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Almost everything people do involves language at some point, whether it be buying a coffee, chairing a board meeting or making a friend. It is essential to human society and endeavours.

People often think that Linguistics involves learning languages. In fact, it is about understanding the workings of language. Why is it that we have different languages? Why do they change over time? What is the best way to learn or teach a language? How does the language of literature differ from other kinds of language?

A Linguistics degree connects the study of language to real-world problems and their solutions. It can therefore prepare you for a variety of careers.

Digging deeper into subject interests can help you in a number of ways:

  • Confirm whether this is (or isn't) something you would be interested in enough to want to study it at university either as the focus of your degree or a minor/elective

  • Give you some inspiration to use when creating your questions and topics for IA's (coursework) and your Extended Essay

  • Provide you with content for your university application writing in the future, enabling you to reflect on the things you've been doing to explore your interests in a way that is academically relevant to the course or institution you are applying for.

Useful Resources

How Language Works, by David Crystal
Answering questions about the nuts and bolts of language, this is a survey of nearly everything from how sounds become speech to how names work. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, and how politeness travels across languages.
St. Clares Library L35 410 CRY
Limits of Language, by Mikael Parkvall
Mikael Parkvall offers a collection of the most extreme and unusual facts about the languages of the world. Written for a very wide readership, the book will both entertain the general public and inform them about the vast array of phenomena that make languages so interesting yet so diverse.
St. Clares Library L35 400 PAR
The Articulate Mammal: an introduction to psycholinguistics, by J Aitchison
This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by the author. 'An excellent and very welcome guide to psycholinguistics...highly recommended.' The Washington Post A classic in its field for almost forty years, The Articulate Mammal is a brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics. In lucid prose Jean Aitchison introduces and demystifies a complex and controversial subject: What is language and is it restricted to humans? How do children acquire language so quickly? Is language innate or learned? She explains the pioneering work of Noam Chomsky; how children become acclimatized to speech rhythms before birth; the acquisition of verbs; construction and cognitive grammar; and aphasia and dementia. She also considers new topics such as language and evolution and the possibility of a 'language gene', bringing the field right up to date. Jean Aitchison was Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford from 1993 to 2003, and is now an Emeritus Professorial Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. She is the author of numerous books on language and gave the 1996 BBC Reith lectures on the topic of 'The Language Web'.
St. Clares Library L35 410 AIT
The Language Instinct: how the mind creates language, by Steven Pinker
'Dazzling... Pinker's big idea is that language is an innate to us as flying is to geese... Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations' - Independent'. A marvellously readable book... illuminates every facet of human language: its biological origin, its uniqueness to humanity, it acquisition by children, its grammatical structure, the production and perception of speech, the pathology of language disorders and the unstoppable evolution of languages and dialects' - Nature.
St. Clares Library L35 401 PIN
The Linguist
Access Archived copies of The Linguist published by the Chartered Institute of Linguists for free online -or subscribe to read the latest copy.
Click Here >
Summer Schools in Europe
The most complete directory of summer courses in Europe. It includes courses for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, so ensure you read the descriptions to find options right for you.
Click Here >
Research from the University of Bristol
Journal Articles | Website
Explore cutting edge research from the different faculties and departments from the University of Bristol, including free access to their published journal articles.
Click Here >
Online Course
Coursera is an online platform for distance learning. They have a range of free courses delivered by universities. Search in this section to find courses of interest to you, often these are courses you can follow at your own pace.
Click Here >
Online Course
The X Series courses on the EdX platform are free online courses delivered by universities and aimed at helping you explore areas of interest.
Click Here >
Online Course
FutureLearn is a free online platform where universities from around the globe host FREE online courses you can undertake in your areas of interest. Browse courses by categories or use the search bar to find courses relevant to your interests
Click Here >
Subject Insight Series: Linguistics
Online Course
Do you have an interest linguistics and English language but feel unsure whether it's the degree for you? Our online course will give you an insight into the subject to help you make the right decision for you.
Click Here >
Discovering Dialect | English Taster Lecture
Recorded Lecture
Dr Fiona Douglas, an academic in the School of English at the University of Leeds, delivers a lecture on Discovering Dialect: Language Pioneers and ‘Old Men with Good Teeth’.
Click Here >
These videos bring you cutting-edge research from Oxford's graduate students on a wide range of topics - from climate change and colonialism, to microbiomes and mathematical logic. Each video offers an introduction to a new topic, plus lots of activities and further resources to explore. When you click on a topic, you will be asked a few questions and then you will be able to play the video you've chosen.
Click Here >
Website | Podcast | Blog | Video
The HE+ website has supercurricular resources created and written by Cambridge students and academics including challenging activities, engaging videos, reflective questions and much more.
Click Here >
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