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World Languages & Cultures (WLC)

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WLC is committed to creating a dynamic intellectual community of faculty and students dedicated to the study of language and culture, literature, linguistics, teaching, and translation.

The department is home to the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition and Research (CLEAR), graduate and certificate programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Linguistics Minor, and 12 language and culture programs:

Our faculty work with students from departments and programs across the university helping them develop translingual and transcultural fluency necessary for their professional engagement with local, national, and international communities. Our graduate program in TESOL prepares educators of English as an additional language for the multilingual world.

We foster a learning environment that encourages the acquisition of language in tandem with the development of social and cultural awareness. Students have the opportunity to work with diverse and multilingual faculty who are experts in critical language pedagogy, linguistics, translation, and literature, as well as a wide range of theoretical and critical approaches as they relate to studies of culture, colonialism, race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, migration, and human rights, among other areas. WLC plays a major role in supporting AU’s mission to create an inclusive campus community that allows students to learn, engage with others, and become global citizens — see AU Core Courses in WLC.

What's after Graduation for WLC Students?

Many areas of business, industry, and government service consider a language background a career must. Recent graduates of the department have been employed in a variety of fields including translation, education, governmental and non-governmental organizations. Here are just a few examples of what recent WLC graduates are doing:

  • Education

    • Teaching Assistant for the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services in the Aix-Marseille Academy in France
    • Instructor, Georgetown University Center of Language Education and Development
    • Teaching abroad in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Peru, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Moldova, Switzerland, and Thailand
  • Government

    • Department of State
    • National Security Agency
  • Nongovernmental Organizations

    • Organization of American States
    • International Organization for Migration
    • International Development Bank
  • Translation

    • Translator at CETRA, Inc., translation agency and corporate member of the American Translators Association
  • Graduate Study

    • Middlebury College
    • University of Bath and Humboldt Universitat in Berlin
    • George Washington University
    • University of Miami: School of Law
    • University of Texas-Austin
    • Universidad de Carlos III in Madrid


  • Naomi Baron, Professor Emerita of Linguistics was named a 2024 PROSE Award finalist for her book Who Wrote This? How AI and the Lure of Efficiency Threaten Human Writing (Stanford University Press, 2023).
  • Amelia Tseng published “Language induces an identity crisis for the children and grandchildren of Latino immigrants” in The Conversation.
  • Isabel Rivero-Vilá was named "Chevalier dans l'ordre des Palmes académiques" by the Ministère français de l'Éducation nationale.
  • Naomi Baron spoke with NBC 4 and CNBC about the impact of ChatGPT and other AI tools on education.
  • Amelia Tseng published “Nativized exoticism in ‘el país de todas las sangres’” (on cultural discourses about Peruvian Chinese within a broader framework of mestizo ideology) in Ethnic and Racial Studies.
  • TESOL alumni Debora Amidani and Carlye Stevens are incorporating a digital storytelling project by Polina Vinogradova into their adult English language classes at DC’s Family Place Public Charter School.

  • View more research and publications from WLC faculty.
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The Power of Words: CAS Launches Linguistics Minor

Amelia Tseng talks about Linguistics as key to understanding humanity

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