The Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies program is offering an interdepartmental undergraduate minor in Applied Language Studies (ALS) starting Fall 2009. This minor should be of particular interest to students who have studied languages and who wish to add a research component to their language learning experience.By deepening their understanding of the processes of language learning and use, the ALS minor provides students additional expertise as they prepare for professional careers in education, law, business or medicine or for graduate study in the interdisciplinary field of Second Language Acquisition / Applied Linguistics. This field is growing in visibility and importance through various graduate programs at universities around the country.
What is Applied Language Studies?
Sometimes called Applied Linguistics, the field of Applied Language Studies is devoted to the study of particular domains of language learning and use, such as foreign language learning and teaching, bi- and multilingualism, translation and interpretation, communication in professional contexts, or intercultural communication. The ALS minor will help students use their language learning experience, for example, to gain an understanding of:
- how languages are learned
- how language is related to individual cognition and to social context
- how languages are used to achieve a wide range of social, cultural, aesthetic purposes
- how language relates to culture, power and identity
- how language and other symbolic systems construct both actual and virtual realities
- what it means to be bi- or multilingual
This minor will be particularly useful for those who have experienced learning or speaking a language other than English, but it is open to all undergraduates.