Linguistics and Multilingual Studies

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ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

As one of the best-known examples of a modern, vibrant and successful multilingual society, Singapore is uniquely positioned to promote academic studies of language and multilingualism. As no other tertiary institution in Singapore offers such an undergraduate programme, the Linguistics and Multilingual Studies (LMS) Programme at NTU is well placed to take on this challenge.

The LMS curriculum allows students to explore the many interesting facets of language and communication, from the properties of speech sounds to grammatical and discourse structure, from children's language development to communication in bilingual and multilingual societies.

​It encompasses a very wide range of topics: how a finite inventory of basic linguistic units is deployed to express an infinite variety of meanings, how we create meaning in interaction with others, how the bilingual and multilingual mind is structured, and how technology impacts upon people's everyday use of language, to mention just a few.

 

Curriculum Structure and Modules offered

To graduate, students must complete two categories of requirements, totaling at least 128 Academic Units (AUs):  

A. Major Requirements (69 AUs) 
B. Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC)

  • Common Core (17 AUs)

  • Foundational Core (10 AUs)

C. Broadening & Deepening Electives (32 AUs)

Students can pursue in-depth studies in any of the five categories in the Linguistics and Multilingual Studies programme:

(A) Language, Mind and Multilingualism,

(B) Multilingual Societies and Multiculturalism,

(C) Language Structure,

(D) Language and Technology, or

(E) Special Topics.

Click here for the full list of modules descriptions.

 

Admission Requirements

Students with Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' level 
A good grade in General Paper/Knowledge & Inquiry/H2 Level Humanities subject 

Students with NUS High School Diploma 
Good overall CAP in English Language 

Students with IB Diploma  
A good grade in Standard Level English

Please note the following: 

  • The grade profiles, GPAs and programme places vary from year to year, depending on the number and performance of applicants, and the number of places available. 

  • Meeting the previous year's grade/GPA scores of a programme does not guarantee admission to that programme for the current year. 

NTU is increasingly admitting students based on holistic practices including written exams and interviews. For this reason we encourage all interested parties to apply.

 

Career Prospects

In May and June 2007, a market survey was carried out with 27 major employers both from the public and private sectors in Singapore, with advice from the NTU Career Attachment Office. These employers included the Ministry of Education, Singapore National Employers Federation, Singapore HR Institute, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Mediacorp, Standard and Poor's, JP Morgan Chase, and Singapore Press Holdings. Of those who responded, an overwhelming majority (93% - 100%) find that graduates who understand the workings of different cultures and languages and who have a global worldview and international experience are valuable assets to their companies. Graduates with multidisciplinary analytical skills, such as graduates of the LMS programme, are certainly thought to be important by the potential employers. It was generally agreed that Linguistics and Multilingual Studies graduates, with their skill sets, are highly employable.

 

Those who chose to further their studies are now pursuing/have been accepted to graduate school to pursue Linguistics at NTU and University of Colorado Boulder, US; Law at Singapore Management University and Cardozo School of Law, US; Speech Pathology at the National University of Singapore; and Education at the National Institute of Education, NTU.  

 

The list below provides a general overview on possible career opportunities suited to LMS graduates.

Public relations

The maintenance of the flow of information between an organization and the general publics is a critical part involved in public relations. As our graduates are trained to think critically and analytically with awareness of different cultural and linguistic contexts, our graduates will make perfect candidates for the positions in public relations.

Marketing and advertising

As LMS graduates are trained to be sensitive to language and cultural nuances, they are sought after in the field of marketing and advertising. For example, companies that name products do extensive linguistic and cultural research on the associations that people make with particular sounds and classes of sounds. A background in LMS qualifies students for this line of work. 

Work in the publishing industry, as a technical writer, or an editor

The verbal and cultural skills that LMS graduates develop are ideal for positions in editing, publishing, and writing.

Work in education

People with a background in LMS and education develop curricula and materials, train teachers, and design tests and other methods of assessment, especially for language arts and second language learning. 

Teach languages

Training in LMS provides a solid foundation for anyone who is contemplating a career in language teaching. It gives them fundamental training to make cross language comparison to arrive at solutions, a critical aspect in multilingual societies such as Singapore. A degree in LMS is an excellent entry point for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.

Work in the computer industry

Linguists and Multilingual experts may work on speech recognition, search engines, and artificial intelligence. Their skills are also required in Internet start-up or e-commerce where expertise in how natural language processing can get systems to respond more meaningful to searches and requests. 

Work as a translator or interpreter

Skilled translators and interpreters are needed everywhere, from government to hospitals to courts of law. For this line of work, a high level of proficiency in the relevant language(s) is necessary, and specialized training is required. LMS can help students understand the issues that arise when a message is communicated from one language to another.

Work on language documentation or do fieldwork

A number of projects and institutes around the world are looking for linguists and multilingual experts to work with language consultants to document, analyse, and preserve languages (many of which are endangered). Some organisations engage in language-related fieldwork, including documenting endangered languages, conducting language surveys, establishing literacy programmes, and translating documents of cultural heritage. 

Work for a testing agency

LMS graduates can also help prepare and evaluate standardized exams and conduct research on assessment issues. They can be more attuned to problems which are specific to multilingual communities as tests are often designed for more monolingual populations. 

Work with dictionaries (lexicography)

Knowledge of phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics is key to becoming a lexicographer. 

Become a consultant on language in professions such as law or medicine

The subfield of forensic linguistics involves studying the language of legal texts, linguistic aspects of evidence, issues of voice identification, and so on. Law enforcement agencies and police departments, law firms, and the courts hire linguists for these purposes.

Speech therapist

 A linguistics degree is a good preparation for a graduate program in Speech pathology and communication disorders. Students get trained in both the fundamentals of language such as the system of speech sounds and grammar as well as in applied domains such as language disorders, language and the brain and sociolinguistics. Linguistics at NTU qualifies students for a professional degree program.

Public relations

The maintenance of the flow of information between an organization and the general publics is a critical part involved in public relations. As our graduates are trained to think critically and analytically with awareness of different cultural and linguistic contexts, our graduates will make perfect candidates for the positions in public relations.

Marketing and advertising

 As LMS graduates are trained to be sensitive to language and cultural nuances, they are sought after in the field of marketing and advertising. For example, companies that name products do extensive linguistic and cultural research on the associations that people make with particular sounds and classes of sounds. A background in LMS qualifies students for this line of work. 

Work in the publishing industry, as a technical writer, or an editor

The verbal and cultural skills that LMS graduates develop are ideal for positions in editing, publishing, and writing.

Work in education

People with a background in LMS and education develop curricula and materials, train teachers, and design tests and other methods of assessment, especially for language arts and second language learning. 

Teach languages

Training in LMS provides a solid foundation for anyone who is contemplating a career in language teaching. It gives them fundamental training to make cross language comparison to arrive at solutions, a critical aspect in multilingual societies such as Singapore. A degree in LMS is an excellent entry point for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.

Work in the computer industry

Linguists and Multilingual experts may work on speech recognition, search engines, and artificial intelligence. Their skills are also required in Internet start-up or e-commerce where expertise in how natural language processing can get systems to respond more meaningful to searches and requests. 

Work as a translator or interpreter

Skilled translators and interpreters are needed everywhere, from government to hospitals to courts of law. For this line of work, a high level of proficiency in the relevant language(s) is necessary, and specialized training is required. LMS can help students understand the issues that arise when a message is communicated from one language to another. 

Work on language documentation or do fieldwork

A number of projects and institutes around the world are looking for linguists and multilingual experts to work with language consultants to document, analyse, and preserve languages (many of which are endangered). Some organisations engage in language-related fieldwork, including documenting endangered languages, conducting language surveys, establishing literacy programmes, and translating documents of cultural heritage. 

Work for a testing agency

LMS graduates can also help prepare and evaluate standardized exams and conduct research on assessment issues. They can be more attuned to problems which are specific to multilingual communities as tests are often designed for more monolingual populations. 

Work with dictionaries (lexicography)

Knowledge of phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics is key to becoming a lexicographer. 

Become a consultant on language in professions such as law or medicine

The subfield of forensic linguistics involves studying the language of legal texts, linguistic aspects of evidence, issues of voice identification, and so on. Law enforcement agencies and police departments, law firms, and the courts hire linguists for these purposes.

Speech therapist

 A linguistics degree is a good preparation for a graduate program in Speech pathology and communication disorders. Students get trained in both the fundamentals of language such as the system of speech sounds and grammar as well as in applied domains such as language disorders, language and the brain and sociolinguistics. Linguistics at NTU qualifies students for a professional degree program.

 
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