Frequently asked questions about the Linguistics major and the combined Linguistics-English and Linguistics-Psychology majors:
There are currently two ways to fulfill your Experiential Education requirement for the Linguistics major and the Linguistics-combined majors. You may go on Study Abroad for a semester, or you may complete LING 4996 Experiential Education Directed Study.
- International Study Abroad is an excellent opportunity to experience the fun and the challenges that go with living and studying in a different culture. Living in a different linguistic context gives students many opportunities to practice their language skills, to apply their analytic abilities, and to experience first-hand the types of cross-linguistic miscommunication that we often discuss in our courses. [Please note that while we encourage our students to go on Dialogues of Civilizations, these short-term study aboard experiences are not considered deep enough to fulfill the Experiential Education requirement for the majors in Linguistics.]
- LING 4996 Experiential Education Directed Study is a research project that a student completes with a full-time member of the linguistics faculty. This project may build on a coop experience, but you would need to organize with the faculty member that you are working with in advance of the coop experience, so that you can work on the project while out on coop, and to be sure that the coop experience would be appropriate for such a project. For most students, however, this is an excellent opportunity to work on part of a faculty member’s research program, or to conduct their own study under the direction of a faculty member. This gives students hands-on independent research experience, and often results in a paper that can be used as the writing sample for graduate school applications.
There are plenty of on-line resources that give information about how to request a letter of recommendation, including this link to WikiHow’s excellent article on the the subject. Or download a modified version of this article here.To highlight a few of the most important things:
- Give the professor plenty of advance warning, requesting the letter at least 4 to 6 weeks before the letter is due. You may also need to give them a gentle reminder a week or so before the deadline.
- Give the professor plenty of information about yourself. This helps to jog their memory, and write a more specific letter. This should include a copy of your resume, an unofficial transcript with the courses you took with that professor highlighted, a copy of your statement of purpose, and a brief list that describes why you are applying to each school. Keep this information neat and organized. And please keep in mind that as much as professors enjoy getting to know their students as individuals, they are dealing with many, many students each semester!
- Be sure to waive your rights to view the letter on the application forms. Many Professors require you waive these rights, so they can write a completely candid letter; it also affects how the application committee views the letter—a letter written without the student’s consent waived may be viewed as less open and honest.