Sep 24, 2017
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.
Jan 03, 2017
Excellent! Really enjoyed and learnt a lot. I did not expect such a great content and professionalism in a free course. I am definitely purchasing for the title.\n\nThanks to all the team! Great job!
By Samantha S•
Mar 22, 2019
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 Robert C C•
Nov 05, 2018
I failed to see what the quizzes had to do with the lectures. There were errors, apparently, and I couldn't see the connection between the foreign language informants and what we were supposed to do in the quizzes. I was thankful that the discussions and peer assignments/ reviews were not required. If it were not for the mentors who helped with some of my trouble spots, I'm not sure what I would have. Even some of the questions on the final were barely discussed in the lesson. The professor Marc made it interesting and at times funny, and thus he did a great job, but because of the quizzes I nearly qu
By Ion B•
Oct 07, 2018
At times I found the exam questions frustratingly ambigous, so a review of those would be in order so that future misconceptions can be avoided. The other thing that I found problematic is that the course offers a lot of trivial information, so at times I felt that I was wasting my time. In other words, it is maybe too much introductory in character, something which some persons would appreciate, but it was not for me. The best part of the course, in my opinion, are the interviews. I got the chance to hear a lot interesting stuff there. The language informants part is quite nicely done, too. It gives you the chance to sharpen your attention listening to language. The professor makes himself quite enjoyable till the end. It would be really nice if he considers next to start a more advanced MOOC on linguistics, one which will involve more readings and a chance to delve more deeply into the miracles he so cheerfully talked about.
By Craig H•
Jun 05, 2016
The course itself is fine. The quizzes, however, are so frustrating as to lower the enjoyment of the whole thing. Numerous answers are just factually wrong. You end up retaking the quiz time and again and then selecting random answers just to pass.
By Barbara M•
Jun 14, 2016
The course was often confusing and the quizzes came down to a question of trial and error. I found this very frustrating. Although the topics were interesting, I didn't find them very well presented in spite of the enthusiasm of the lecturer. But there was a lot of ambiguity and bias and the inability to discuss except through the forums was off-putting.
It wouild be good to know why answers were wrong in the quizzes particulalry when you had put a lot of effort into studying them.
In the final exam, there are questions which are evidently wrong, both in their wording and in their marking and nothing has been done to remedy this in spite of the complaints in the discussion page.
By Jack K•
Jun 19, 2017
Professor Marc van Oostendorp has woven a lovely and living web of an introduction/refresher to Linguistics for anyone with the beginning of a serious interest. His enthusiasm and outright love of the discipline are infectious and are filtered by an evident and generous humanity. This works especially well in his choice of guest speakers who are without exception a joy to hear. He ties it all together at the end with William Labov's wonderful retrospective, showing the student that one doesn't have to be a follower of a particular school of thought to appreciate how its proponents generously pour their discipline, experience, skills, love and humanity into what they are doing. In so doing they, as well as the good Professor, share the essential lesson: approach language with all the scientific discipline you can muster but always keep in mind that it is something human, mysterious and very much alive, and always changing. Something that cannot be caged.
Why only two stars? One star off for each of the following:
First, it is too light and the required readings too short and too easy. Furthermore, there is an over focus on certain topics, especially politeness theory and speech errors, which doesn't really go anywhere. Other topics, such as approaches to syntactical analysis, cognitive linguistics, etc. could well be further explored.
Next, the structure of student participation should be enhanced to require much more lateral work (of better quality) among and between students currently taking the course. Much of the recent input was appallingly poor, leaving one with the impression that participants where just ticking boxes.
Finally, and most importantly, is the failure of the course on this commercial platform. The student receives many emails urging the purchase of a certificate or of other courses, but the course itself is not kept properly updated. It contains many errors that have not been corrected for quite some time. Most are not very important, but some, including a few patently incorrect quiz and exam answers (which have been cited and admitted in the Forum but not changed), are important. The student has, in effect, no way to check where s/he might have gone wrong. The student gets no up-to-date feedback. The course was free, a kind of teaser for the commercial product, but that gives Coursera all the more reason to keep it updated, to keep on improving it. One gets the impression, as things now stand, that Coursera cares about the money a little too much. That it has missed the balance between the search for profit and the search for meaning.
Coursera is letting this course, a lovely living thing, slowly die on the vine.
By Edmar O•
May 15, 2019
This course has helped me reactivate my writing and critical thinking skills. This has also reminded me of some linguistic principles that I am now applying in my language teaching job. Also, one of my goals is to look for some potential topics for research and the projects have given me some topics for consideration. The format of the course is comprehensive, informative and can be accessed smoothly. Prof. Dr. van Oostendorp explains the topics extensively and he interacts with Martin and Igne and the language informants as if he has everything in mind. The topics are full packed together with the readings. I enjoyed doing the fieldwork as they are potential research topics.
Thank you Coursera!
By Isadore S•
Dec 31, 2018
This course was very useful despite that I did not do it for credit. I have, overall been very content with the course. I would like to thank the professor, Mr. van Oostendorp and everyone else who helped for creating such an informative and interesting course. I would recommend this course to just about anyone.
By Rawan A•
Jan 16, 2019
Was helpful course. I learned a lot of things from this course.
By Lucas V d C•
Jan 05, 2019
Great course, but the quizzes can be a bit too demanding and without clear answers.
By Sarah B•
Apr 04, 2018
I would not recommend this course to anyone interested in an introductory linguistics course. While I understood the content of the lectures, discussion videos, interviews, language informant videos, and required reading, the quizzes were far too difficult for a beginner course. I found myself wanting to drop the course, and the discussion forums show I am not alone in my frustrations throughout the six weeks.
By Toby P•
May 13, 2016
I do not like this course. There are far too many prejudicial ideas - even in the first unit. A language does not have to be used by a single / unified group to define it as a language. Esperanto is a perfectly valid language, fully capable of expression, and does not belong to a single / unified group. There are no native speakers, either - which does not rob it of the fact that there are winners of the Nobel Prize for literature who write in it. The things you are saying about language are not merely willfully ignorant, they are highly offensive & prejudicial. I cannot conscience supporting a course like this.
By Maxine X•
Jun 28, 2016
This course is not so good. A lot of things are just come from the instructor's head without correcting reference from high quality literature. He can say whatever he think is right. But I would not say all animals do not have complex language systems, or we have one single origin of language. I would also suggest the instructor to interview more world-famous linguists, not just play simple ask and answer with his students.
The examples of different languages in the later weeks are interesting. But somehow I expect some better understanding of more aspects of languages. In general I would say it still has so much space for improvement. I would not recommend anyone to spend time on learning this course.
By Gehad G M•
Feb 12, 2017
I don't know what is the problem as I study the videos well and when it come to taking quiz i never pass so I watch the videos over and aver again but it always the same result
the part of other languages I'm not sure what is the point of it I mean does it help in English to know how to say for example hi in other languages plz if anyone passed the course . could u plz help me
By PRAVESH S•
Dec 04, 2018
This course is the best course if you are even remotely interested in Linguistics. It starts with very basic concepts and actually reaches quite deep. The resources, interviews, explanations have been well thought out and designed with the beginner in mind. In fact, it is probably the best course I have done on Coursera across any subject. Thanks Prof. Marc, Martin & Inge !
By Patricia Z•
Dec 19, 2018
It was my first experience with an online course and it was excellent! The materias were very interesting and difficult but not impossible. I'm very grateful for everything!
By Peter B•
Dec 25, 2018
A really excellent introduction to many aspects of linguistics (from the sound to the social level):
Kudos to the wonderful Marc van Oostendorp and his team!
But, beware dear reader: Some of the quizzes are really "tricky" :-)
By MIGUEL M•
Jan 02, 2019
This Course is a real Miracle. The way is conducted, the material that is assigned could not be better. The inclusion of Native Speakers of different languages, as well as the participation of the Students : Inge and Marten made me feel as one more of them. Thank You very Much
By Anna N K•
Jan 03, 2019
Very complecated but exciting!
By Steven J•
Nov 28, 2018
Very good content, concise, and informative. I really enjoyed it, thank you!
By Elena B•
Nov 29, 2018
This course provides a great overview of the different Linguistic's sub-disciplines. I started this class with zero knowledge about Linguistic and I found the classes very engaging. They motivated me to get more information about the topics under discussion. Professor Marc van Oostendorp is an excellent presenter and was able to make the videos interesting. Great Job!!
By Nasser H•
Jan 20, 2019
By yan l•
Feb 13, 2019
Interesting and engaging. Like the professor a lot, so engaging.
By Maddy C•
Feb 20, 2019
Excellent intro to the field!! Thank you so much
By Spyros V•
Feb 20, 2019
I learned a lot of things, but most importantly I have a conceptual understanding of the different components that create the structure of language. The student will listen to a lot of different languages, will be introduced to various branches of linguistics and will create a solid base on which they can further study the interesting topic of human language. The educator was great and the students (Martin and Inge) are relatable, polite and smiling. Great course.