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BALanguage Learning

University of Southampton
United Kingdom, Southampton
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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BA Language Learning is a degree programme which supplements your learning of two languages with a range of modules in linguistics and applied linguistics that will explore in detail how languages are structured, acquired, used and taught. You will study two languages side by side throughout your degree. One of these two languages of study may be taken from scratch.

A distinctive part of the BA Language Learning degree is that your language learning is complemented by modules in linguistics. Linguistics describes an approach to the study of language which involves detailed, principled (sometimes termed ‘scientific’) analysis. The scope of linguistics is broad and varied, accommodating many different facets of language structure, language use, language change, language acquisition, and language teaching. In linguistics modules you will have the opportunity to explore many of these subfields of linguistics, from the ‘nuts and bolts’ of language (such as the articulations of the mouth involved in speech, and the principles underlying the structure of sentences), to how its properties are acquired as a first language and as a second language; from how language varies according to its speakers, to the social contexts in which discourse is embedded. Linguistics module options that are specific to French, German and Spanish are also available, which are likely to be of interest depending on your two languages of study.

A background in linguistics can provide clear benefits to students of modern languages in terms of language learning, and a large proportion of students across Modern Languages take some modules in linguistics. You will be equipped with the ‘tools’ required for linguistic analysis, helping you to reflect on and examine in detail the languages you are studying, as well as offering you a new awareness and understanding of how language works, both within the mind and within its social context.

Programme structure

Throughout your degree, you will study two languages alongside each other. As a language student you will be allocated to a stage of language proficiency in our unique system of seven language levels (your second language can be taken ab initio). This is designed to place you at the stage most appropriate to develop your spoken and written skills, enabling you to make rapid progress in your chosen languages. In all years of study you will benefit from our wide range of resources. You will use the excellent facilities in the Centre for Language Study and in our French, German or Spanish Resources Rooms, including extensive multimedia facilities and online resources.

In your first and second years, you will take a balanced range of modules in your first language, second language, and linguistics. In linguistics, module options relate to the theories and applications of linguistics across the range of subfields that the discipline covers, including introductions to psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, multilingualism, syntax, discourse analysis, and phonetics. You may also examine topics in linguistics from the perspective of the main language of your degree. Your remaining optional modules made up from the broad range available within Modern Languages (including cultural, social and political studies, literary, film and television studies), or free elective modules from outside Modern Languages.

Your third year is spent abroad, in a country appropriate to the main language of your degree. This offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your linguistic and cultural proficiency. You can spend your year abroad as an English language assistant in a school, studying at one of our partner universities or on a work placement. Most students of French choose a European country, but many go further afield – to Québec or La Réunion, for example. If you spend your year in the German-speaking context you normally go to Germany or Austria, however, some students have also stayed in Switzerland. Our current German-speaking ERASMUS partner universities are Potsdam, Hamburg, Freiburg, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Marburg, Tuebingen, Siegen, Cologne and Vienna. Our current Spanish-speaking ERASMUS partners are Barcelona, Granada, Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Malaga, Castellón and Salamanca. We also have links with several Latin American Universities (including in Brazil, for students of Portuguese). Our Mexican Exchange Scheme is open to students of Spanish who wish to spend a year working as a Language Resources Assistant in a Mexican University Self-Access Centre. This is part of a special exchange between the Mexican Ministry of Education and the University of Southampton. While abroad you will also conduct an investigative project, supervised by a tutor at Southampton.

In your final year, alongside your language study you will continue to pursue your interests in linguistics to an advanced level, choosing from a range of modules that are closely related to the research expertise of current staff members. You will also have the opportunity to prepare a final year dissertation as a double module, under the guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

Career opportunities

Employability is embedded into modules from the first year onwards, right from the first lecture. We offer a number of optional employability modules.

Your specialities in intercultural communication, listening and language will be highly valuable to employers.

A year abroad also gives you the chance to achieve something away from education-centred activity, such as gaining relevant work experience to help form your future plans. With many employers now expecting extracurricular or voluntary experience, this can prove vital.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States