Georgetown University MA in Language and Communication

  • DC

About Us

Language has a profound impact on our lives: it influences how we act, who we are, and how we view the world. It is through language that we accomplish a great deal of our daily work: formulate plans, present proposals, negotiate contracts, develop brands, resolve disputes, provide advice, diagnose problems, hold meetings, learn from and/or teach others, and provide social, legal, and commercial services.

In today’s workplace, people with different ways of using language—based on nationality, ethnicity, race, class, gender, region, age, and culture—often work together in what are frequently fast paced and multi-tasking environments. Sometimes they end up misunderstanding one another or making mistakes that can have unfortunate consequences. One way we can try to avoid these problems is to learn more about language and its role in communication.

The Master of Arts in Language and Communication (MLC) prepares students to use linguistics, especially the areas of discourse analysis (including narrative analysis and cross cultural communication) sociolinguistics, and pragmatics in the workforce. The broad range of potential applications of the MLC includes fields such as human resources, mediation and arbitration, technical and scientific writing, management, international communication, diversity training, counseling, advertising, marketing, usability testing, public relations, and media/ public opinion research.

We offer broad training in the analysis of language and communication, with possible foci on the following: • Language and health care: analysis/training/consulting in doctor/patient communications; health writing; Discourse of medicine, science and health; narratives of illness and identity change; linguistic accommodation between expert and client; language of agency and responsibility • Language and Law: teaching legal writing (training international lawyers to become 'fluent' writers in American legal genres), interpreting the complex language of statutes and contracts; analyzing ambiguity and presuppositions (e.g., in testimony or in cross-examination); elucidation of attitudes toward language in legal proceedings; linguistic analysis (of dialect features, writing or speaking style) in criminal investigations • Language and Business: the role of culture, gender, age, ethnicity, and social class in office communication and commerical transactions; group dynamics in meetings; processes of negotiation and decision-making; managing and interpreting focus groups; the dynamics of interviewing; marketing/branding commercial, and more.