ECU Logo
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Department of English

BlackBoardIT Help DeskEmail and PhoneOneStopCalendarAccessibilityTwitterFacebook
Printer Friendly

Linguistics Concentration
(Graduate Catalog)

The Department of English at East Carolina University offers a variety of graduate courses in linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). These courses provide a bridge between the humanities and the social sciences, and between language studies and other academic areas, such as anthropology, education, and speech and hearing sciences.

Our Linguistics and TESOL graduate students organize the annual TALGS (TESOL and Applied Linguistics Graduate Students) conference, which provides graduate students and TESL/TEFL professionals a forum to showcase their research and teaching practices.

You can contact Dr. Solveig Bosse ( if you have any questions about required coursework or the program in general. On admission, you will be initially advised by Dr. Michael Aceto (; as your research interests begin to focus, you will choose an advisor in your area of interest.

ECU Student Perspectives on Linguistics & TESOL Video*
To watch, right click on the links and save to your computer: (.mov) or (.wmv). You can view the videos with Quicktime or Windows Media Player.

*Movies are unavailable at this time.

Course Work and Other Requirements

A research methods course (3 s.h.)
ENGL 6009: Research Methods in Language Study
ENGL 6805: Research: The Writer's Perspective
ENGL 7005: Bibliography & Methods
ENGL 7601: Research Design in Rhetoric and Composition
ENGL 7701: Research Methods in Technical and Professional Writing

Required (3 s.h.)
ENGL 7530: Descriptive Linguistics

Select five courses from this list (15 s.h)
ENGL 6505: Linguistic and Cultural History of the English Language 
ENGL 6526: The Structure of English: Phonology and Morphology
ENGL 6527: The Structure of English: Syntax and Semantics
ENGL 6528: Teaching English as a Second Language: Theories and Principles (Formerly ENGL 5503
ENGL 6529: Applied Linguistics for ESL Teachers
ENGL 6531: TESL: Methods and Practicum
ENGL 7525: Language and Society
ENGL 7535: Principles of Language Testing 
ENGL 7565: Linguistics, Education, and ESL
ENGL 7605: Discourse Analysis
ENGL 7680: Writing Systems of the World

Electives  (6 s.h.)

Thesis (6 s.h.) or Comprehensive Assessment Project (CAP) Requirement (3 s.h.) - Students opting for the CAP project must complete one additional course to complete 33 required credits.

A. The Comprehensive Assessment Project (CAP) and additional coursework in English consists of an annotated bibliography and a synthesis paper. When prepared, the student presents the project to the CAP committee during a scheduled exam. Following the presentation, committee members ask questions related to the project. The CAP demonstrates the student's ability (1) to examine field literature critically and reflectively; and (2) to evaluate the project's findings in the larger context of knowledge gained through his or her coursework.

For the annotated bibliography the student chooses a field-related topic of interest, formulates a research question, and finds, through library research, at least twenty sources directly related to his or her research question. The sources consist of current full-length articles published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and/or books. Dissertation abstracts are not acceptable. Foundational work on a given topic, regardless of the date of publication, is admissible. All sources have to be approved by the student's CAP committee before the student begins annotating them. The annotated bibliography follows the APA citation format. It is prefaced by an introduction giving the student's rationale for the project.

For the synthesis paper, the student writes a cover paper synthesizing the information learned from research. The student clearly shows how this research has informed his or her response to the research question. The student draws conclusions and, where relevant, considers practical implications of his or her findings. The paper is 7-10 pages (cc. 2,000-2,500 words) in length.

B. The Thesis requires 6 s.h. of thesis (ENGL 7000), and is recommended for those who plan to continue their studies in a PhD program. The Thesis option requires a Prospectus Meeting with the Thesis Committee to be conducted within the first three weeks of the semester in which the student plans to complete the Thesis, and an Oral Defense. The Prospectus Meeting and Defense may be conducted by conference call for DE Students. A full description of thesis requirements is provided by the Department of English graduate studies office or e-mail