Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Ruth Norman

Ruth is a fourth year student with a major in Linguistics and a minor in World Language Studies. She is a recipient of Principal's Scholarship ( twice in a row), the Wallace Near Prize In Spanish as well as has been on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction since her first year. She spent 2017 winter term on an exchange in Netherlands. She chose Linguistics for her love of science and languages:

"My decision to study linguistics arose from the combination of two of my passions: science and language. In high school, I really enjoyed science and math, and I had originally planned on studying neuroscience in university. However, I also loved learning languages, and took a keen interest in grammar and the underlying science of language itself. When I came across linguistics, I knew it would be the perfect way to pursue both fields at the same time.

It may sound cliché, but I truly love what I study. I like that linguistics involves problem solving and analytical thinking, and it really is such an interesting discipline. Since language is so integral to human communication, it’s easy to connect course material to everyday life; I’m always happily rambling away to my friends about what I’ve learned. Linguistics also complements my minor in World Language Studies nicely. Not only can I use my knowledge of various languages to further illustrate linguistic concepts, but having an understanding of language in general allows me to learn new languages much more easily. As well, I love that most courses in the department have small class sizes. You can get to know your professors and peers even in first and second year, and everyone is always willing to offer support or to further discuss a particular area of interest. There is definitely a strong sense of community within the department as a whole.

When I graduate from Queen’s, I plan to obtain my Master's in Interpretation; I look forward to pursuing a career that will allow me to travel the globe while helping others to bridge communication barriers. 

Apart from academics, linguistics at Queen’s has also provided me with two unique work opportunities: one as a Teaching Assistant for LING100, and the other as a Research Assistant for one of my professors. Both have provided me with valuable experience that can be hard to obtain at the undergraduate level. As well, I have just returned from a semester on exchange at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where I was able to improve my Dutch and take courses on unique topics such as multilingualism and language acquisition. The variety of opportunities available to Queen’s students in languages and linguistics continues to surprise me, and I cannot wait to see what my final year here will hold as I continue to pursue my passion for language.”