Applied Linguistics Department (AL)

The Applied Linguistics Department offers introductory and advanced courses in linguistics, biblical languages, and translation.  Our alumni often serve internationally as specialists and consultants in their field. Many work among minority language communities with the specialized training that they receive.

What is Applied Linguistics? Linguistics is the scientific study of language and it can be quite different from basic language learning.  A linguist looks at the structure of a language (word order, affixes, etc.), the sound systems (phonetics, phonology), as well as the meaning of words, phrases, and longer texts (semantics, discourse).  Our course and program offerings are “applied” as they prepare students for hands-on research and fieldwork in any language worldwide.

Programs   |   Courses   |   Faculty 

Degrees & Programs

Certificate in Applied Linguistics

The Certificate in Applied Linguistics gives students a strong foundation in language learning and linguistic analysis.  Many graduate students begin their studies at Dallas International with the certificate program before starting the MA degree.

MA with Major in Applied Linguistics

The MA with a major in Applied Linguistics is one of the leading programs for minority language Bible translation. Our graduates are prepared to tackle many of the linguistic challenges that face translators and language workers around the world. Concentrations: Bible TranslationCross-Cultural ServiceDescriptive Linguistics


The Applied Linguistics Department offers a variety of courses for degree requirements and electives.  Some of our more popular courses include:

AL4302 Principles of Articulatory and Acoustic Phonetics

Using an augmented subset of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), students will be able to identify, mimic, and transcribe sounds and prosodies in normal human speech and to describe the mechanisms by which a speaker produces these sounds.  Students will also be introduced to basic techniques of acoustic analysis.

AL5312 Discourse Analysis

This course is designed to help students understand how different languages structure texts and how the resulting structure may affect communication and translation. The course focuses on the discourse structure of narrative texts, although a brief survey of the structure of non-narrative texts is included at the end of the course. Students practice analyzing texts for various discourse features. Some issues considered are sentence structures, macrosegmentation of texts, the use of particles and conjunctions, and information structure. Salience schemes, transitivity, participant reference, and paragraph analysis are some of the other topics included.

AL5315 Semantics and Pragmatics (On-campus/Synchronous)

This course examines the relationship between form and meaning in human language. We consider the rules for combining word meanings to derive sentence meanings in a predictable way, and we explore the principles which allow speakers to communicate more by uttering a sentence than is contained in the sentence meaning itself. We apply these concepts not only to content words but also to grammatical morphemes such as tense, aspect, and modality markers. This course is required for the MA in Applied Linguistics and satisfies the prerequisite for AL5316 Theory and Practice of Translation.

AL5316 Theory and Practice of Translation (On-campus/Synchronous)

Explores a theoretical understanding of translation as it impacts translating and advising translators. Students explore the implications of translation theory and common practice for several translation issues. In addition to reading and discussion, students experientially learn principles and procedures through class projects.

AL5324 Principles of New Testament Exegesis

This course is concerned with discovering the meaning of a New Testament text as intended by the original author. As an aid in that discovery process, students are introduced to textual criticism. Also covered is how to best do lexical studies. The course looks at issues in grammatical analysis, background studies, and how to proceed in various genres of texts: narrative, epistolary, and apocalyptic. The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament is surveyed as well as the use of biblical theology in interpretation. Finally, each student puts all the elements together to produce an exegetical paper over an assigned text.

AL5406 Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis

This course serves as the capstone course for the Certificate in Applied Linguistics. Working with a speaker of a non-western language, students in this course elicit data which they then use to produce a mini-lexicon, a phonological description, and a grammar sketch of the target language.

AL Department Faculty


Michael E. Boutin, Associate Professor

Applied Linguistics, Chair
PhD, University of Florida, 1994; MA, University of Texas at Arlington, 1980; BA, University of New Mexico, 1979.
Field work: Malaysia
Languages spoken: Malay, Bonggi


Paul R. Kroeger, Professor

Applied Linguistics
PhD, Stanford University, 1991; MA, University of Texas at Arlington, 1981; BS, Yale University, 1975.
Field work: Malaysia, Singapore
Languages spoken: Malay, Kimaragang


Steve Parker, Associate Professor

Applied Linguistics
PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2002; MA, University of Texas at Arlington, 1988; BA, Indiana University, 1980.
Field work: Peru, Papua New Guinea
Languages spoken: Spanish, Tok Pisin


Arden G. Sanders, Assistant Professor

Applied Linguistics
PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1988; MA, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1983; MA, University of Texas at Arlington, 1976; BA, Friends University, 1974.
Field work: Papua New Guinea
Languages spoken: Kamasau, Tok Pisin


Ervin Starwalt, Assistant Professor

Applied Linguistics
PhD, University of Texas at Arlington, 2005; STM, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986; MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1975; BS, University of Arkansas, 1971.
Field work: Nigeria