Student Outcomes

Learning outcomes for students who complete degree programs in the Plymouth State University Department of Languages and Linguistics:


Cultural Knowledge

The student is able to:

  • Recognize and interpret the significance of commonly cited cultural references (such as landmarks, symbols, works of art, literature, cinema and music, historical and political events and figures, traditions and customs).
  • Recognize the complexity of meanings conveyed by these cultural references, and that some messages are inherently ambiguous.
  • Evaluate the references and social contexts of the culture studied from that culture’s own perspective.


Presentational Language Skills: The student is able to produce spoken and written language understandable to native speakers and readers unaccustomed to contact with non-native speakers.

Interpretive Language Skills: The student is able to understand spoken and written language by native speakers and writers on topics familiar to the learner, and is able to understand speech and texts on complex topics.

Interpersonal Language Skills: The student is able to successfully engage in dialogue, convey meaning on topics familiar to the learner, with one or more native speakers unaccustomed to contact with non-native speakers. The student is also able to use communicative strategies to discuss unfamiliar topics.

Research Skills: The student is able to independently search for and acquire information relating to linguistic, literary, and cultural issues.

Critical thinking: The student is able to analyze and comment in detail on cultural products and social practices by using frameworks established in disciplines related to the language programs’ coursework such as linguistics, literature, cinema and culture studies.

Synthesize: The student is able to combine diverse elements of the languages programs of study (linguistic, cultural, research, critical) into a unified and coherent understanding of the discipline and its subjects of study.

External applications: The student is able to apply the acquired skills (linguistic, cultural, research, critical, synthetic) to other disciplines as well as to contexts outside the university environment.



The student is able to:

  • Understand and describe the historical development of the English language
  • Understand  current theories and the nature of first and additional language acquisition
  • Understand factors which impact language acquisition for children and adults
  • Understand  and apply different approaches to language acquisition research, and critically evaluate this research
  • Understand the distinction between rational thinking and anecdotal argumentation


The student is able to:

  • Offer explanations and make predictions about the nature of human language acquisition
  • Plan investigations,  and collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • Describe and give examples of ways in which human languages are all alike and how they may differ
  • Use the terminology of linguistics to describe language phenomena
  • Apply the tools of linguistics to analyze the sounds, words, and sentences of a language
  • Locate, analyze, interpret, evaluate,  and discuss research studies in linguistics
  • Describe different uses of language according to social context
  • Discuss significant research findings concerning sociolinguistics
  • Develop, situate, carry out, interpret, and analyze a research study, utilizing quantitative reasoning and research skills