Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism

2017-18 General Catalog

Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics
218 Cowell College
(831) 459-2054


Program Description

Applied linguistics is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand how languages are learned (first and second language acquisition), how more than one language is represented and accessed in the mind of the individual (bilingualism), the ways in which language and society intersect (sociolinguistics), how people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds interact (intercultural communication), and the methods and principles of language teaching (pedagogy).

The major in applied linguistics and multilingualism is designed for students who wish to pursue the study of a particular language (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish), and at the same time, gain an in-depth understanding of language use in bilingual and multilingual settings. Coursework for the major presupposes some familiarity with theoretical linguistics, and thus majors are required to take three foundational courses offered in the Linguistics Department (LING 50; LING 101; LING 111 or 112). Since applied linguistics is integrally connected to other disciplines such as cognitive and developmental psychology, education, anthropology, and sociology, students have the option of taking some elective courses in these areas. Finally, majors are encouraged to pursue the study of more than one language in order to reflect on and enhance their understanding of the process of second language acquisition.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the applied linguistics and multilingualism studies bachelor of arts program should be able to demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in a second language. Students who successfully complete the applied linguistics major will reach an Intermediate-high level of proficiency in their second language (L2) as described in the scale of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Speakers who complete additional course work through study abroad (an aspect of the major that is very much encouraged) may reach the advanced level in their L2.
  • Understanding contexts and processes of (second) language acquisition. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of processes of and issues relating to the acquisition of more than one language, bilingualism and multilingualism, including social, psycholinguistic and metalinguistic aspects of these processes.
  • Understanding the role and use of language in society. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of social aspects of bilingualism and multilingualism, and issues of language in social contexts. Students will also develop an understanding of how different disciplines work together to make sense of human communication in multilingual contexts.
    • Research skills. Students will develop the receptive and productive skills necessary for becoming members of this community of practice. Specifically, they will develop the disciplinary skills to summarize, interpret and critique both quantitative and qualitative research studies in applied linguistics. Through this process, students will develop the ability to engage in independent reading of scientific texts and research articles, to design basic research projects as well as to collect, analyze and write about applied linguistic data.

Study Abroad

The Office of International Education (OIE) sponsors programs of study. For a list of current programs and requirements, visit their website,

Students who participate in EAP may petition to apply up to three courses (up to 15 upper-division credits) from EAP toward the major.

Declaring the Major in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism:

To declare, students must have completed level 4 of a non-English language (e.g., Chinese 4, French 4, Japanese 4) with a grade of B- or better.

Requirements for the Major

Language study: completion of level 6 is required

There are a total of 60 credits (50 upper-division and 10 lower-division) required for the applied linguistics and multilingualism major. See below for a breakdown of the credit requirements.

Foundation Courses (20 credits total)

  • Applied Linguistics 80, Introduction to Applied Linguistics (5 credits)
  • Linguistics 50, Introduction to Linguistics (5 credits)
  • Linguistics 101, Phonology 1 (5 credits)
  • Linguistics 111, Syntactic Structures, or Linguistics 112, Syntax 1 (5 credits)

Core Course (5 credits total)

  • Applied Linguistics 101, Second Language Acquisition

Advanced Language Proficiency Courses (10 credits total)

  • Students must take a minimum of two upper-division, 5-credit courses in the student’s target language (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish). The complete Advanced Language Proficiency course list is posted on the department’s web page. Students may petition to have other 5-credit, upper-division courses offered in the student’s target language count toward the Advanced Language Proficiency requirement.

Electives (20 credits total)

  • Four upper-division (5-credit) electives from the following list are required, at least three of which must be APLX courses.
    • ANTH 139, 143
    • APLX 102, 112, 113, 115, 116, 135
    • EDUC 141
    • LING 117, 120, 154, 155, 157, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 187
    • LIT 101, 102
    • PSYCH 105, 120D, 124, 125, 137
    • SOC 142, 143

Capstone Requirement (5 credits total)

In their senior year, applied linguistics and multilingualism majors must satisfy the senior exit requirement with Applied Linguistics 190, Senior Research Seminar

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

The Disciplinary Communication general education requirement (DC requirement) is satisfied by successfully completing Applied Linguistics 190.

Transfer Students

In addition to the required courses to satisfy the campus general education requirements, transfer junior students are strongly advised to complete two years of language study in accredited two- and four-year institutions. Transfer students who arrive at UCSC with two years of language preparation should be able to complete the applied linguistics and multilingualism major in normative time. While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.

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Revised: 09/01/17