Linguistics and Language Technology
Name: Polly Lam
Course: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Linguistics and Language Technology
School: The City University of Hong Kong
Year of Study: Year Two
Duration of programme: Three years
Young Post: What have you studied on your course?
Lam: My course is divided into two main streams: language and linguistics, and language-related computer applications.
The core subjects in the language and linguistics stream are phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics and language in society.
In the computer stream, students are taught computational linguistics, electronic publishing and other advanced topics, such as computer-assisted language learning and instrumental phonetics.
YP: What is the connection between languages and computers?
L: Computers can assist language learning.
With the help of computers, people can learn and study on their own. There's no need to attend classes.
Computers also teach more accurate pronunciation and can give us a better understanding of how sentences should be structured.
YP: Do you have to complete an internship as part of the course?
L: No, we don't. But we have to hand in a final year project.
YP: How many hours of class do you have a week?
L: The number of hours depends on the number of courses you take.
Generally, it's two hours of lectures and an hour's tutorial for each subject.
The professor divides the class into small groups and students attend tutorial sessions at different times.
During tutorial sessions, the tutor hands out supplementary exercises and answers questions about topics covered in the lectures.
YP: Which subject do you like best?
L: My favourite subject is computational linguistics.
I like it most because projects are assigned to us.
In most courses, there aren't many assignments or projects.
For computational linguistics, the final grade doesn't only depend on the exams. Marks from the projects are also counted.
Applicants have to obtain at least a pass in two AL subjects, or a pass in one AL subject and two AS subjects. A Grade E in AS Use of English and AS Chinese Language and Culture are also required.
With combined knowledge of languages and computers, graduates can find work in the information sector, with employment opportunities in government, commerce and industry.
Those who want a career in education can take up English teaching posts at secondary schools or universities.
Those with higher aspirations can further their studies and conduct qualitative research and publish papers at universities.