The Department of English Language and Literature is one of the oldest departments of Mersin University. Initially, like many other similar departments, The Department of English Language and Literature has also started with emphasis on literature and culture studies. Successive developments and rapid changes in the profile of the faculty resulted in a change in the overall structure of the department. Starting from Fall 1999-2000, the Department ceased enrolling students to culture studies program and instead initiated a new Linguistic Program. Candidates are eligible to apply for the Bachelors program if they possess the following qualifications; Diploma/qualifications from a four-year high school or an equivalent level institution, adequate score in the University Entrance Examination. At the beginning of the relevant academic year, English Proficiency Exam is held for the students of Bachelors program. New students who want to be exempt from the English Preparatory Program are required to take and pass this exam.
Also, students who have adequate score in one of the English Language Proficiency Tests which are accepted by the Council of Higher Education are exempted from the English Preparatory Program. The aim of the program is to educate students who competently analyze any type of linguistic structures in natural languages (particularly in Turkish and in English) in the light of subfields of linguistics. They develop strong insights into form and function of language and can use their knowledge of linguistics in interdisciplinary fields. They can apply critical and original approaches in language teaching environments and fields of applications. The main purpose of the program is to graduate students with academic motivation, who constantly follow developments in the field, and can adopt a critical stance for what is already known and what can be learned. They can also effectively use data-processing instruments and can use English properly and fluently in conducting original linguistic studies. Overall, the aim of the Department is to educate individuals who can contribute to linguistics both in Turkish and in universal contexts.
The graduates of the program can be employed in all types of professional fields which require linguistic knowledge, extending from the treatment of language disorders to the applications of forensics. They can take charges and give consultancy services in developing, applying and organizing native-foreign language teaching materials and curriculums, in educating native-foreign language teachers, in writing and editing dictionaries and course books. They can take charge in developing and applying natural language processing software. Graduates who receive Language Teaching Certificate are appointed as English teachers by the Ministry of National Education on the condition that they get the pre-determined score from KPSS.
Additionally, the students who have completed Bachelors program successfully can apply for the MA and Ph.D. degrees. There are 8 staff members: 2 Associate Professors, 3 Assistant Professors, 1 Research Assistant, and 2 Instructors. Comprehensive courses are offered covering the fields of linguistics. The Department has its own library in addition to a rapidly developing linguistics section of the Main Library. Turkish National Corpus Project supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and State Planning Organization has been carried on with the participation of the staff and the students of the department.