At UBC Vancouver, one unique course is encouraging undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to come together and explore the power of language. Cross-listed in six faculties, Living Language: Science and Society is a result of the interdisciplinary efforts of Janet Werker, Professor in the Department of Psychology, and Mark Turin, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology.
The class enables students to lead their own exploration of language as it applies to all domains of human life – from the creation and acquisition of spoken language to writing systems, texts of all kinds, arts, culture, science and technology. “We hope this will better enable [students] to harness their knowledge – both directly and in successful communication with others – as they move forward in their lives,” said Janet.
Offered for the first time in September 2018, Living Language: Science and Society was the first university-wide class in language sciences. The course is an example of UBC’s efforts to encourage stronger collaborations, in alignment with Strategy 14 (Interdisciplinary Education) of its strategic plan. UBC has also identified Interdisciplinary Education as one of the institution’s six priority areas for the next two years.
To learn more about the Living Languages course, read the Faculty of Arts’ interview with Professors Janet Werker and Mark Turin.