Linguistics Concentration

Christine Bobal, 2012

Christine Bobal

A master’s degree was not part of the plan. Christine received her BA in French from the College of William & Mary and moved to Paris to teach English for a year. Upon her return to the US, she came to Mason as a non-degree student. After two courses, she decided to pursue a TESL certificate. It only took two more classes for Christine to fall in love with linguistics and apply for the MA program.

The MA program has given Christine a solid foundation and interest in all the subfields of linguistics. The syntax courses showed her a new way to conceptualize grammar, semantics illuminated the logical underpinnings of meaning, and phonology inspired her to analyze sound patterns. Whether investigating the syntactic differences between English and French possessive pronouns or phonologically reanalyzing Freud’s data on slips of the tongue, Christine took advantage of the opportunity to cultivate a deeper, more scientific understanding of language.

Christine also appreciated the TESL courses she took. Applied linguistics showed her how linguistic theory helps language teachers, and her teaching practicum at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute gave her invaluable classroom experience. In addition, Christine has held an ELI-funded position as an ESL specialist in the George Mason University Writing Center for the past three semesters.

Christine is honored to have received three awards in 2012: Outstanding Linguistics Graduate Student, the Robert Karlson prize for the outstanding English MA student, and Writing Center Tutor of the Year.