Applied Linguistics Minor

About the Minor

The minor in Applied Linguistics emphasizes language acquisition and language use in foreign and second language settings. Applied Linguistics is concerned with increasing the understanding of the role of language in human affairs and thereby with providing the knowledge necessary for those who are responsible for taking language-related decisions whether the need arises in the workplace, the law, the court, the classroom, or the laboratory. Students learn to evaluate theory and research in different areas of the field, including second language studies and sociolinguistics. Required introductory courses provide the necessary foundation of advanced classes. Courses at all levels include critical analysis of different theories, conceptual models, and research methodologies. Students in Applied Linguistics may engage in international or domestic studies that involve independent research projects with faculty members from Law, Business, Anthropology, International and Area Studies, Education and Engineering. 

Specifically, the minor in Applied Linguistics at Washington University meets the increasing domestic and international demand for second and foreign language specialists. This minor, combined with a major in International and Area Studies, any language (Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Swahili, German, Japanese, etc.), Anthropology, Philosophy–Neuroscience–Psychology (PNP), Psychological & Brain Sciences, and Educational Studies helps students qualify for positions that may involve linguistically and culturally diverse learners in the United States and around the world. The minor is also suitable for students who wish to pursue graduate studies or advanced degrees in Law, Business, Medicine, Engineering, Applied Linguistics, International and Area Studies, Psychological & Brain Sciences, Education, and more.  

Cindy Brantmeier at the National Strategic Language Initiative

A short video featuring Cindy Brantmeier's work as a plenary for Urdu, Pashtu, Persian and Chinese for the National Strategic Language Initiative.

Missour-ee or Missour-uh? Talking about talking in St. Louis and beyond

A new life, a new language

Internship and Research Opportunities

The "Applied" in Applied Linguistics

Students minoring in Applied Linguistics at Washington University in St. Louis are able to take a three-credit independent research study that applies the theory and research on language use and acquisition to real-world settings. These projects can be pursued at Washington University in St. Louis or in local and global contexts.

On and Off Campus

In the past, our students have pursued research projects that take them off-campus for hands-on learning. In 2016, students participated in the EducationUSA Academy through the US State Department.

Read about the EducationUSA Academy program

Minor Requirements

Units required: 18 

All students participating in the minor must have a declared primary major. 

Minors must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all Applied Linguistics courses; all courses taken for APL credit must be taken for a letter grade, including language courses.

Required courses (courses taught in English unless otherwise indicated); 6 credits total:

Linguistics and Language Learning (APL 4111)
Introduction to Linguistics (Ling 170D)

Courses on language acquisition (choose one); 3 credits:  

Second Language Acquisition & Technology (APL 4023)
Reading Across Languages and Cultures: Theory, Research and Practice (APL 4692)
Second-Language Acquisition (Ling 466)
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (course taught in Spanish) (Span 370)

Courses on language use (choose one); 3 credits, any level:

The Linguistic Legacy of the African Slave Trade (AFAS 210)
Language, Culture and Society (Anthro 3386)
"Model Minority": The Asian American Experience (IAS 3512)
Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation (IAS 4036)
Linguistics for Legal Purposes(Ling 263)
Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Ling 339)
Linguistic Diversity in the United States (Ling 341)

Electives (courses may be taken from above lists or from the list below); 3 credits each:

Language and Society in Africa (AFAS 368)
Independent Research Study (APL 300)
Independent Research Study (APL 400)
Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology (Comp Lit 394)
Educational Psychology (Educ 304)
Sociolinguistics, Literacies and Communities (Educ 314)
Urban Education in Multiracial Societies (Educ 4014)
Central Topics in Learning Sciences Research (Educ 4055)
Cognitive Psychology Applied to Education (Educ 4302)
Culture, Language and the Education of Black Students (Educ 4315)
Complex Learning in Education (Educ 433 or 433W)
Sociology of Education (Educ 453B)
History of Education in the United States (Educ 481W)
Contemporary Issues in the Psychological Science of Learning (Educ 5501)
Old English, Introductory (E Lit 407)
History of the English Language (E Lit 472)
Introduction to Semantics (Ling 311)
Phonetics (Ling 312)
Psychology of Language (Psych 433)
Spanish Phonetics, Phonology and Dialectology (Span 417)

**Under certain circumstances, students may count toward their minor a limited number of relevant classes not listed above. Such circumstances include study abroad. Students are required to complete both Linguistics 170 and APL 4111 prior to applying for study abroad. Select study abroad programs are approved for the APL minor. A specific plan of study must be worked out in advance with the advisor in the Applied Linguistics program.

I graduated in 2018 with dual degrees in Applied Linguistics and Spanish, and was also pre-med. I will spend the next year as an English Teaching Assistant in Aguascalientes, AGS, Mexico through the Fulbright-García Robles Fellowship Program. My academic background has helped me develop a practical understanding of how language and culture affect relationships, which will be an invaluable asset to me in my future career as a physician.

―Stephanie Peres-da-SilvaAB '18