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English Language Learner: Linguistics


Instructor Name:

Dr. Karen Lea



Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday




Virtual Education Software


23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F


Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Technical Support:




English Language Learner: Linguistics was written to help teachers understand concepts and terms related to educating students whose first language is not English. This course discusses how to understand theoretical foundations of linguistics and how to apply the knowledge and skills in linguistics in ELL classrooms and content classrooms.


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.



Course Materials (Online)


English Language Learner: Linguistics


Virtual Education Software, inc. 2020, Revised 2022


Dr. Karen Lea



Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violation of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.



Level of Application

This course is designed as an informational course for K–12 teachers, administrators, parents, and related service personnel. Information discussed is designed to help you better understand linguistics.



Expected Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking this course, participants will be able to demonstrate their ability to:

1.      Understand the origins, structure, and development of language and its application to other areas of humanistic and scientific knowledge.

2.      Understand the general characteristics of the structure of language, including its phonological sound system, word structure, and phrase and sentence patterns.

3.      Identify the terminology used to describe and analyze the structure and systems of language.

4.      Identify basic principles of linguistic theory.

5.      Consider linguistic diversity a wealth, not a problem.



Course Description

Information provided in this course has been divided into four chapters, which should be completed in the order in which they are presented in the program. Once you have completed these four chapters, you should have a better understanding of linguistics. This course will give you the knowledge and skills to create morphological trees and use the International Phonetic Alphabet. This course will include discussions on phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. You are strongly encouraged to read additional journal articles, books, and research materials outside the course material to gain a better understanding of current issues related to educating students who are learning English as a second language.


Chapter 1: What Is Linguistics?

This chapter focuses on the science and principles of linguistics, including sociolinguistics, pragmatics, structural linguistics, systemic-functional linguistics, discourse analysis, text linguistics, deep grammar, and current trends.


Chapter 2: Phonology & Phonetics

Chapter 2 focuses on the knowledge and skills of phonology, phonetics, phonemes, the International Phonetic Alphabet, and best practices in the classroom.


Chapter 3: Morphology, Semantics, Pragmatics

This chapter focuses on morphology, semantics, pragmatics, and instructional methods for teaching these in the ELL classroom and the content classroom.


Chapter 4: Syntax & Pragmatics

This chapter focuses on syntax, pragmatics, and instructional methods for teaching these in the ELL classroom and the content classroom.



Student Expectations

As a student you will be expected to:

·         Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·         Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.



At the end of each chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score.  After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access.  Your final grade for the course will be determined by calculating an average score of all exams.  This score will be printed on your final certificate.  As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.



Instructor Description

Karen Lea holds a Ph.D. in education. Dr. Lea has 15 years of experience teaching at the K–12 level and another 14 years’ experience teaching education courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Those 14 years in higher education included 6 years as a dean at a university and 7 additional years in charge of assessment and accreditation at a university. Currently, she is a lead program development owner at Western Governor’s University. Dr. Lea has been professionally published more than 15 times and has served on over a dozen panels and boards, including serving on the NCATE (CAEP) Board of Examiners.



Contacting the Instructor

You may contact the instructor by emailing karen_lea@virtualeduc.com or by calling 509-891-7219 Monday through Friday. Calls made during office hours will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.



Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email support@virtualeduc.com or call 509-891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.



Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted, and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.



Bibliography (Suggested Reading)

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All About Linguistics. (2018b). Semantics. http://all-about-linguistics.group.shef.ac.uk/branches-of-linguistics/semantics/

Alshahrani, H. (2021). Teaching pre-service educators about Response to Intervention (RTI) for children who are English Language Learners (ELL) and have learning disabilities (Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA).

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Beare, K. (2019). A short guide to punctuation. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-punctuation-1210356

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