See also Linguistics

Important Note. Students interested in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies are also often interested in a minor in a Modern Language and/or the Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Major Skills Developed By Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies Majors

  • Comprehensive understanding of linguistic and discourse theories.
  • Ability to apply these theories in analyzing various symbol systems: spoken and written language, visual images, sounds; ability to analyze oral and written language use in workplace and academic contexts.
  • Exceptionally strong research and writing skills: ability to collect data of different types; synthesize and interpret this data; and produce high-quality written reports of results.
  • Skills in project management: plan a project; direct the project through different stages; and communicate and assess the outcomes.
  • Critical/analytical/creative thinking and problem-solving skills: ability to identify a problem; analyze it from various perspectives, and develop a solution and/or make a decision.
  • Strong collaborative skills: ability to work productively with others, often coordinating the efforts of a number of people in accomplishing complex tasks.
  • Understanding of theories, research, and issues in language learning, language teaching, language assessment, and language use in workplace and academic contexts
  • Language teaching skills (with CTESL option)

Common Areas of Employment

  • Government Departments and Agencies (especially Policy and Communications)
  • Educational Institutions (Teaching, Research, and Administration)
  • Assessment and Test Development
  • Writing
  • Communications
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Educational Materials Development
  • Translation and Interpretation
  • Foreign Services Organizations
  • Health and Social Services Institutions
  • Public Relations Organizations
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Consulting Companies

Common Career Opportunities and Sample Job Titles

  • Linguist
  • Linguistic Consultant
  • Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication
  • Writing Consultant
  • Communications Officer
  • Information Officer
  • Discourse analyst
  • Language Policy Specialist
  • Senior Policy Advisor
  • Language Education Researcher
  • Language Testing Specialist
  • Standardized Test Developer and Evaluator
  • Research Analyst
  • Research Associate
  • Technology and Research Analyst
  • Research Coordinator
  • Project Coordinator
  • Program Coordinator
  • Manager (e.g., of a student success centre)
  • Executive Director (e.g., of a community program)
  • Instructor
  • ESL/Language Teacher
  • ESL Specialist
  • K-12 Teacher
  • Public Health Nurse (working with clients with limited literacy)
  • Literacy Worker
  • Language Materials Developer
  • Lexicographer (terminology, dictionary work)
  • Education Assistant
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Professional Writer
  • Speech Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Editor (editing, proofreading, indexing)
  • Copy Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Market Researcher
  • Acting Coach
  • ‚Ķ AND many more!

*Some of the careers listed may require further education or specialized training.