Linguistic anthropology is a field of Anthropology. Linguistic anthropologists study the human communication process. They focus their research on understanding such phenomena as the physiology of speech, the structure and function of languages, social and cultural influences on speech and writing, nonverbal communication, how languages developed over time, and how they differ from each other. This is very different from what goes on in English or a foreign language class. Linguists are not language teachers or professional translators.