Languages and Applied Linguistics

2017-18 General Catalog

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

Faculty | Languages Course Descriptions | Applied Linguistics Course Descriptions

Program Description

Language is an intellectual tool basic to all disciplines. In today’s communities, multicultural and global, learning a second language is not a refinement but a necessity—the key to understanding and communicating with others near and far. The goal of the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics at UCSC is to allow students to achieve a substantial level of proficiency in languages other than English. Since such proficiency always includes cultural as well as linguistic comprehension, our courses examine the complex relationship between language and culture.

The Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics offers rigorous training by professional instructors. Most courses are taught in the target language from the very beginning. Currently, we offer courses in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Spanish for Heritage speakers, and Yiddish.

Students with previous language preparation who wish to continue in that language take a placement examination to determine the course level appropriate for them. Each language’s placement examination format is described in the quarterly Schedule of Classes, along with the time, date, and location of the examination.

Our upper-division courses further expand students' understanding of language in its social contexts, focusing on linguistic, historical, literary, sociological and cultural issues, among others.

In addition, the department also offers courses in applied linguistics that are taught in English and geared toward students interested in topics such as language and gender, second-language teaching, bilingualism, discourse analysis, and intercultural communication. These courses fulfill requirements toward the bachelor of arts degree in applied linguistics and multilingualism, a major designed for students who wish to pursue the study of a particular language, and at the same time, gain an in-depth understanding of language use in bilingual and multilingual settings.

The Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics also houses the Spanish studies, an interdisciplinary major that promotes advanced linguistic proficiency in Spanish as well as a broad understanding of the historical and cultural developments of the Spanish-speaking world.

Students may also use language courses for the following majors and minors that have a language requirement: classical studies, East Asian studies, German studies, global economics, human biology, Italian studies, Jewish studies, Latin American and Latino studies, linguistics, language studies, and literature.

Students of language interested in theater have the opportunity to participate in the annual International Playhouse, which presents highly successful programs every spring. To date, pieces have been performed in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Study abroad is an important component of language study at UCSC. Language students have various opportunities to study abroad, for a summer, quarter, semester, or year. Students may choose to study abroad through the Office of International Education (OIE), through the UCSC Summer Abroad Program, or through affiliate programs around the globe. OIE offers programs in Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Vietnam. There are programs available for students of all levels of language ability, including Language and Culture programs for beginner or intermediate speakers, to full immersion programs for students with advanced language skills. For a list of current programs and requirements, visit their web site,

[return to top]

Revised: 09/01/17