Why Study Linguistics at University of Toronto?

Linguistics is a tool for understanding language use and the language faculty, which encompass all aspects of life:

  • growth: the emergence of language-how is language acquired?
  • bilingual and multilingual backgrounds: the learning of more than one language-what are the processes and challenges of learning two or more languages?
  • communication: the use of language as the primary tool for communicating with and connecting to the social world-from personal to public discourse, to television adds, to court testimony, linguistic and social interpretation are essential to the creation of meaning.
  • life changes: individual circumstances impact the use of language-from specific language impairments, to geographical displacement, to the natural process of aging, changes in life lead to changes in language.

Linguistics at UTM offers students extensive knowledge and skills: an understanding of the structure and functions of language, through experimental, theoretical, and socially-informed approaches; insight into how to use language appropriately, by studying the practical aspects of English grammar and by exploring the social value of linguistic structures; experience with the hands-on study of linguistic data, through specific courses in experimental linguistics, as well as through opportunities to be involved in faculty research projects.

Linguistics is a valuable component of an undergraduate liberal arts education, especially in a multilingual country such as Canada, because it can be the first step along the path to numerous opportunities:

  • teaching English, French or other languages
  • rehabilitative medicine, such as audiology or speech therapy special education
  • work with first nations people or immigrant groups
  • designing computer applications that work with natural language
  • religious or missionary work
  • continued academic studies in linguistics or related disciplines such as anthropology, communication, education, psychology, philosophy, literature, and language studies, where the contribution of linguistics is increasingly recognized as important.

Linguistic Studies at UTM offers three programs in Linguistics, as well as combined programs with languages other than English, as shown in the Programs of Study.  Available are: Major Program in Linguistic Studies; Minor Program in English Language Linguistics; and Minor Program in Linguistic Studies.

Courses have been designed with a two-fold purpose: 1) to provide students with a solid content base founded on extant knowledge in the field; and 2) to generate and maintain student interest in new experimental, theoretical, and socially-informed breakthroughs.