Extremely informational, well presented, with questions that stimulate reflection. The optional reading material is food for thought. I hope to see more courses from the same professor and University.
I've taken a number of online courses on linguistics now, and this one was by and far the best. The material covered is indepth and engaging, and the professor's enthusiam makes the videos a delight.
by Valdas M•
Interesting course. It's difficult to cover everything in such a short course. The last two weeks' classes have not much to do with "miracles" of languages. I would say these things are common to all languages. I would have preferred to concentrate more on firs 4 weeks topics. This all stuff with politeness does not fit much in the topic. It's more sociolinguistics, cultural studies etc. And there is not much to learn. There is no much valuable information to remember. I liked more the beginning about sounds, typology of languages etc. This all stuff with positive and negative face was a little strange. Specially, it was difficult to do the tests with these "faces". Listening exercises were quite OK, but for instance to decode Chinese without transcription was impossible task. All these exercises with language mistakes was also strange. If we all do pronunciation mistakes in all languages what’s the point to study these mistakes? What's the point to see what mistake is made in Basque, Gungbe or any other language? I saw this exercise as pure waste of my time. So, my general suggestion would be to concentrate on pure linguistic things (first 4 weeks) and do not go into field of sociology, neuro or psycholinguistics. BTW this couple of students is not balanced because the young man dominates all discussions. The girl should be more active or the man less active.
by Warren C•
Too difficult for an introductory course. Ambiguous information. Time estimates are way off. Not what I expected. Rather provincial in its approach. Guess I'm just not cut out to be a linguist. Answers to the tests are not available or derivable from the lectures and required readings. I've read a lot of articles and books, particularly about neurolinguistics and the intersection between linguistics and genomics and the information in the course does not really assist with understanding what I've been reading, though I can sort of see how the authors might have made use of some of the things presented here. The interview with Chomsky was particularly useless.
by Nina F•
This course was interesting. It was interesting learning about linguistics and the various things related to languages. The only problem was that the quizzes were too hard. I feel like the quizzes were too hard for an introductory course to Linguistics. Many times, it was frustrating because it took me two or three tries just to pass them. I feel like this had a lot to do with how the questions were set up and through how it seemed like the answers to those questions weren't in the source material. My one recommendation would be to improve the quizzes.
by Laura J•
The content was very interesting and offered in coherent ways. The quizzes, however, were more challenging than they needed to be. A lot of the questions were asked in unusual and unclear ways which made answering it very difficult because I wasn't always sure what exactly they were asking. I also found it difficult to know what exactly the answers meant as they often didn't correspond exactly to the way things were said in the lectures and readings, so even if you followed the content closely the answers didn't always make sense.
by Nobuko H•
This course is good for those who are interested in linguistics and thinking of starting a professional linguistic studies. The course introduces some major linguistic subfields: linguistic typologist, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, phonologist, etc., but it's only introductions. You need to delve into the subfield you've got interested in if you want to really know about the specifics. A variety of reading materials are offered, and you can explore miracles of languages as much as you like!
by María P S•
The ethnologue is a mess, and I don't think a linguistics course should depend on a website to pass not only some questions, but almost half of a module, because you can understand perfectly what people is saying about their languages and you can formulate accurate questions that can be answered with the information given, and not researching in a web that has different content than the course provides, or changes the numbers, or absolutely ignore some important facts of languages searched.
by Jeremy S•
It is a decent course that teaches the very basics of linguistics. It covers the topics of a Linguistics 101 course but no topic is explored in depth. It seems that some of the topics mentioned are barely even touched (e.g., Week 5 - Language in the Brain). Professor Oostendorp is a good lecturer but the lectures are not presented for easy notetaking. You should be prepared to make your own notes from the video lectures given few summaries/bulleted lists/etc.
by Benjamin V•
I watched all the videos, but did not do the coursework.
I was a total beginner on the subject. The videos were very well made, and quite nice to watch.
However, I feel like the material was a bit too easy for my taste. I would have enjoyed a course that delved into "harder things".
For someone who doesn't like as much "hard challenges" as I do, I do think that this course is a nice introduction to the subject.
by Z A•
I've watched the first module and it was good.
Only that the website that we are supposed to get the answers for the first week's quiz ( the last 5-6 questions ) from, is not working. And I have to take the quiz several times to find the answers. Please do something about it for the future learners, thank you.
by Alisha K•
I thought this class was very interesting, but I, like many others, was frustrated by the quizzes. Also, I tried to do the first honors assignment, but was at a big disadvantage using a language I don't know. How am I supposed to come up with counter examples when I don't know the language?
by Trixy L•
Hard to understand with the accents at times and I have gone through the videos while trying to find an answer for the quiz and it was never mentioned in the video so sometimes the quizzes don't match what was taught. Otherwise, I learned a lot.
by Eva O•
Very intersting but very time-consuming: in order to pass the tests with its tricky and detail-focused questions you need to read the questions carefuly and review all material a second time.
by Kash N•
I was expecting that the course would cover IPA in-depth. It's pretty unconscionable that an intro linguistics course would not pay deep attention to this topic.
by Justin H•
The quizzes in this class were the most difficult and confusing. I have had dozens of Coursera classes, but this course was the most troublesome.
by BeverlyR C•
I think this course has interesting participants however I found it difficult to follow and did not do well in this course.
by Zaida V L G•
It is a good course for an introducion to Linguistics. However, it is a ittle technical
by Tiffany O M B - R•
I had a great and much needed introduction.
by Mathew M•
There were a lot fo sloppy mistakes in the videos, I looked up a lot fo the stuff up outside of the course (which I had to because it was explained to me on the course like i was a 5 year old) then when i tried to give genuinely thought out answers from my outside readings the course said it was wrong, i don't know who to believe but i have to beieve it is the course because there have been a number of times when a concept hasn't been explained in depth enough and the quiz has not reflected the quizzes. also a lot of the time the outside reading does not reflect the lectures, i did like the informants but this wasn't recapped and none of my errors were corrected before i had to go in to the quiz. You could add more videos after the informants to explain what we should have been looking for. Sometimes the task during this wasn' made explicitly clear. I did like the phonology part, that was fairly traightforward and well explained.
by kelly s•
The course and videos are wonderful the speakers are engaging and the content fascinating. As a more casual student I am finding the quizzes far too difficult. I am a very smart person and I am struggling with understanding the phonetic alphabet and other very technical aspects of this course. I will be dropping the course because while I wanted to learn the concepts I do not have the time or patience to get that granular for a course of this type.
by Nathan T•
Interesting content, but issues with broken links needed to complete quizzes while they were due. Needs better explanation of how to use other resources. Many of the quiz questions are arbitrary, rather than really testing knowledge gained in the class. The lectures are still useful, and would recommend doing this as a free course, but see no use in paying for a certificate on completion of the course.
by Hank F•
Instructions were confusing or absent in parts of the course. See forum. I also was left with no practical application of what I learned. I enjoyed the studies which showed language changing within cultural divisions
by James D•
Very slow moving. Feels like you have to sit through a lot for very obvious information. I would recommend http://ielanguages.com/linguistics/ for a more detailed and more concise introduction.
no question that prof is very educated and knowledgeable but course was not quite what i expected.
I find the content not well structure
the quizzes can be trivial and misleading.
by Gabrielle s•
Interesting but way too difficult to pass the weekly exams.
by Benjamin A•
In short, DO NOT PURCHASE this course. I can only recommend the videos and sources it offers, everything else felt like a frustrating mess. I will go into much more detail below.
I thought that the information would be interesting and thought-provoking. I was only partially correct, however. The professor was engaging and enthusiastic, but almost no other parts of the course felt "finished".
First, in the lessons, there were plenty of mistakes on-screen including "Title" in the place of an actual title. There were also some weird spellings and confusing slides. During the videos, there would also be random pop-ups that were very poorly thought up.
The next problem is the discussion section. They are not for questions or discussion. I have no idea how to even check replies from other students.
Finally (even though there are more problems), the tests are terrible. The questions are incredibly confusing, ambiguous and the "correct" answer is arguably incorrect. The final test even had a question that required you to remember something that one of their videos missed.
Oh one more thing, many links they give are broken and the answers to tests are no longer accessible.
I do not recommend this course for anything more than basic information and entertaining interviews with experts.