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CSULB linguistics alumni are teaching and working with languages or language learners in different parts of the country and the world. They keep us informed of what and how they are doing through email messages. They send us photos of their reunions, their children, their houses, their professional activities, and other memorable moments.

Alumni News 2013

News from Svetco Vladich

Hi, Dr. Finney

I hope you and everyone in the Linguistics Department are well. I’d like update you as far as my career in ESL/EFL is concerned. I have just started my third contract as an English instructor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My position title is “Advanced English Trainer” at ARAMCO, the Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company.
The curriculum is focused on ESP, which prepares apprentices for various careers — both technical and professional – within the company. So far, my adjustment to the company/industry culture is going well.

On a more personal note, whenever I reflect on my time as a student in the Linguistics Department, I feel fortunate to have received such an outstanding education from you and the entire faculty. Incidentally, in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf in general, the M.A. in Linguistics-TESL is considered the highest qualification for an ESL/EFL teacher and commands the highest salary amongst all English teachers. So, I’d like to confirm that the M.A. is the degree to get!

All the best to you and everyone in Linguistics, and have a great 2013-14! Go Beach!

Warm regards,

Svetco Vladich

News from Kana Sasayama

I’m writing to see if you could help me spread the word about a campaign on a crowdfunding platform we run. A 25-year-old Japanese entrepreneur, Junto Ohki, is trying to collect funds to launch an international online platform called SLinto, which works like a Wikipedia for sign language. It’s a crowd-sourced dictionary where you can look up signs using a special online keyboard that lets you search for signs by their location and handshape, an idea he first came up with while studying Korean and using a Korean keyboard with two groups of keys, one for vowels and the other for consonants.

I interviewed him, and found what he’s trying to do really fascinating.
He’s not only trying to create a dictionary for sign language speakers but also to create a way for sign language to evolve and spread the way spoken language does and bring more recognition to the language and its speakers in society.

I really hope he’ll be able to reach his funding goal and launch this platform, and I thought alumni and students of the Linguistics department may take interest, as this is really an interesting project that may change a language in many different levels.

Below are his campaign page and the interview I did with him. If you could spread the word to other linguistics-minded folks, I would really, truly appreciate it.

SLinto: The World’s First Crowd-Sourced Online Dictionary for Sign Language

Interview with Junto Ohki

Thank you so much!

Kana Sasayama (Class of 2009)

Alumni News 2012

News from Michiko Vartanian, June 2012

I absolutely love law school!!  Although it was a bit ambitious to try and complete my thesis during the first year and I made my life temporarily more difficult, now that I have nothing to focus on except the law, it is really going well!  I am Amjuring in several of my classes (i.e., top of the class!) and I am on the short list for Moot Court, which would be not only great fun but an excellent resume builder!  I also have a job as a law clerk so I am putting everything I’m learning in school to practical good use and building my legal skills.  Sometimes I can hardly believe that someone is actually paying me to do legal work!!

I know that my background in linguistics definitely gives me a leg up on many of my contemporaries.  So much of the law is language.  Being able to approach cases, briefs and law review articles with a sense of confidence, as well as being able to write legal documents effectively, takes a lot of the pressure out of law school.