Applied Linguistics

  • Minor

Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field that investigates and offers solutions to language-related problems in the world. The discipline relies on the theories and findings of linguistics, together with the experiences and needs of language users, to engage real-world issues at such intersections as language and society, language and education, and language and power.

Program Offerings at Grand Valley

The applied linguistics minor is designed to provide systematic study of and principled approaches to language and engages such topics as language teaching, language learning, and language use.


Courses in the minor consider such topics as learning and teaching of languages, social and regional language variation, literacy, language policy, language disorders, and language history, to name a few.

Career Options

The discipline of applied linguistics has application to careers in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • Language teaching and assessment
  • Speech pathology
  • Computer science
  • Nonprofit/NGO services
  • Foreign services
  • Adult literacy
  • Forensic analysis
  • Language policy and planning

Why Study Applied Linguistics at Grand Valley?

  • As a young discipline, applied linguistics continues to play an increasingly prominent role in a range of academic disciplines and professional settings.
  • Since language is involved in virtually all human activity, the scope of applied linguistics is very broad.
  • The applied linguistics minor serves as an excellent disciplinary complement to such fields as African/African American studies, anthropology, classics, communications, information systems, English, education, modern languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and writing.

Admissions Office

I believe one of the greatest strengths of the applied linguistics program is its diversity and cross-disciplinary nature. Through the program, I was given not only the raw information to understand the mechanics of language and its use, but I was also given the tools to critically explore language issues, not just on paper, but in the world around me.


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