Learning linguistics is an important part of learning foreign languages. Without knowledge of morphology and semantics, it is difficult to understand the meaning of words. Without knowledge of syntax, it is difficult to form proper sentences. Without knowledge of phonetics, it is difficult to pronounce new sounds correctly. Even simply knowing the symbols of the International Phonetics Alphabet can make learning pronunciation several times easier.
Linguistics encompasses many more fields related to language in general, but my major concentrations are in second language acquisition (SLA) and pedagogy. I received my Bachelor's degree in French & Linguistics in 2004 and my Master's degree in Linguistics & Teaching English as a Second Language in 2007. I am currently working on a PhD in Languages & Linguistics and expect to finish my dissertation in mid 2014.
My major research interests are related to the role textbooks play in language teaching and learning, including the use of (or lack of) realia and informal language, as well as the teaching of vocabulary with regards to frequency and corpora and the importance of listening comprehension for learning vocabulary. Obviously, I'm also interested in the role technology plays in language learning, especially computer-assisted language learning (CALL) that allows for more audio-visual input than the regular classroom.
The following pages are based on notes from my university courses if you'd like to learn more about linguistics in general.
- Linguistics 101 Introduction to linguistics for undergraduates, with a more extensive section on phonology from a graduate course
- English Grammar Grammatical terms and examples, verb conjugations, spelling rules, and homophones
- History of English Semester notes from an undergraduate course
If you are interested in doing a degree in Linguistics, in addition to the pages above, you can read through the following notes, homework and papers that I wrote for my courses (PDF or DOC format*). This may not be representative of all Linguistics programs, but it will hopefully give you an idea of what type of work you may need to do in order to obtain a Linguistics degree. Please visit Applelinguist for a great review of PhD programs in Linguistics if you're still undecided about where to do your degree.
- Second Language Acquisition Project 1: Second Language Acquisition & Age
- Second Language Acquisition Project 2: Bilingual Education
- Second Language Acquisition Group Project: Analysis of Pimsleur Russian Program
- Second Language Acquisition Final Project: Grammar Acquisition & Pedagogy
- Linguistic Analysis Final Project: Hebrew (Study of a Non-Indo-European Language)
- Comparative Phonetics Homework: Acoustic Phonetics Definitions
- Phonology Notes: Phonological Features
- Phonology Article Summary: On the status of onglides in American English by Stuart Davis and Michael Hammond
- Phonetic Theory Notes: Airstream Mechanisms
- Phonetic Theory Term Project: Dutch Fricatives (Audio: Dutch.wav)
- Biology of Language Notes: All Lectures
- Biology of Language Chapter Summary 1: Language as an Adaptation to the Cognitive Niche by Steven Pinker
- Biology of Language Chapter Summary 2: What are the Uniquely Human Components of the Language Faculty? by Marc D. Hauser and W. Tecumseh Fitch
- Biology of Language Chapter Summary 3: Symbol and Structure: A Comprehensive Framework for Language Evolution by David Bickerton
- Biology of Language Chapter Summary 4: Motor Control, Speech and the Evolution of Human Language by Philip Lieberman
- Syntax Midterm Notes: Endocentricity Constraint
- Master's Seminar: Grammatical Morpheme Acquisition in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Learners
* Some of the Word documents use SILDoulos font for the IPA symbols, so you may need to download and install the font in order to correctly view the symbols.