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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Small linguistics programs
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Not Applicable

Query:   Dear Linguists,

The linguistics program at my university will be undergoing review
this year, and I'd like to solicit comments from other linguists on
how to make small, interdisciplinary linguistics programs thrive.

Like many universities (I suppose), ours does not have a linguistics
department, but we do offer a linguistics major and minor; our
linguistics program is currently administered by faculty and staff
from various departments such as English, Romance Languages, and

What I'd like to know is to what extent similar programs at other
colleges and universities have been successful at attracting majors,
maintaining a vital presence in the intellectual life of their
colleges and universities, and -- perhaps most importantly --
garnering the good will and largess of university administrators. If
your program has accomplished any or all of these goals, how did you
do it? That is, what works best? Conversely, what *doesn't* work, and
what kinds of things should such programs avoid?

In particular, I'd like to know the fate of linguistics at colleges
and universities that do not have either a linguistics department or a
linguistics major/minor, but which allow students to study linguistics
as one of those ''make-your-own-major'' majors which are common in the
United States.

I'll post a summary of responses. If you'd like to respond, but do not
feel you can do so candidly without endangering yourself
professionally, I'll be happy to post anonymous responses, and promise
complete confidentiality to those who desire it.

Many thanks,
David Wharton

David Wharton
Department of Classical Studies
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC USA
e-mail: whartond@uncg.edu
tel.: 336 334 5214
fax: 336 334 5158
LL Issue: 9.1637
Date posted: 18-Nov-1998


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