Learning outcomes

ling2m  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Students on the Master [120] in Linguistics prepare themselves for the challenge of becoming experts in language and languages, with a rigorous and functionalist approach, who contribute to the significant issues and challenges relating to the application of linguistic analysis to other fields (lexicography, translation, learning and teaching languages, etc.).

The aim of the Master in Linguistics is to provide in-depth training in general and applied linguistics, in the students’ mother tongue and/or one or two foreign languages, opening the way for students to go into research or to work in an allied field of written or oral communication in every sense (terminology, dictionaries, readability of texts, etc.).

In order to achieve that, students will master a large and well-accepted base of knowledge, know-how and skills in linguistics which they are able to employ in order to approach, analyse and respond to situations/problems touching upon all the complex and transversal aspects of linguistics. Therefore, at the end of their training, students will have:

  • a broad and solid mastery of the principles and mechanisms involved in how language and languages operate;
  • the ability to analyse and interpret all aspects of language phenomena (oral and written language; first, second or foreign languages; language varieties; etc.) on the basis of their mastery of a range of linguistic models and theories and their components;
  • an excellent mastery of languages and scientific reasoning allowing them to provide data for a linguistic problem and explain challenges in different professional contexts (language industry, writing dictionaries, translation, language-learning materials...);
  • a real expertise in oral and written communication founded upon expert language skills and their ability to overcome linguistic challenges and adapt to the target audience;
  • an initial professional experience acquired during an internship in a research centre or business.

The students will give priority, by deciding what they will focus upon, to either training oriented towards professions in the language industry (“Natural Language Processing” focus) or, to professions requiring excellent abilities in one or more languages, combining a solid training in linguistic theory and methodology (“Linguistics and its Applications for a Multilingual Society” focus).

In addition, students will, in particular thanks to a professional internship, have developed a significant capacity for adaptation and the ability to question and engage in professional practice. Students will integrate a continuous developmental logic which allows them to perform as professionals demonstrating high-level expertise and flexibility, and be able to adapt and develop positively within the context of their work.

On successful completion of this programme, each student is able to :

1. Demonstrate an in-depth and specialised mastery of linguistic models and theories and their components.

1.1. Identify and master linguistic units, their interrelations and the processes influencing them.
1.2. Distinguish the different levels of linguistic analysis, phonology, lexicology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics.
1.3. Identify different types and sources of linguistic and non-linguistic meaning.
1.4. Demonstrate an in-depth and advanced mastery of the nature of and grounds for linguistic theories, principles, hypotheses and explanations.
1.5. Describe and explain the component principles of theoretical models linked to a given field of analysis.

2. Demonstrate a specialised mastery of the methodological linguistic tools, oral and written data collection and analysis methods and an ability to employ them in a relevant and critical way in order to understand the complexities of a linguistic phenomenon.

2.1. Select appropriate methodological tools for different types of linguistic research.
2.2. Include the relationship between theoretical approaches and methodological practice in their analysis.
2.3. Employ the relevant methods to collect oral and written data, construct linguistic corpuses and manage and maintain them and extract information from them.
2.4. Master and employ basic oral and written linguistic data analysis methods and techniques in a relevant way.

3. Develop a linguistic argument which applies to linguistic problems.

3.1. Recognise and define linguistic problems in the fields of corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and contrastive linguistics.
3.2. Develop critical reflections on received ideas relating to language.
3.3. Examine and question the relationship between language and context (social) which includes opening the way to connected disciplines.
3.4. Integrate the notion of linguistic variation at all levels of linguistic analysis.
3.5. Interpret variation in linguistic form and reflect upon the tension between linguistic standards in the language in question.
3.6. Construct a linguistic argument employing relevant linguistic data.

4. Create and realize an individual research assignment, implementing a rigorously scientific and methodological approach in order to go deeper into a scientific linguistic question.

4.1. Define and formulate a scientific linguistic question.
4.2. Produce a critical summary of the scientific literature relating to that question, employing the relevant theoretical frameworks and making sure to contextualize the problem in relation to current knowledge.
4.3. Define their working hypotheses and argue them.
4.4. Construct and implement rigorous methodological measures relevant for looking more deeply into the question, justifying their choices and methodologies.
4.5. Create and realize, where appropriate, an empirical, quantitative and/or qualitative study, calling upon the appropriate analytical tools.
4.6. Analyse and interpret results (complex linguistic data) including the criticism being argued, by employing the relevant theoretical frameworks appropriately.
4.7. Develop an ability to summarize and formulate scientific conclusions.
4.8. Demonstrate the critical rigour, precision and distance (both in their own work as well as the knowledge and methodologies used in it) which are essential to all work at university level.
4.9. Demonstrate the relevance and quality, specific to the demands of a profession in linguistics, both in terms of composition and presentation.

5. Professionally communicate, by employing their expert language skills and incorporating linguistic issues, adapting to the context and target audience and constructively interacting and collaborating with the different actors involved in a given situation.

5.1. Have skills in written and oral comprehension in English which fulfil the requirements of level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
5.2. Have skills in written and oral comprehension as well as written and oral expression which fulfil the requirements of level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in French and/or English, according to the electives chosen.
5.3. Explain the details of a linguistic problem and the linguistic challenges in various professional contexts, formulated in a way that it can be understood by actors in the field, in their fields of specialisation (depending upon their choices of elective).
5.4. Effectively integrate into and collaborate with a team and different actors in networks involved in a given situation (in educational and professional (internship), national or international and multicultural contexts), in their fields of specialisation (depending upon their choice of elective).

6. Act as an academic and critical and responsible actor with a plan for continuing development.

6.1. Progress in professional practice in accordance with a grounded academic approach (from a theoretical and methodological point of view) characterised by a critical distance.
6.2. Engage in, decide upon and act in respect of work and third parties in an independent and responsible manner in line with the relevant framework.
6.3. Cast a critical eye over their own knowledge and competencies (linguistic and others) and independently put in place methods and opportunities to improve them as part of a system of continuing development which is indispensable in order to progress in a positive way in their social and professional environments.

7. Employ all the complex and transversal aspects of linguistic analysis skills where relevant, in other domains which are more or less connected to linguistics.

7.1. If the “Linguistics and its Applications for a Multilingual Society (LAMUSO)” focus course has been chosen: grasp the relevance of linguistics to adjacent fields and employ their excellent language skills, including the linguistic analysis tools and methods, in two or more languages, to act relevantly in those fields (lexicography, translation, foreign language learning and teaching, etc.).

7.1.1 Develop skills which are specific to language usage, in particular in multilingual contexts, and in relation to the connected methods, models and applications in linguistic research; in two or more languages.
7.1.2 Take responsibility for or directly contribute to the realisation of a project with an important linguistic component (language teaching, linguistic policy, linguistic competency tests, writing teaching texts, dictionaries, etc.).
7.1.3 Within the framework of a specific professional experience (in a business or a research centre), employ a wide range of knowledge and skills in linguistics and otherwise, integrate the requirements of the development of applied linguistic projects and experience a professional environment for the first time.
7.2. If the “Natural Language Processing” focus course is chosen: make use of and create Natural Language Processing solutions (choose methodologies, apply specialised tools, programme applications, create linguistic tools) in order to respond to the needs of the language industry (linguistic engineering, machine translation, term extraction, information extraction, text generation, speech processing, etc.).

7.2.1 Master the methods, technologies and concepts which are essential to the automatic processing of natural language (intelligent text processing, the man-machine interface, machine translation, document navigation, etc.).
7.2.2 Master a solid base of knowledge and skills in the programming of computers and algorithms and employ them as relevant to programme specific applications and create linguistic tools.
7.2.3 Take responsibility for or contribute directly to the realization of an application for the processing of language by machines or a study on a complex use of NLP software.
7.2.4 Within the framework of a specific professional experience (in a business or a research centre), employ a wide range of knowledge and skills in linguistics and otherwise, integrate the requirements of the development of real NPL applications and experience a professional environment for the first time.