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Concentration in Applied Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Minor


World Languages offers a Concentration and Minor in Applied Linguistics. See Degree Requirements for more information about the courses needed.


Each day we use language to communicate our thoughts, opinions, desires, worries, and even our identities to those around us. While a seemingly natural and mundane task, in reality, this is an amazing feat, considering the fact that human language is a highly complex and dynamic system of communication.

Linguistics is the study of language structure and use. Applied Linguistics focuses on language-related issues, to better understand how language functions both in the lives of individuals and in society. Many people believe that being a linguist means you speak many languages. While many linguists are multilingual, the true work of a linguist involves understanding the organization of language and how it is used to communicate.

Linguists investigate questions like:

  • What are the sounds of the world’s languages and how do we describe them?
  • What are the social, cultural, and political factors that influence our daily communication?
  • How do we acquire our first language? Or a second language? Are the processes similar or different?
  • How does language change and why?
  • What are the affective variables involved in language learning?

Linguistics is a highly interdisciplinary field and is thus relevant for students with a wide variety of interests in areas like Anthropology, Communication, Criminology, Education, English, Foreign Languages, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and more!