Date for the our 2012 Spring Colloquium

This year’s annual Spring Colloquium will be held on Saturday April 21, 2012.

Second call for presentations:

The Linguistics Student Association at San Diego State University will be hosting 35th annual Linguistics Spring Colloquium on Saturday April 21, 2012. Our keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Ivan Sag (Stanford). We are currently seeking students and faculty who are interested in presenting their research to an audience of their academic peers. Though historically our presenters come from Linguistics departments, we welcome any proposal related to language from other academic departments (e.g. Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Speech Pathology, Education, RWS) as well. Please send your abstracts to sdsulsa@rohan.sdsu.edu for review. Deadline: March 31, 2012.

Alumnus Talk: Wona Lee

Wona Lee graduated from our department with an MA in Applied Linguistics. She is now at UC Santa Barbara pursuing a Ph.D. in Education, where she is investigating the language development of heritage Korean language learners.

She began her talk by distributing out “L” (for “linguistics”) shaped flashcards, asking all participants to write down their name and why they were attending this meeting (i.e. what each participant had hoped she would address). She later revealed that this was a method she uses as a teacher in order to involve the student and focus their attention.

Wona addressed the difficulties one may experience in getting into a Ph.D. program. In today’s economy, our universities have less money to fund Ph.D. students. Therefore, it is important that the Ph.D. applicant find a faculty member who is performing research that is very compatible with what the applicant wishes to do. Wona adds that you simply cannot rely with the research faculty list on their websites or research you find in recent journal articles–this research is the finished product and he/she may have moved on to a different topic. You may consider email correspondences in lieu of face-to-face communication (e.g. at conferences or at the university you are investigating, if it is possible to visit).

She also cites the importance of having research experience. She acknowledges that, while it may be difficult to find a research assistantship in our linguistics department, there is a lot of related research going on in different departments at SDSU (e.g. psychology, anthropology, speech-language pathology) as well as at UCSD. While you may not be fortunate enough to find a paid research assistantship as she had during her time at SDSU, no one will turn down a volunteer assistant. A volunteer assistantship can turn into a paid position or it might not; at the very least, you will have gained invaluable experience that could mean your acceptance into a Ph.D. program.

Although Wona has transplanted herself into the world of education, she still feels an affinity with linguistics, taking a number of linguistics courses as a part of her program of study. She is making her own interdisciplinary program by melding the words of linguistics and education, supplementing her studies even further by reading papers in related fields such as psychology and cognitive science.