Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Header Navigation

For Students

Programs Offered by the Department of Linguistics at Illinois

Did you know?...The Department of Linguistics offers more than just linguistics. In fact, the Department offers courses under more different "rubrics" than any other unit on campus:

Linguistics (LING) courses address questions of how languages are structured, how they are used, how they are learned, and how they change through time. We offer a wide variety of linguistics courses, covering all major branches of modern linguistic theory --- theoretical syntax, formal semantics, experimental phonetics and phonology, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, second language acquisition, computational linguistics, and more. Our undergraduate programs include a (B.A.) Major in Linguistics, and a Minor in Linguistics. In cooperation with the Department of Computer Science, we also offer a joint B.S. in Computer Science and Linguistics. Our graduate programs include an M.A. in Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Linguistics.

English as an International Language (EIL) courses are concerned with techniques for teaching English to speakers of other languages, and related issues such as assessing competence in English. Our undergraduate programs in this area include a Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (intended for students planning to teach English abroad or in non-public-school settings, leading to a Certificate in TESL), and a separate Teacher Education Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language (intended for Education majors and leading to an ESL endorsement to the State of Illinois Teaching Certificate). At the graduate level we offer an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language as well as a professional Certificate in TESL. A specialization in Second Language Studies is available as part of the Linguistics Ph.D.

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are for students whose first language is not English, to build up skills in speaking, understanding, reading and writing English. We offer courses in ESL at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

Less Commonly Taught Language courses build up skills in speaking, understanding, reading and writing the language in question; familiarize students with literatures and cultures connected with the language; and examine linguistic issues peculiar to the language itself. We currently offer courses in several different languages:

  • Arabic (ARAB) is spoken across a wide area in North Africa and the Middle East. We offer courses in Arabic at beginning through advanced levels; degree offerings include an undergraduate Minor in Arabic Studies.
  • Bamana (BMNA) is spoken across large parts of West Africa, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, and Senegal. We offer courses in Bamana at beginning through advanced levels; study in Bamana may form part of the undergraduate Minor in Sub-Saharan African Languages.
  • Modern Greek (GRKM) is spoken in Greece, Cyprus, and smaller communities throughout the world. We offer courses in Greek at beginning and intermediate levels.
  • Hindi (HNDI) is spoken by several hundred million people in South Asia. We offer Hindi courses at beginning through advanced levels; degree offerings include an undergraduate Minor in Hindi Studies.
  • Lingala (LGLA) is a major language of central Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring Republic of the Congo. We offer courses in Lingala at beginning through advanced levels; study in Lingala may form part of the undergraduate Minor in Sub-Saharan African Languages.
  • Persian (PERS), or Farsi, is spoken throughout Iran and in portions of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. We offer courses in Persian at beginning and intermediate levels.
  • Sanskrit (SNSK) is the classical language of Indian civilization and the Hindu religion. We offer courses in beginning Sanskrit language as well as more advanced courses in Sanskrit literature.
  • Swahili (SWAH) is a major language of East Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia and the Congo. We offer courses in Swahili at beginning through advanced levels; study in Swahili may form part of the undergraduate Minor in Sub-Saharan African Languages.
  • Turkish (TURK) is spoken in Turkey and Cyprus, with closely related languages spoken across central Asia. We offer courses in Turkish at beginning through advanced levels.
  • Wolof (WLOF) is a major language of Senegal and Mauritania. We offer courses in Wolof at beginning through advanced levels; study in Wolof may form part of the undergraduate Minor in Sub-Saharan African Languages.
  • Zulu (ZULU) is a major language of southern Africa. We offer courses in Zulu at beginning through advanced levels; study in Zulu may form part of the undergraduate Minor in Sub-Saharan African Languages.