About the school
The School of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Melbourne was created in 1993 as the vehicle for providing excellence in language teaching and learning, and for ensuring wider access, across the University community, to high level competency in languages and cultures. Its organisational structure, in close association with the Asia Institute, and its outreach to the rest of the University through the Diploma in Languages are widely seen as models of best practice in the Australian system.
Drawing on the expertise of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC), the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL) and the Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross Cultural Communication (RUMACCC), the school promotes working together in language teaching, learning and assessment strategies. The School also provides a focal point for reflection and research in all areas of linguistics, and in the interface between language and culture.
Message from the Head of School
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the School of Languages and Linguistics. The School hosts teaching programs in European Studies and the most widely spoken European languages - French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish - as well as in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language.
With a combined total of over 100 researchers, including research staff and students as well as postdoctoral researchers and research fellows, the School is one of the greatest Language and Linguistics research centres in Australia, and indeed one of the finest in our part of the world.
The School hosts the Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, the Language Testing Research Centre and two research units: the Research Unit for Indigenous Language and the Research Unit on Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication. Research expertise in the school include areas as diverse as Australian English, cinema studies, popular culture, food studies, pragmatics and discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, language education, European and Latin-American literatures, travel writing, first and second language acquisition, gender and sexuality studies, gesture and sign language, health communication, language and identity, language and technology, language documentation and description, language and autism, memory studies, indigenous languages of Australia, second language testing and assessment, second language writing, speech perception and production, psycholinguistics, translation and cultural mediation.
Knowledge of European languages and cultures opens up innumerable career opportunities in all areas. As Australia's largest commercial partner, the European Union and its member states continue to play a key role not only in trade but also in military, technological, scientific, diplomatic, and cultural exchanges. Our languages are also of crucial importance in other rapidly growing, resource-rich regions such as Latin America and North Asia. The combined population of native speakers of Spanish, Russian, French, German and Italian is almost 1 billion. That figure is much higher, of course, if non-native speakers are also considered - and, with the exception of English, some of these languages remain the most widely studied languages around the world by a vast margin. Understanding how Language, any language, works is essential not only in order to learn a language, but also in order to understand how languages are born, how they change and grow, and how and why some are abandoned and die. From writing dictionaries and describing the inner mechanisms or grammars of different languages to getting the big picture of language use in specific societies (including Australian Indigenous peoples) and making sense of language regulation and policy-making, the fields of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics can help you understand what human language is and how it works. You can find the School in iconic Babel Building (Building 139) at the heart of the Parkville campus. After years of being used for other purposes, Babel reverted in 2010 to its original function as languages hub at the University of Melbourne. In its rich history, the School and its constituent departments have been home to some of the most prestigious and internationally renowned language scholars in Australia - from Alan R. Chisholm (French, 1888-1981) to Michael G. Clyne (Sociolinguistics,1939-2010). The School of Languages and Linguistics works closely with the Asia Institute and all the Schools in the Faculty of Arts in its advocacy for all language-related disciplines. The School engages actively with other language centres and agencies in Melbourne and nationwide. Its many international links include exchange and study abroad programs as well as research networking and collaborative research projects.
Whether you are a current or prospective student, a language researcher based in Australia or overseas, or a potential partner, I warmly invite you to join and explore the School. I trust that the information contained in these pages will provide you with useful and specific information on the School's activities in teaching, research and engagement, and also on its staff and internal organisation. On behalf of my colleagues, welcome, bienvenue, Willkommen, benvenuti, Добро пожаловать, bienvenidos to the School and enjoy your time with us.
Professor Alfredo Martínez-Expósito FAHA
Head of School
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
English as a Second Language subjects help students to study effectively at university by developing their academic English language. Subjects are available at undergraduate and graduate levels. Emphasis is placed on students' ability to communicate ideas clearly and fluently, using appropriate academic language.
- European studies
European studies is an interdisciplinary program that explores the cultures, societies and languages of Europe, broadly defined. In European Studies, students gain insights into the cultures, history and politics of modern Europe and have the opportunity to study one of the five European languages taught in the School.
- French studies
The overall objective of the French Studies program is to enable you to develop an ability to communicate effectively in the French language in order to enhance your understanding of the French-speaking world. This abilitiy will be achieved through the study of a variety of aspects of French-speaking cultures including literature, film, theatre, translation, travel writing, food and wine, immigration and identity.
- Gender studies (Interdisciplinary program)
The Gender Studies program at The University of Melbourne offers students the potential to learn about issues such as sexual difference, gender equity, queer politics and sexuality, from a variety of thought-provoking and provocative perspectives.
- German studies
The German studies program provides an intimate study environment with excellent access to talented and enthusiastic teaching staff with wide ranging interests in German language and culture. It has a strong reputation in both teaching and research and has an impressive publishing record over a broad range of topics.
- Italian studies
Italian studies may be taken as part of a major in the Faculty of Arts and can be studied for up to four years (honours) at undergraduate level and then continued at graduate level (coursework and research Masters and PhD). Areas of expertise include Italian cinema, history, linguistics, literature, and issues in teaching and learning.
- Linguistics and Applied linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in the School of Languages and Linguistics has strengths in many significant areas of research. It has an outstanding record in attracting nationally competitive publication and research grants and has established extensive collaborative networks with local and international scholars in the field.
- Russian studies
The Russian program within the School of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Melbourne has a full graduate (MA and PhD) and undergraduate program (Major). Students are able to take a Major in Russian with a combination of Russian language, linguistics and literature subjects, and, in addition, subjects taught in the departments of History and Political Science relating to Russia and Eastern/Central Europe.
- Spanish and Latin American studies
The Spanish and Latin American studies program at The University of Melbourne offers language options at all levels together with a growing number of cultural studies subjects in areas as diverse as literature (from Don Quixote to contemporary classics), cinema, popular culture, food studies, gender studies, and area studies in both European and Latin American studies.
Research groups describes existing and developing research centres, institutes and units housed within or closely associated with The School of Languages and Linguistics.
Current research projects
The academic staff of The School of Languages and Linguistics undertake many research projects and have been awarded many research grants. Details of current funded research can be found in this section.
Past Research Projects
The academic staff of The School of Languages and Linguistics undertake many research projects and have been awarded many research grants. Details of past research projects can be found in this section
This section contains a selective list of recent major publications (books and book chapters) in all our programs within The School of Languages and Linguistics.
There are discussion groups available for some study areas, for more information please see this section.
The School conducts research into a wide range of language practices, covering through its subjects a diversity of times, places and themes which reflect the latest developments in language and linguistic practice.
Information for current undergraduate students including policies, assessment and contact information.
Honours provides scope to refine your analytical skills and research techniques while significantly enhancing your range of options after graduation.
Information for current graduate research students, including facilities and resources, support and funding, student travel.
Study Abroad and Exchange
The Study Abroad and Exchange programs allow students to study at an overseas institution.
Language Exchange Club
Any student studying a langauge is welcome to join the program and converse with a native speaker. Come here to make friends, international contacts and imrpove you language skills naturally!
Friday 3:15pm - 4:15pmRUIL seminar: Dr Ruth Singer - Multiple systems or a flexible macro-system? How gender agreement var...Seminar/Forum
Thursday 9:15am - 3:30pmOld Time Accomplices: Mentors and Mentees conferenceConference
Wednesday 6:00pm - 7:00pmSongs to live by: the Arrernte Women's ProjectFree Public Lecture
Friday 3:15pm - 4:15pmSeminar: Dr Maïa Ponsonnet - Emotional prosodic features in Dalabon and Barunga KriolSeminar/Forum
Assoc. Professor Lesley Stirling recipient of a citation for outstanding contributions to student le...
Assoc. Professor Lesley Stirling has been distinguished with this citation for "sustained commitment to promoting a faculty culture of mentoring, for both students and staff, to create an environment where students can thrive."News
Language Placement Testing
All students wishing to enrol in a language subject for the first time are required to complete a background questionnaire online.
Horwood Recording Studio
The aim of the Horwood recording studio is to make sure that you can record in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, using modern technology to capture some of the best sound quality available.
Videos released by the School of Languages and Linguistics including information about study areas and presentations.
VCE written exam preparation kits for students and teachers.