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 Mirko M•
Professor van Oostendorp was a big plus and asset to this course. I would have really liked to have him as a professor at the Uni. I'm not giving 5 stars because I believe the estimated workload (in terms of time) for the mandatory reading material is at times vastly underestimated (like with the article on typology in module 1 and the audio lecture in module 6, for instance). Additionally, the way the forum is now, it is basically impossible to keep track of your own contributions and others' replies, which fatally undermines interaction between course participants.
I found the information and structure of this course to be very entertaining and engaging! The only problem is with the quizzes, though this is partly due to the way Coursera formats them. I had to retake most of them multiple times, either because their were actual problems with the answer (and as the forums will tell you they have not been fixed for years) or because they are worded sometimes quite tricky. Otherwise, I learned a ton and feel I have a much stronger base on the subject than before hand. Concepts are taught in memorable ways.
by Laurent G•
I think this course was very interesting, and quite frankly it would deserve a 4.5 stars rating. My only (light) remark would be that I would have hoped more details on the research studies the teacher presents. It's only at the very end, in the society and linguistics part that we get to see some detailed results from an academic study. Also, I would have liked more on historical linguistics, but I know that was not part of the initial curriculum. Overall, kudos to Leiden University's linguistic team, this was a great course.
by Emil M•
The course is a lightweight introduction to Linguistics. If you are absolutely new to linguistics, it will provide you with enough information for further research and self-development. There are some really interesting facts provided by the required reading of the course.
What I mostly liked about the course is the list of additional literature. What I mostly didn't like are quizzes - I little bit too reliant on the question formulation. The only quiz that I really liked was about syntactic analysis of informants' sentences.
by M C•
I appreciate that the videos were intentionally taken at close range and they have transcriptions that I can read when I am losing my focus. I learned so much from this course and it has inspired me to further analyze and understand my own languages and my own culture. The quizzes are challenging but that is how to make tests! I am inspired to formulate quizzes about my mother tongue following Coursera's pattern. Thank you!
by Simon C•
I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot; I particular appreciated it as it helped me understand more of the issues I faced when learning languages. I particular enjoyed the prcatical aspect, not the theorectical so much: I was completely baffled by the section on "face" and would have appreciated a fuller explanation & more examples. The course videos were well made and engaging.
Thank you for a great course!
by Nihar M•
It was an excellent course with lots of essential information. However, I wished the information in the interviews was more structured, as it was taken into account that few of us are actual beginners in linguistics. Also, I wish the tests did not use questions involving memorising examples by language informants said, because not only is it another language, there are many examples from 6 different languages.
by Soroosh A•
This course does a decent job of covering the main pillars of linguistics and puts the theories into practice by giving us a chance to apply our learnings of each module to real-life languages, and it even includes native speakers of those languages.If you're new to linguistics or want to brush up on your previous learnings, this course is definitely a great supplementary resource.
by Josef P•
A great course, it contains very broad discussion of the problems of linguistics.
Quite demanding quizes force students to watch videos carefully and to read the required reading. This leads to better understanding of the matter.
The videos in the course are great too, the explanation of prof. Oostendorp is very lively and entertaining. The interviews with specialists are unique.
by Bettina R•
I think that the course was a great introduction to Linguistics, the world of languages. I very much enjoyed all the lectures and especially the interviews of the different Languages Specialists.
The Questions in the exams were not that easy. I would have liked to get real feedback and the correct answers to all the questions.
Thank you for the possibility to study online!
by Michelle B•
Excellent course, though I found it difficult. The exercises that required listening to students speaking different languages were particularly hard for me, probably because I speak only English and my ear is poor. Nevertheless, I persevered and feel I got a great deal from the course. I would like to take the next course in the sequence, if there were one.
by laura d•
really good and interesting, the quizzes (especailly the final one) were a bit irritating when you had to keep flicking back to previous videos on the same page (the language informants); I felt that the final quiz should have been exclusively what has been lerned rather than going back to langauge informant videos. But otherwise, a fantastic free resource.
by Rafael C•
An excellent course providing a strong basis in the technical areas of linguistics, particulary useful when you have prior nowledge in a cognitive science.
Nonetheless, some questions of the test tend to be a bit confusing and would benefit from a little revision - but the tests remain doable!
A very interesting course, completely worth your time.
by zanko r•
This course provides a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to linguistics, including a wide range of topics, such as syntax, semantics, morphology, and psycholinguistics. The theories are explained in a very clear manner, and the different interviews enlighten the learner and inspire him to pursue linguistics with ever greater passion.
by Liu M•
Firstly, I'd like to thank the professor for bringing us such a great class on linguistics! The course gives a general introduction on what linguistics is about in quite a balanced depth, not too deep to scare people away while not too shallow that you may feel boring. The missing star is due to some vague instructions of quizzes.
by Olivia C•
I learned very much in this course, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have taken it. I found some of the quiz questions to be unnecessarily difficult because of how specific they were to the videos of the language informants, but overall, I enjoyed the course and the wide range of supplemental materials that are offered.
by NESTOR A C G•
Great course. Even though it says An Introduction... I found it demanding.
By the way, when I started the course it was possible to see the number of hours a week needed to complete the course (3 - 4 hours) on the course description. However, now it's not possible and I need this important information a.s.a.p.
by Jemima O•
Overall, I enjoyed taking this course. It was challenging, but it helped me to develop my skills in reading journal articles and assessing university level material. It had interesting case studies and gave me a good grounding in the field of linguistics. Thanks University of Leiden and Dr. Marc van Oostendorp!
by Rasmus B•
Very interesting content, very interesting reading material. Good course intstructor. Only negative part: the exam questions were sometimes weird and felt as if they were set up to trick me; there were some cases where I really was sure that I knew the answer, but reading the alternatives made no sense at all.
by Nelli S•
Why I start this course? Miracles of Human Languages seemed to be unusual and exceptional. This knowledge gave me inspiration not only of new openings of Linguistic but also vision how to operate in our great world of languages. Thank you to the team of professor Marc van Oostendorp and Inge with Martin.
by Vexin V•
Overall, I think that this course has definitely lived up to its name. The modules are well-organised, and are taught with comfortable pacing. Perhaps it needs to polish the quality of the videos a little, but other than that, I highly recommend it to people who wish to start their journey on linguistics.
by Paisley G•
There was a lot of interesting information in this course, and I liked the interviews and guest speakers of other languages. If I could change anything, it would be the wording on some of the quiz questions, and the difficulty of a beginner course asking for some of the analysis with the guest speakers.
by Nora A•
A nice refresher for people who already have a linguistic background, and a nice introduction for beginners also. My problem was all the weird questions about the informants. Some of the questions are really hard to understand which makes them impossible to answer. I'm glad I took the course though!
by Jody T•
I have zero background in linguistics, and I found this course interesting and educational. The quizzes however do have some issues such as a couple of wrong or unclear questions as well as arbitrary questions, so be aware that you may have to resort to trial and error in some cases.
by Joe A•
Great introductory course. Helped me a lot to understand what linguists do even if I didn't quite get all the key ideas which weren't all explained in depth enough. The examples from languages are helpful but require quite a good ear so I guess it takes some gift for languages.