Linguistics and Language Development

Department Mission Statement

In fulfilling the mission of California State University as implemented by San José State University, the mission of the Department of Linguistics and Language Development is to foster understanding of language structure and use in the context of a technological and multi-cultural society.

Assessment Schedule:

Undergraduate (doc)

Graduate (doc)

TESOL (doc)

Assessment of Student Learning BA & MA

Spring 2013 (pdf)
Spring 2012 (doc)

Spring 2011 (doc)
Spring 2010 (
Spring 2009 (doc)
Spring 2008 by SLO (doc)
Fall 2007 (doc)
Spring 2007 (doc)

Assessment of Student Learning TESOL

Spring 2013 (doc)
Spring 2012 (pdf)

Spring 2011 (doc)

Spring 2010 (
Spring 2009 (doc)
Spring 2008 by SLO (doc)
Fall 2007 (doc)

Student Learning Outcomes

BA & MA Linguistics

1A Describe sound patterns in any language, with some emphasis on English, using appropriate formalisms, and conduct psycholinguistic experiments on phonological constructs;
1B Perceive, produce, and transcribe speech sounds of the world's languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet;
1C Analyze sentence structure in any language in terms of grammatical relations and constituent structure, and recognize the typological diversity of syntactic phenomena;
1D Analyze the meaning of words and sentences, identify types of lexical and sentence relations, elaborate on the role of linguistic and pragmatic context in the interpretation of meaning, and understand the role of theories in the analysis of semantic data;
2C Use library and electronic research sources effectively;
2D Use English reading and writing skills effectively to report on research or problem analysis;
3A Discuss issues in speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language processing and produce synthesized speech, develop speech recognition and natural language processing programs.
3B Evaluate theories of first and second language acquisition and teaching;
GOAL 4 To help students develop an appreciation for the diversity and dynamic nature of human languages and cultures in theU.S. and the world.

Unique to BA Linguistics

1E Identify phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic changes in the history of a language, discuss the contribution of social factors and language contact to language variation and change, use the comparative method to reconstruct ancestors of related languages, and explain the genetic and typological classification of languages.
2A Analyze phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and historical linguistics data
2B Critically evaluate different approaches to the analysis of linguistic data
2E Demonstrate proficiency equivalent to one-year college level study in a language other than their native language.
3C Identify language-related social programs in areas such as education, the law, the workplace, etc., and discuss the feasibility of various empirically-based solutions.

Unique to MA Linguistics

1E Show an understanding of current linguistic theories; compare and evaluate different theoretical approaches.
2A Identify related elements in a data set, formulate organizing principles that encompass the data set, and recognize and evaluate alternative analyses of a data set.
2B Carry out independent empirical, experimental or theoretical research involving formulating a research project, presenting a literature review, using appropriate methodology, collecting data pertinent to the project, and interpreting the data;
2E Demonstrate proficiency equivalent to a two-year of an Indo-European or a one-year of a non-Indo-European language college level study in a language other than their native language.
3C Apply linguistics knowledge to address societal issues related to language variation and diversity;
3D Recognize the relation between language and cognition and be able to evaluate theories of their interaction.


1A Demonstrate an understanding of language as a system consisting of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexis, pragmatics, and discourse.
1B Demonstrate an understanding of an ability to articulate the relationships between the various intrasentential levels and features of English structure.
1C Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of meaning in English and of how meaning is conveyed in structures beyond the structure level.
1D Demonstrate the ability to correlate the knowledge in objectives 1A, 1B, and 1C, with four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking with sufficient precision to teach and assess proficiency in English as a non-native language
2A Demonstrate an understanding of the major linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic issues in second language learning in formal and informal contexts
2B Demonstrate an understanding of the role of pragmatic knowledge and knowledge of text structure in the comprehension, production, and acquisition of a second language
2C Demonstrate an understanding of the intersection between culture, language, language learning and teaching, and language use with particular reference to English as a global language.
2D Demonstrate an ability to apply theoretical knowledge of second language acquisition in second language learning/acquisition contexts.
3A Identify the instructional strategies that go with the established teaching methods
3B Gain practical experience in applying theoretical knowledge to various language learning and teaching situations
3C Critically evaluate the teaching of actual ESL classes with regard to teaching strategies and activities and with regard to goals 1 and 2.
3D Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and practice of needs analysis, curriculum design, and assessment techniques.
3E Develop ESL curriculum for diverse target groups by synthesizing the objectives of goals 1 and 2 and the teaching strategies in objective 3A.
3F Design supplementary materials for use with particular instructional strategies.
3G Develop language tests and assessment instruments.
4A Demonstrate the ability to transfer theoretical knowledge of second language acquisition into second language teaching procedures.
4B Demonstrate an ability to handle written and spoken interlanguage data.
4C Demonstrate the comprehension and the connection between classroom input and interaction and learning outcomes.
4D Complete a one-semester practicum in which, under the direct supervision of an M.A.TESOL faculty member, they plan lessons and teach English to an actual ESL class.
4E Have a culminating experience in which they apply information, which they have learned in the program, to hypothetical teaching situations or to an extended research project.
5A Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze and evaluate the structure and content of a variety of published scholarly writing in linguistics and TESOL.
5B Demonstrate an ability to use registers, including the jargon, appropriate for the writing of these fields.
5C Demonstrate the ability to locate and cite published scholarly material pertaining to these fields.
5D Demonstrate an understanding of the processes involved in composing scholarly research and writing.

Department Goals

The Department of Linguistics and Language Development emphasizes the following goals:


For all students:

  • acquisition of effective English Language skills for use in academic and professional settings.
  • development of methods of critical inquiry appropriate to a variety of intellectual endeavors.
  • an appreciation of the diversity and dynamic nature of languages and cultures in the U.S. and the world, including the context-specific appropriateness of varieties of English.

For students of language development courses, an in-depth knowledge of academic English, including:

  • an understanding of the interrelationship between critical thinking/literacy in academic and professional settings.
  • an ability to produce appropriate and effective reader-based written English.

For Linguistics majors, an in-depth knowledge of linguistics including:

  • an understanding of the processes of comprehension, production, acquisition, variation and change within human languages.
  • an ability to analyze a range of primary data in major areas of linguistics research to determine the ways in which language relates to cognition and society.
  • an understanding of the relationship between linguistic theories and areas such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, language acquisition and learning, and language policy.

For TESOL majors, an in-depth knowledge of theories and practices of language teaching and learning, including:

  • an understanding of the structures and functions of varieties of English in specific social settings.
  • an understanding, supported by field-based data, of the processes of first and second language development.
  • an ability to integrate theory and practice as an informed and reflective practitioner.

Scholarship and Professional Service

As a department, we aim:

  • to foster a climate in which individuals and collaborative research and scholarship can be carried out and disseminated in all components of the department.
  • to grow individually and collectively as academic and teaching professionals.
  • to foster an environment exchange in which creative solutions to departmental, university, community and societal issues may emerge.
  • to contribute to and promote interaction among the academic and social communities of which we are a part.


Program Planning Documents

Linguistics PPC Report to Provost 2010
Linguistics Program Planning Report 2007


Page last updated on 01/28/14