The study of linguistics at ANU draws upon the expertise of the largest concentration of linguists in the southern hemisphere, and of people teaching the largest number of languages in Australia. The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Languages builds on more than forty years of research at ANU in descriptive and comparative study of the languages of Australia, the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, South-East Asia, China and Japan. Many of our staff are involved in applying this work in contexts such as language teaching, forensic linguistics, interaction analysis and linguistics, language policy and language politics.
Linguistics involves studying the nature of human language, from a scientific point of view. It seeks to understand the nature of language as a universal human faculty and means of communication. Graduate courses in Linguistics are designed to cater for the needs of students who have an interest in meaning, communication and cognitive studies; want to help extend the frontiers of what is known about the nature of human language; or are specialising in the study of a particular language or language family.
Whereas many other Applied Linguistics programs focus primarily on the teaching and learning of languages, specifically through their TESOL offerings, the ANU does not limit itself to Applied Linguistics in this traditional sense. This program is in close contact with the Linguistics program, the Translation program, the European, Asian and Middle Eastern languages programs, and Applied Linguistics. This means that students studying Applied Linguistics at the ANU can draw on the expertise of a variety of researchers who are working within very different, yet related, fields.