- ReMa EMCL+
- ReMa Language & Cognition
- European Linguistics
- Applied Linguistics
During my bachelors in Linguistics at the University of Groningen, I decided to do a minor in speech therapy. During this minor, I found out that I was more interested in the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions behind the different language disorders and the therapy. Therefore, I decided to stop with speech therapy, and to apply for a research master that was based on language disorders, namely the master EMCL+ (Erasmus Mundus joint master degree in Clinical Linguistics). EMCL+ is a two-year master and each semester you will live in another country. Last semester, I started in Finland, and this semester I will study in Groningen. After the summer we will move with the whole EMCL group to Germany, and we will have to do an internship in another country and write our thesis in the last semester. During this master, you will be enrolled in several courses. For instance, you will learn to work with PRAAT and to use the program to analyze speech disorders. Also, you will learn more about statistics (which is indispensable in research). Moreover, we have to do several research projects and you get the possibility to improve your academic writing skills which you need to be able to publish papers. Also, we will get courses in language testing during awake brain surgery, language disorders, and even in the development of therapy based apps! This master is definitely recommended if you are planning on a research career. Lastly, I really like the fact that you study together with people from all over the world. You do lots of fun things together and you learn many things about their culture. Those people are like a second family to me.
As of this academic year, I am a research master student Language and Cognition. In this master, you have a lot of freedom to choose your own program, which I like a lot. Students with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics don’t have to follow certain courses due to the program of their bachelor. This gives them the opportunity to choose courses from other masters. I did some courses from the masters Applied Linguistics and Neurolinguistics.
I really had to get used to the courses being in English. At first, this was a bit odd, but you get used to it really quickly, so don’t let a possible language barrier stop you! The students in this master are very competitive, because a lot of people want to do research with the university, but there is not enough room for everyone. This makes the students want to excel, which creates pressure to not only get high grades, but also do projects beside your studies. This drove me a little nuts at first, because I thought that what I did wasn’t good enough. I’ve since let that go. Now I only do things that really interest me and where I want to put effort in, not because I feel like I have to.
It’s all in the name; a research master is mainly focused on doing research. The first year is about getting to know the research of others and courses are about methodology, for instance statistics. During the second year, you’ll do more things by yourself, like an internship in a foreign country and then writing a thesis. If you are interested in doing this master, remember that it’s important that you are interested in doing research. Not only in doing research in what you like, but in new ways of doing research as well. Up to this point, I’ve really enjoyed everything a lot, but I’m also really looking forward to doing an internship next year!
When I tell people that I study Linguistics, the most commonly asked question is: what is the job of a linguist? What do you do? After finishing my bachelor, I still had no answer to this question, so I decided to get a master’s degree. I had to choose between Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism, and I chose the latter.
The first semester of this master has a wide variety of subjects. This gives you the opportunity to find out what you like and what you don’t like. I applied this knowledge in the second semester to choose an internship and thesis subject. The second semester focuses more on specific subjects, which helped me to get closer to the answer to the question what job I would like to do in the future.
Beside the academic knowledge of different disciplines of Linguistics (like sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and education), this master gives you the opportunity to find out what you want to specialize in through practical things such as assignments, excursions, and an optional internship.
I started the master Neurolinguistics after getting my bachelor’s degree in Linguistics in Groningen. Neurolinguistics was an obvious choice, since I minored in Speech Therapy during my bachelor. This master is entirely in Dutch and closely related to the bachelor Linguistics. There are three mandatory courses during the first semester: dyslexia, language development disorders, and aphasiology. Each course starts with an introduction, including new theory and recent research in their respective discipline. Next, you’ll do your own research, partly in groups and individually. You’ll be graded on a paper and a presentation. During the second semester, you’ll be doing an internship and write your thesis as well.
I’m still very happy with my choice to do Neurolinguistics. The program is closely related to the bachelor Linguistics, and there’s a lot of new theory as well with a more in-depth approach. All courses are 10EC (European Credits), which means that you’ll do three courses over the course of one semester (and therefore only have three teachers). During the master, you’re a lot closer to the teachers than during the bachelor. I really like doing an internship. At the moment I’m an intern at a rehabilitation centre in Apeldoorn, where I can apply what I learned in both the bachelor and master. Among other things, I analyze spontaneous speech of aphasia patients, and interpret test scores of, for instance, the PALPA and the CAT.
At first, I had to get a little used to the group. During the bachelor, I knew all of my classmates, but in the master there are a lot of speech therapists, who ended up in the master after doing a bachelor in speech therapy and a pre-master Linguistics. As these students have more hands-on experience, we can learn a lot from each other.
I’m hoping to complete my internship and thesis this semester, and can officially call myself a clinical linguist!
NB: The main language of this master is Dutch.
Are you ready for a different view on linguistics? If so, European Linguistics could be something you’re interested in. There is no set program in this master. You start off with some basics in statistics and some methodology from the master Applied Linguistics. Aside from these two mandatory courses, you can choose the other courses yourself. There’s a lot to choose from, and the teacher’s interests mostly decide the themes of the course. In Language Development we discuss learning a second language, as well as bilingualism. In contrast to Applied Linguistics, this course is not about how to teach a second language, but about the processes going on in the brain. The course New Sounds is also a possibility, which starts off with phonology and learning how to use PRAAT. Next, you’ll do research yourself, using phonetic analyses. At this point you can give the course a European touch.
Because there are no courses exclusively for European Linguistics students, it’s important to create some cohesion in your program yourself. Personally, I think a course like Language Variation in Europe should be mandatory. This course is about ways to communicate and mutual intelligibility between speakers of different languages in Europe. I highly recommend doing this course! The perks of a various program, is working together with people from a lot of other different masters. This way you meet people with different backgrounds, who are, for example, in the Research Master or Applied Linguistics program, or studying a language. You are expected to actively participate in classes, which results in discussions where everyone’s contribution is different. Besides Universal Grammar, there are a lot of different topics.
Before you know it, it’s time to write a thesis. Again, you have the freedom to choose a topic and are responsible for giving your thesis a European touch. An extra challenge could be writing your thesis in English. Besides, the whole master is in English. But given the fact that 75% of the students are Dutch and a lot of teachers speak Dutch as well, it is sometimes allowed to speak or write in Dutch. Dutch is, after all, a European language...
After finishing my bachelor in Linguistics, I enrolled in the Applied Linguistics master. All courses in this master are in English (as is the case in most Linguistics masters in Groningen). The main focus of this master is learning a second language, and especially in education. What is the best method for teaching a student a foreign language?
The first semester is mainly focused on theory, but you also get to bring this theory to practice by doing your own research and writing papers about your research. The courses Theory of 2nd Language Development and Teaching Methodology/2nd Language Development are about learning a foreign language. During the first semester, in the courses Research Methodology and Essential Statistics, you’ll learn about statistics as well. You learn how to process statistical data (in R) and again write a paper. I really liked the Essential Statistics course, because this class really teaches you the basics of statistics.
In the second semester, you will be writing a thesis. There is also the possibility of doing an internship, or the course Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). You could also enroll in a course of another master of Linguistics, for example Language Variation in Europe, which is part of the European Linguistics master.
I really liked how close you become with your fellow students and teachers. For example, before the start of the academic year, we were invited over at a teacher’s house to eat pizza together. This is very different from the bachelor. My fellow students were from a lot of different countries all over the world, for instance Spain, the UK and the US.
Leonie van der Land