Linguists study languages from a scientific viewpoint. This doesn’t mean you have to speak dozens of languages or pass chemistry exams! Linguists are interested in the patterns existing within different languages, together with similar patterns between different languages. They also examine how speakers acquire (learn) their languages and use them in society. There is also an applied (or practical) aspect to Linguistics which encompasses a number of areas, including linguistic planning, language policy and language teaching methods. A number of the modules offered will give a taste of how languages affect public life. This is important for us in Wales since we have two official languages and because there are varying ways of learning Welsh (e.g., at home, in Welsh-medium schools, as adults).
As a Welsh-medium student in Linguistics, you will learn about different aspects of Linguistics generally and specifically about the linguistic situation of Welsh and bilingualism in Wales. You will learn about theories in the above fields by considering international research into various languages and social contexts. In addition to the international dimension, you will apply concepts to the Welsh language and the social situation of Welsh-English bilingualism.
Here are some of the Welsh-medium modules offered recently by the School of Linguistics and English Language at Bangor University, and by the School of Welsh, Cardiff University:
- Welsh Linguistics
- History of the Welsh language
- Welsh and society
- Aspects of bilingualism
- Language Acquisition
- Language planning and language policy
Studying Linguistics will give you an opportunity to refine your analytical skills as well as developing new skills in project management, independent research, summarising scientific work in a meaningful manner, collecting and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data, together with problem solving and communicating complex ideas. Graduates have obtained posts in many different areas and institutions, including:
- Teaching (in Wales and beyond)
- Computing and informatics
- Journalism and the media
- Government and the civil service
Linguists are also keen to train the next generation of researchers working on the Linguistics of Welsh. By following Welsh-medium modules, you will have an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge about the Linguistics of Welsh which will be of assistance should you wish to study further for a postgraduate qualification.