Obies Using Languages: Casey Murphy ’15

Casey is a member of the class of 2015 and is currently pursuing an independent major in Linguistics as well as a minor in Hispanic Studies. At Oberlin, she has studied Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, and a smidgen of Hopi.

I came to Oberlin knowing that it doesn’t have a linguistics major and knowing also that linguistics is the only thing I could see myself studying. I’ve been able to piece together an individual major with every linguistics class I can get my hands on as well as courses in Chinese, psychology, neuroscience, and language pedagogy (SITES!). Last summer I attended the Linguistic Society of America’s Linguistic Institute and had the opportunity to hear lectures from and study with some incredible linguists. One of my classes–Standard English, Prescriptivism, and Language Ideology (AMAZING course with the amazing Anne Curzan. Check out her podcast!)–even inspired the topic of my capstone private reading.

Besides linguistics, I also love learning languages (they’re not the same thing!), and I was able to go to Salamanca, Spain for summer 2012 to study Spanish in context. This summer I’ll stay at home to work at the International Institute of Saint Louis as an ESOL intern tutoring immigrants and refugees in English and how to become a US citizen. Next semester I hope to study away at the University of Westminster in London–there’s a Spanish Translation course that I’m really excited about, especially after getting a taste of translation from my Translation Theory and Practice Winter Term and participating in this year’s Translation Symposium.


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