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…

Marieke Veenendaal