Public Engagement

UC Berkeley serves the needs of diverse communities in our society through education in and outside of classrooms, laboratories, and libraries, and by creating knowledge for future generations. We also value research and teaching that contribute to the public good by engaging communities outside the university. For undergraduates, such work can form part of the Linguistics Enrichment Experience Program. Public engagement involving faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers includes language revitalization projects around the world and other activities such as the following: 

  • Susanne Gahl is collaborating with educators at a local dual-language school, developing an evidence-based dual-language immersion program. In a separate line of activities, she is also facilitating contacts between Berkeley students and the Aphasia Center of California to raise awareness of aphasia and other communication disorders.
  • In collaboration with the medical center at UC San Francisco, researchers from the Department of Linguistics are using techniques in articulatory phonetics to help build voice "prostheses" for patients who lose the ability to speak due to neural degeneration. Using electromagnetic articulometry (EMA), speech movement patterns are recorded together with brain activity to build a neurally controlled speech synthesis system for the patient. This research (involving Keith Johnson and Matthew Faytak at Berkeley and Edward Chang, Gopala Anumanchipalli, and John Houde at UC San Francisco) is in the early stages.
  • Berkeley postdoctoral scholar Elisabeth Wehling and faculty members George LakoffRobin Lakoff, and Geoffrey Nunberg directly engage the public through written work and media appearances that bring linguistic research to an audience outside academia — addressing some of the most important questions in our public life.

Berkeley linguists at the March for Science, San Francisco, 2017

Berkeley linguists at the March for Science, San Francisco, 2017