Language & Cognition

Language & Cognition

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, business processes for academic departments will be addressed remotely. While most staff are not on campus, we are eager and available to help. For assistance with Language and Cognition Department via email only, please send messages to the following: Carl James Grindley (Chairperson); Norma Llorenz de Pena (Deputy Chairperson); Fidelia Okolo (COA). Between the hours of 9am-5pm, your messages will be returned. If you do not receive a response within two business days, please call the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) to report your concern. OAA staff can be reached at 718.518.6660.


The Department of Language and Cognition facilitates the acquisition of English language and academic skills within a sequential program of academic content-based ESL instruction. It seeks to help students to acquire reading and writing skills that satisfy university requirements and to prepare for success in the college's academic programs. The department also offers courses in Linguistics.

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Language and Cognition Department!

We are happy to welcome you as our student and hope that you will be off to a wonderful start as you begin your college studies at Hostos!

As you are now enrolled in the college, you are off on an exciting path where you will discover a great deal about yourself, the world and society. Hostos is a global space where you will make new friends and together you will explore new ideas and ways of thinking about the world. Here, in the department of Language and Cognition you will have the opportunity to build your English language skills while you immerse yourself in other courses that make up your degree program. To acquire a language for academic purposes, to take in information and subject matter from different disciplines, is not a small task. It is our goal to support you in this endeavor as much as we can and be there for you with advice and guidance every step of the way.

Another important area of the department are our course offerings in Linguistics. Many of us at Hostos, students and faculty alike, are multilingual and grew up with, or learned more than one language. Our courses in Linguistics explore what it means to be bilingual, both as an individual and as a member of society. You can study how language operates as an important power tool and the ways we use language to negotiate interpersonal and political relations through the spoken and written language. The courses further help you understand the process of language acquisition, but also the many building blocks of language itself, such as word forms and the very fabric of grammatical structures that make up the discourses we use in our daily lives. These courses offer you credits for the Pathways general core and can be a good match for your major.

Please take a moment to go over our website and familiarize yourself with our programs.

Wishing you an exciting and joyful experience on your path to success!

Carl James Grindley, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Language and Cognition