The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in English, Comparative Literature, or in Linguistics:
Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in English:
- Read a text in any of several genres on a number of levels, including literal comprehension, aesthetic responsiveness, informed awareness of the traditions and the varied critical perspectives within which it may be most productively read, and rhetorical and logical analysis of its argument and/or structure.
- Write about various kinds of texts so as to articulate the dimensions of the work as described above.
- Demonstrate an awareness of audience, purpose and various rhetorical forms, as well as a high level of control of standard written English conventions.
- Demonstrate the ability to find in textbooks and research materials — paper and electronic — the kinds of information relevant to a given problem or issue, literary or otherwise, and to integrate that information into one’s own written work to support one’s argument while giving appropriate credit to the source of the information.
Knowledge of major literary works and traditions
- Have a working knowledge of the major writers, periods and genres of English and American literature and be able to place important works and genres in their historical context.
Knowledge of noncanonical literary works
- Have a working knowledge of some important works in non-western, ethnic and women’s literature that illustrate the diversity of literary studies and the interconnectedness of literary traditions.
Structure of the English language
- Have a working knowledge of the structure of the English language and theories of second language acquisition.
The following goals and outcomes have been established for students pursuing the MA degree in English:
• Demonstrate sophistication in reading and interpreting texts, both primary and secondary, as informed by such critical traditions as rhetorical, stylistic, and formal analysis; theory; and historicism.
• Demonstrate a mastery of the techniques and conventions of scholarly, persuasive, and/or creative writing.
Conduct high-level research
• Demonstrate the ability to find, evaluate, and synthesize relevant research materials; and to engage with and contribute to current scholarship.
Advanced knowledge within the discipline
• Demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise in literary studies, composition-rhetoric, or creative writing, including an in-depth understanding of major writers, movements, stylistic trends, forms, and concepts.
Professionalization and preparation for further study
• Demonstrate competence in professional skills and practices necessary to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including teaching, editing, publishing, and writing, and/or to pursue further graduate study.
The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Linguistics:
Knowledge of language organization, usage, history and learning
- Understand how language is structured, particularly to what extent languages share a universal structural base and to what extent they differ from one another.
- Understand how language is used, and the factors accounting for variation in language use.
- Understand how language is learned by children in first language acquisition and by adults in second language acquisition.
- Understand how language changes over time and the principles of historical linguistics.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze problems, both linguistic and otherwise, and to find and critically evaluate alternative solutions.
- Demonstrate the ability to present ideas in effectively written form.
- Demonstrate the ability to find in textbooks and research materials — paper and electronic — the kinds of information relevant to a given problem or issue, linguistic or otherwise, and to integrate that information into one’s own written work to support one’s argument while giving appropriate credit to the source of the information.
Knowledge of linguistics subdisciplines
- Have a working knowledge of the subdisciplines of linguistics dealing with the organization of language, i.e., phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.
- Have a working knowledge of the subdisciplines of linguistics dealing with language use, change and acquisition, especially sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and psycholinguistics.
The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing the MA degree in Linguistics:
Develop a rigorous concept of language in all its aspects, as well as an interdisciplinary sensibility demonstrating an advanced understanding of connections among the social sciences and the humanities.
- Develop an advanced interdisciplinary interpretive framework for studying language in ways that will enable students to solve practical and theoretical problems.
- Develop an advanced understanding of the nature of language structure, language use, language acquisition, and language change.
- Have an advanced knowledge of the history of the field of Linguistics—its theories, methods, and intellectual justifications.
- Develop an advanced understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches used in Linguistics and interdisciplinary scholarship.
Gain a thorough understanding of linguistic diversity and commonalities by examining both, the internal variation in a given language, particularly in English, as well as cross-linguistic variation
- Identify a variety of examples of linguistic diversity and commonality in American English as well as in other languages, demonstrating an advanced understanding of the similarities, differences, and relationships among the multitude of language varieties.
- Explain how differences in language use among different language communities—including race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality—are culturally constructed and vary according to historical, regional, and social contexts.
- Understand the shared genetic basis of all languages regardless of the socio-political status of their speakers.
- Articulate a critical awareness of the conceptual approaches to the study of linguistic diversity and universals.
Demonstrate advanced research, writing, and expressive skills to see connections among complex materials, and to clearly communicate an understanding of their underlying meanings.
- Design and carry out original research projects in Linguistics.
- Discover primary and secondary sources (hard copy as well as digital) using the library's resources, including inter-library loan.
- Analyze and synthesize material from primary and secondary sources in order to create a coherent argument based on evidence.
- Develop an original thesis and support that thesis through the thoughtful use of a variety of properly cited sources.
- Communicate research findings through clear, well-organized written and oral presentations.
- Develop advanced critical thinking, writing, and interpretive skills.
Develop the ability to adhere to scholarly conventions in research, writing and documentation.