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.
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.
Oct 09, 2017
This was my first Coursera course and I found it immensely informative and interesting. Professor van Oostendorp seems to have a genuine enthusiasm for linguistics, which made working through the modules rather enjoyable. I also greatly appreciated the extras (i.e. discussions with his students, interviews, etc.) as they really helped to solidify my understanding of the material. My only quibble is I wish the correct answers were provided after completion of each quiz, as this would have helped with my review. But overall, I loved this course and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in linguistics!
By Isadora S V d R U•
Jul 05, 2016
A wonderful course on principles in Linguistics presented by this lovely professor Dr. Marc van Oostendorp and enriched with the discussions with Marten and Inge. As a Linguistics and Literature student, I felt that they found what was a very nice way to spread this knowledge and, in my case, a more concise discipline in which I could refresh my memory for somethings but also get to know new informations and different points of view and, at last, as an observer from Brazil, to compare a little how these things are discussed here from there. Thank you very much for the hard work and the entousiasm!
By Iushchencko A•
Jun 26, 2016
I would like to say an enormous "Thank You" to everyone who contributed to this Course to be accessible: to professor Marc van Oostendorp, to Marten and Inge, to informants, to translators, redactors, designers and all whom I didn't mention but who were those thanks to whom we now know all we know and share this with others! The Course specifically opened to me that our living in four walls and thinking about ourselfs mostly hides us from all the beatiful unknown things happening in the world: from other cultures, other ways of looking at things! Indeed, folks, live in peace, let it be so!
By Diana C•
Oct 09, 2020
No tengo formación en el área, no hablo inglés y sin embargo me divertí muchísimo. El profesor van Oostendorp y sus estudiantes Inge y Martin resultaron muy buenos conductores de un proceso que me permitió: rectificar mis nociones básicas, conocer la variedad de soluciones/caminos que es capaz de idear el ser humano y asomarme al trabajo de especialistas.
Los recursos disponibilizados, lejos de ser banales, tampoco imponen niveles inalcanzables. Agradezco especialmente la transcripción (aunque sea en inglés), de otra manera, no hubiera podido completar el curso.
By Christopher L•
Dec 30, 2016
It is very nice to see an introductory course in linguistics, especially for it being free and available online. I would not have had an opportunity like that anywhere here locally, which makes this course special to me. The instructor and his pupils were paramount to the learning experience, and with the addition of interviews and recommended readings, this course excels in tactically defining and showing what linguists do and what they study. I want to thank Leiden University and Marc van Oostendorp for providing such a professionally delivered MOOC.
By Sandeep V•
Jul 16, 2020
Excellent introduction to the subject of linguistics. Thoroughly enjoyed my time with this course, and it has piqued my interest in taking this further.
I loved the way Prof Dr van Oostendorp presents this course, with genuine interest, understanding, humour and nuance. I really liked the teaching style and would love to have more contact with him. And I also liked the way Marten and Inge were part of the course, and how they interacted with the professor and with me.
The course is structured well and is easy to finish even while one has a day job.
By Tyson W•
Jun 18, 2016
Miracles of Human Language is a wonderful introduction to the field of linguistics. Prof.dr. M. van Oostendorp is an adept and engaging lecturer and his knowledge of his field is vast. His discussions with Marten and Inge were engaging and his interactions with the language informants was, well... informing! I only wish I could contribute a language to his MOOC as well as participate in his research and work at Universiteit Leiden. Thank you, Dr. van Oostendorp, Marten, Inge, Roberta, Khalid, Han, Varun, Enoch, and Beste. It's been quite a ride!
Jul 10, 2020
Teaching is not an easy job, even more so online, but this course was so well done with diverse course materials, various speakers and especially such an enthusiastic teacher. Probably one of the best course I had in my entire education. I wish there was a module specifically about language history, because that's what I'm interested in the most, but really it's a great introduction to a field that was very foreign to me. Too bad there isn't more course about linguistics on here, but at least we're given reading recommendations to follow up.
By Nicte C•
Oct 25, 2020
I absolutely loved this course!! I had no idea what Linguistics really was, and this course explained it perfectly. The Professor is extraordinary. It is very well structured, clearly explained, the part of the informants is very illustrative but sometimes difficult to interpret, which makes it all the more challenging. The exams are very tough so you have to study a lot, which is great,, because a free course doesn't mean that it will be easy. I wish there were more courses on this subject by the same institution, it was fantastic.
By Daniela Z•
Jun 22, 2020
An excellent course. Easy to follow, easy to understand, and it encourages you to comment and have dialogues in the forum for every topic. The quizzes are a little bit hard, but that's expected from a well thought out and put up course made by university professors. It has been really fun to follow for six weeks, which I think is a well designed period to learn the basics of Linguistics. Also, it has a lot of videos of informants with different languages so it's very diverse. Thank you so much. I'll revisit these contents later.
By Rahul M S•
Sep 19, 2020
The professor taught the material in a very clear and understandable way. Having live examples using various language informants was also very informative (the only qualm I would have is that the Mandarin Chinese videos should be transliterated in a more readable format, most of it was incomprehensible due to my unfamiliarity with any aspect of the language). The reading material and books were also really interesting. Overall, I learnt a great deal in this course and I think I have a better idea of the field of linguistics.
By G S S•
Aug 20, 2020
I wholeheartedly like to thank Dr. Marc van Oostendorp and his team for presenting this MOOC course is the best possible manner. I really gained good knowledge and developed lots and lots of interest toward language and linguistics. This course has almost covered major aspects of human language and linguistics. In my opinion this course gives a very good platform for those who would like do research in Language and Linguistics. Interviews with some of the eminent persons in the field Language and Linguistics was excellent.
By Emily H•
Oct 03, 2016
I found the course very informative, there was quite a lot of information in there for only six weeks of study but it didn't feel overwhelming either. Professor Marc van Oostendorp was very engaging in his presentation of the material, and I liked the fact that his students were there to ask questions as well. I also liked how the language informants were used - I was able to practice what I had learned in the other videos by analysing their speech patterns. Overall, I was quite impressed by this course.
By Yuchen L•
Jan 30, 2020
This is my first Coursera course and I love it. The course is student-friendly with classes elaborately designed and informative with lots of source readings. The forum is one of the best parts of the course. I learn how to think questions like a linguist. And from informants of different background, I know there are so many interesting languages existing in our world. As the course name shows that it is an introduction to Linguistics, my interests towards the linguistics is well developed. Thank you.
By Angela D K•
Aug 04, 2020
This was a really wonderful online course - the best I've done yet (and I've done many).
The content was fascinating, varied and challenging and the lecturer's passion for his subject and learning in general was a pleasure to share.
I particularly liked the use of informants which gave real examples of languages and the discussion aspect, although personally I got very little feedback for my comments.
No matter, this is an exemplary online course and a brilliant introduction into the field.
By Kévin S•
Jan 16, 2020
Excellent course ! Professor van Oostendorp is a good pedagogue and the discussions of Marten and Inje put well in perspective the knowledge acquired ! As a future practitioner (English teaching and coaching), this MOOC was an exceptional source of information for me and will definitely help me in explaining better the way languages work and are shaped.
In addition, I would be happy if there were other courses by the University of Leiden to learn more about specific aspects/subjects of linguistics
By Hugo E G L•
Apr 14, 2017
Overall, this course was a great experience. As a student of English as a second language, trust me when I say that it helped me a lot with the subject "linguistics" at college. Nonetheless, I must say that this course was tough! I don’t know, maybe, because English is not my mother tongue but at times I certainly felt that I couldn’t keep up with some of the assignments. Nevertheless, if you give your best, you will make it. Also, if you are looking for a challenge…. well, this is your course.
By Cher R•
Nov 13, 2016
I enjoyed this challenging course on linguistics. I appreciated that the course materials were available as one file so I could both read the text and watch the videos. The videos contained a quiz inside that kept me engaged. The interviews and Q&A sessions were a valuable way to present new information. I obtained two books from the suggested reading material to further my learning. In the end, I bought the certificate as a way to say thanks to the team for such a great course. Bravo!
By Andrew C•
Mar 09, 2017
A very enjoyable, engaging course which touches on the fundamentals of Linguistics. I found the professor, as well as the assistants delightful, and the language informants were also very exciting to have. It was challenging at a few points despite my background and interest in Linguistics, however, it was well worth the effort.
I sincerely hope I can take more courses from Leiden, or perhaps study there one day. This course reaffirmed my interest in Leiden from 10 years ago.
By jamie b•
Sep 10, 2018
This is course for those who love language and also for those who want to explore the miracle of language . Pro. Ostendrop and his team breaks down the syllabus into a bit size and in very friendly manner . Its like we're sitting in a live class room. In the middle of the module there are interviews from experts such as Noam Chomsky, we all know he's a mammoth figure in linguistic realm. Thanks Coursera and thanks all the teams who are involved in creating this course.
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.
By neddar k•
Aug 28, 2019
Great course! Enjoyed it no end! Clearly so much love was put into the making of this program! It is both interesting and full of new information. Shows different sides of profession, so that people like me, new to the theme, could see what linguists actually do. Especially loved readings, as the articles given weren't overly tough, but presented a ton of information on different themes. Can't even start describing how sad I am that the course it at an end!
By Evan S•
Mar 11, 2019
This was an exciting course that uses real people to demonstrate linguistic concepts. It was a great idea to have speakers of less internationally familiar languages such as Gungbe and Berber to demonstrate how it is possible to understand the basics of a language's structure (despite having no prior knowledge of that particular language).The video discussions and interviews were a nice way to break up lectures and provide real-life context to the course.
By Amelia L•
Aug 27, 2019
Thank you so much!!!! I loved it >w<
I had been waiting for this because I enjoy learning about linguistics but I don't knew where to start, definitely this course was a miracle.
All the resources had a high quality and were a great advantage to understand the subject, it was very funny to analyze different languages (especially in the last section), I learned a lot of things about culture, as well.
Hoping all is well, congratulations for this course. <3
By Maria E R G•
Jun 17, 2018
The course is well structured, the tutorials through videos are excellent, sometimes it is necessary to search for more information, as it is the case of the lab video (the cochran implants). It is a pity that additional readings are not available through kindle or ibooks as their cost is better than the traditional books. I am going to pay for the certificate, I do not need it, but really the work put into the course rates more than 10.