Why Applied Linguistics at Warwick?
The Centre for Applied Linguistics at Warwick is a vibrant, tight knit community that offers three undergraduate courses: BA English Language and Linguistics, BA Language, Culture and Communication and BA Linguistics with a Modern Language. In today’s blog I’ll be discussing my own experience of this department and area of study, to (hopefully) give you a better understanding of what is on offer in this department, and why you should join us!
In case you’re new to the field, linguistics is the study of language and its structure. This ranges from grammar (the structure of words and sentences) to phonology (study of sounds), semantics and pragmatics (meaning in language), as well as the elements of language in a broader societal context and SO MUCH MORE! Seriously, I can’t succinctly sum up the field of linguistics, and that’s one thing I love about it! I’ll now delve into specifically what I find so engaging about linguistics.
The interdisciplinarity nature of study – Over my three years of study, I have been lucky enough to delve into a range of disciplines WITHIN the field of linguistics (such as sociolinguistics) but also, outside of the realm of linguistics, looking at areas such as philosophy, psychology, politics and so much more, and how these link to the phenomenon of language. This means that the study is far from dry, and while it’s important to learn the basics such as grammar, you will go much further and deeper than this surface level knowledge and apply it to real life contexts.
How the different modules provide you with different skills – I love the Centre for Applied Linguistics’ focus on our development of research skills, and I have taken a compulsory research-focused module in every year of study, including both Quantitative and Qualitative approaches. This has equipped me well for my dissertation, as I have conducted many independent research projects before reaching third year, meaning that I am familiar with writing literature reviews and methodologies, as well as data collection procedures such as surveys and interviews.
Some other skills I have developed are discussion and communication skills from class debates and presentations and critical skills, as we always have to look at language use in context and realise how our own biases can affect how we see the world, as well as critiquing each research paper we read.
You gain a better understanding of the world around you – A lot of what we learn is directly relevant to what is going on in the world right now. We have analysed politician’s recent tweets and frequently look at relevant news articles. Therefore, I always feel in touch with what is happening in the world!
You’ll feel part of a community – I study English Language and Linguistics, which has a very small class size. This means that I know everyone well, and we are all know our lecturers very well. This gives a really nice community feel, making asking our professors and each other for help and support really easy.
It provides a solid base for whatever you want to do next – Doing an Applied Linguistics undergraduate degree gives you so many diverse skills that you will be well equipped for going into work, whether that be in communications, for example, or provides a springboard to go into further study, including career specific fast track Masters degrees such as Journalism or Speech and Language Therapy, both of which accept linguistics based degrees upon entry.
I hope this blog has provided you with a brief insight into our Applied Linguistics community at Warwick. Feel free to check out the departmental website at Undergraduate degrees in Applied Linguistics at Warwick or comment below any questions you may have! 🙂