in your major (either as requirements or electives) to your Linguistics Minor. Since the courses that are eligible for the minor are also part of their respective majors, students often find that they have already fulfilled a significant part of the coursework needed to complete the program even before they declare the minor. Talk to the minor coordinator to find out how many additional courses, if any, you would need to complete a Linguistics Minor.