Careers: Creating language resources

Creating language resources

Besides teaching English, linguists may work in other areas related to language education, such as creating instructional materials like textbooks and dictionaries, and creating and administering language tests.


Standardized language testing has become a large industry, which has in turn spawned an industry of test coaching and prepping. Linguists are needed to design tests of verbal ability, both in English and foreign languages. Companies in the testing industry include:

To create tests, you typically need good computer skills and knowledge of statistics. Coursework on linguistic structure (syntax, semantics, phonology, morphology) and language acquisition is useful.

LanguageTesting’s job board offers positions in testing and assessment.

Learning materials

Even before completing a degree, linguists can create language learning materials (for example, textbooks, activity books, software, videos, phrase books for travelers, children’s language books…) and either self-publish them or sell them to a publisher. Numerous websites offer advice on the process of preparing a book proposal.

Linguists with strong writing skills can also work as editors. Sometimes publishers need editors who are good at working with non-native English speakers; a TESOL background can be helpful for such jobs.

Some examples of publishers who produce linguistics materials: