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UC Online Course: LING 1 Introduction to Linguistics

By Camille Ray

March 21, 2023 11:22 a.m.

Speaking, writing and reading are vital to everyday life, where language remains the primary tool for expression and communication. Each language is like a one-of-a-kind species, capturing unique conceptualizations of the world while facilitating the construction of words and sentences that disseminate beliefs. The innate ability to learn from, share and connect on a fundamental level remains integral in human thought’s expansion and societal progress. By examining how individuals apply language – what words and phrases they unconsciously select and connect – people can better understand themselves and acquire explanations for specific behaviors. Focusing directly on language’s intrinsic dominion over human interactions, the UC Online course LING 1: Introduction to the Study of Language offers an all-encompassing grasp of linguistic nuance. For those interested in a rudimentary familiarity with the intriguing aspects of human knowledge and behavior, UCLA Associate Professor Harold Torrence will be teaching LING 1 this spring quarter.

Often perceived as a course limited to the polyglots of universities, intro-linguistics incorporates all facets of language’s origin and improves overall communication between people, a skill applicable to all. From syntax to phonetics and morphology, comprehending the intricacies of language enables definitive awareness of the current world and the world that existed in the past. Professor Harold’s 10-week course views language as a vehicle for progress and aims to empower his students to share the same care when utilizing language in their everyday lives.


Designed to be taken asynchronously, students can pace themselves throughout the course based on time allowance. The only mandatory aspect is a 50-minute discussion every week, where participation makes up 10 percent of the overall grade. Along with two analysis papers and six homework assignments sprinkled evenly throughout the quarter, students will also take a multiple-choice midterm and final exam performed online using third-party service Respondus. Tests incorporate questions corresponding to the associated lectures and draw from the information presented in the required readings from the “An Introduction to Language” textbook. Between embedded examples of language employment and detailed descriptions of basic concepts, the class textbook enables students to grasp sometimes complex ideas in a digestible format. 

Linguistics 1: Introduction to the Study of Language qualifies students to learn about the impact of languages on worldwide culture in a straightforward and captivating way. While often overlooked, Professor Harold grounds his course in current event relevance that underscores its importance. If you’re interested in enrolling in LING 1: Introduction to Study of Languages, visit UC Online for more information. 


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