Applied Linguistics

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Perhaps the most academically challenging program of study at MACU is the BA in Applied Linguistics. The course of study includes biblical languages plus a very rigorous course of study at Dallas International University.

But consider what was told to one of our students, Johnny Scott, during an internship trip to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Johnny, long interested in cross cultural mission work, was trying to decide about going into Bible translation. Martha Wade, a Bible translator for Pioneer Bible Translators at PNG, told him, “Few people can be translators. If you can do it, you really ought to.”

MACU invites you to find out if God has gifted you to serve in His Kingdom in this special way. More than 2,200 language communities still do not have true access to even one verse of Scripture. Can you help them?

Students successfully completing the Applied Linguistics major will:


develop and implement a plan for self-directed language and culture learning


collect cultural data, organize it appropriately, and carry out initial ethnographic analysis of that data


collect language data, organize it appropriately, and carry out initial linguistic analysis of that data


identify and describe factors that are relevant to language development for language group in multilingual societies

Applied Linguistics FAQs


What is Applied Linguistics?

Linguistics is the study of how language works, including grammar, word formation, and the rules of how words combine into phrases and sentences. Applied linguistics uses the theories learned in linguistics together with studies in anthropology, psychology, and education to address real world problems.


Why study linguistics at MACU?

Ultimately the goal of the Applied Linguistics program at MACU is to prepare students for the work of translation the Bible into the language of people groups speaking languages that are not yet written.  Our program can get translators working on the field one to one and a half years sooner than traditional programs.

What kind of degree will I earn?

A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Applied Linguistics from MACU and an undergraduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics from DIU.

Do I need to apply for admission to both schools?

Yes. You will need to apply for admission to the Dallas International University (DIU) during your junior year at MACU. You can contact the DIU admissions office at:

Dallas International University
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road
Dallas, TX 75236
Phone: 800-892-3356

Enrollment in the applied linguistics program at MACU does not guarantee entrance into the applied linguistics program at DIU. Students will receive separate acceptance at the two schools.

What can I do with a degree in Applied Linguistics?

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work in Bible translation, anthropology, linguistics, or cross-cultural ministry. Graduates of the program will be considered by Pioneer Bible Translators (PBT) and SIL International to have met the minimum pre-field academic requirements for field services with these organizations.

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