TWU student says Language & Culture Discovery grant “added incentive” to try a Linguistics course- here’s her story

By Sandra Topelko

A CanIL alum on a Language Survey trek in Nepal

Becky is like many young people who are faced with this conundrum – she’s intrigued by a subject area, but how can she know if she enjoys study in that field until she tries it out? For now, Becky has declared her Major as Biblical Studies, and she’s considering pairing it with a Minor in Linguistics. This would be to at least begin a career in Bible translation, but she’s not yet sure if this is where her passion lies.

Becky’s roommate encouraged her to at least try one linguistics course, and she told Becky about the Language & Culture Discovery grant. CanIL offers this grant to assist non-Linguistics Majors at TWU, who are exploring their Major, and who have an interest in language and culture, to try out linguistics. Becky received $500 towards her tuition for LING 101 Intro to Linguistics. She says, “The grant definitely added incentive to try a LING course. Other factors were that it could count towards my Core requirements, and that I needed to see what linguistics was like in order to see if I would like Bible translation.”

Becky is halfway through LING 101; this is her description of her experience in that class:

When I am engaged in doing certain assignments, I enjoy doing them because analyzing other languages is often like solving puzzles. I would recommend this as an elective because it raises much awareness of the English language and other languages. The number of things our minds keep track of/store when learning, speaking, and writing a language is far more immense than it seems on the surface, and it’s fascinating to even begin to understand.

Becky will be taking LING 210 Language & Society next semester, because thus far she still doesn’t know what she wants to pursue.

A CanIL alum who works in literacy in Peru

LING 210 focuses on the interaction between language and the social context within which it is used, which anyone can relate to, because we all use language. Topics include regional and social dialects, multilingualism, language attitudes, language shift and loss, and the impact of modern technology. Applications to gender and education are explored in depth.

For those who have no idea which career path to follow, Becky states “linguistics will add another option that people do not generally know about but sometimes find to be their niche.”

The Language & Culture Discovery grant is $500 per eligible course. It is available to non-Linguistics Majors at TWU who would like to try a linguistic elective. Eligible courses include:

Students making palatograms in Phonetics class

LING 101 Intro to Linguistics

LING 210 Language & Society

LING 310 Articulatory Phonetics

Applications are available at: canil.ca/discoverygrant. Students should apply by April 30th for Summer, and Aug 31st for Fall. There’s no need to wait, applications for either semester are being accepted now!