Applied linguistics can be defined as a distinct interdisciplinary field that deals with investigating, identifying and providing solutions to diverse language related issues. As pointed out by Ali Ata, anthropology, sociology, communication research, psychology and education are some of the prime academic fields related to applied linguistics. Dr. Ata has a PhD in the field of applied linguistics from the United Kingdom, and currently is an Assistant Professor at the American University of the Middle East, Kuwait. His knowledge, experience and expertise make him a perfect candidate to provide further insight on the domain of applied linguistics.
In most cases, applied linguistics tends to be concerned with improving any existing language related-operations. Ali Ata underlines that studying applied linguistics would especially be important for people who desire to be a language teacher, as this domain of education largely involves identifying issues in linguistics, and subsequently solving them. In many cases, meanings of languages and pragmatics in discourse analysis are also taught in this subject.
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Language and communication are two extremely crucial elements in the life of all people. These elements provide people with an insight into the minds of others, and help them to positively interact with the world around them. According to Ali Ata, studying applied linguistics can be extremely fruitful in increasing the general understanding of how a language works in an expansive range of social, professional, as well as personal environments. It also tends to encompass how people largely interact with one another, and negotiate rules in order to establish identity.
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People who pursue higher education in applied linguistics typically get the advantage of learning how to express themselves freely and efficiently in both written and spoken modes. This improvement in their communication skills and capacity can significantly aid them to improve their relationships, both personal and professional. Higher education in applied linguistics ideally touch upon a host of practical issues and topics, such as the relationship between societies, cultures and languages, as well as the aspect of cross-cultural communication, language policies, acquisition of second and foreign languages, and ultimately teaching and learning of languages.
Here are few of the key reasons that make studying applied linguistics an extremely good idea:
- Acquire an extensive knowledge of linguistics and language
- Get a chance to explore contemporary issues around the diversity of languages and cultures in the society
- Develop the capacity to both learn and teach foreign languages
- Bridge the language and communication barrier between people across cultures
- Know how to help young people when it comes to developing language and communication skills
Subsequent to getting a degree in applied linguistics, one can choose to become a:
- 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
Further details about making a career in applied linguistics can be found on the web.