"An Eye for an Eye Leaves the Whole World Blind.

Wisdom is Having a Lot to Say & not
Always Saying It.
So, Think Before You Act & Think Twice Before You Speak "

Dr. Malcolm Awadajin Finney

Title: Professor & Chair of Linguistics

Office Location: PSY 114

Phone Number: (562) 985-7425

E-mail Address: mfinney@csulb.edu


Bachelor's Degree: B.A. (Honors) in English, 1984, University of Sierra Leone.

Master’s Degree: M.A. in Linguistics, 1988, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Ph.D.: PhD in Linguistics, 1994, University of Ottawa, Canada.

Honors and Awards

2006: Recipient of Faculty Community Service Award, California State University, Long Beach.

2005: Recipient of "Spirit of Service Award" from Center for Community Engagement, CSULB, in recognition of valuable contributions to the Long Beach community (local and campus) through commitment to community life and generosity of spirit.

2002: Recipient of "Certificate of Appreciation, Outstanding Service Learning Faculty" from Center for Community Engagement, CSULB.

Teaching Interests and Activities

Current Teaching Assignments: My current teaching assignments include:

Linguistics 539 Language Acquisition

  • In-depth evaluation of theory and research on acquisition of first and subsequent languages in children and adults. Examination of proposals on the nature, structure, and functions of language and critical analysis of theories and research language acquisition.

  • Exploration of development of phonological, lexical, syntactic, semantic, discourse, and pragmatic aspects of language and interacting roles of natural developmental stages, cognitive processes, individual differences, and social and cultural influences.

Linguistics 650 Bilingualism

An advanced study of degrees and kinds of bilingualism and bilingual situations.

  • Evaluation of theories of and research in bilingualism at individual and societal perspectives.

  • Examination of patterns of bilingualism nationally and internationally and implications for bilingual development, language maintenance, patterns of language/dialect use, and bilingual education.

Linguistics 329 Introduction to Language Acquisition

  • Introduces students to basic concepts in linguistics and how they relate to the acquisition of a first language and subsequent languages. Implications for bilingual development and bilingual education are also addressed.

Teaching Philosophy

  • Acquaint the students with a variety of proposals and strongly encourage them to maintain a critical approach toward the subject matter in order to help develop their abstract and critical thinking abilities.

  • Introduce students to theories that reflect current principles in the field and discuss link between theoretical proposals and practical application in teaching methodologies.

  • Actively engage students in research that encourages practical applications of theoretical information.

  • Incorporate oral discussions and presentations as well as sustained critical writing components in curriculum in which students present, critique, and reflect on information pertinent to course content.

Community Service Learning

Through this innovative approach to teaching, students offer community service in an area relevant to course themes or their professional aspirations and use the hands-on experience to develop professional skills related to their prospective careers. They are presented with the opportunity to explore the relationship between theory and practical application and to evaluate the validity and effectiveness of theoretical models by applying them in real-life practical situations. Students further use this experience as a means of improving self-esteem, sense of personal worth, competence, and confidence in their ability to make a difference in the community. I am both an advocate and spokesperson for the incorporation of service learning into the curriculum at both the department and university levels.