English applied linguistics has in recent years become one of the major fields of specialization at the Institute of English and American Studies. Beginning with the early to mid-1990s, the institute started offering an increasingly wide range of classes in the area of applied linguistics – sociopragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, second language acquisition, language development, etc.
The general aim of the studies in English applied linguistics is to offer a theoretically well-grounded and practically oriented course of study and empirical training to students who are interested in empirically based linguistics and want to utilize their knowledge and skills in analysing language use in context. Our various courses as well as the MA and PhD programs fill a void in the training of the University of Szeged Arts Faculty, where programs are oriented almost exclusively towards theoretical linguistics. We have a dedicated faculty of experts contributing to the interdisciplinary field of study into language use of relevance to real world problems. Several of our applied linguistics faculty received their graduate degrees in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.
In the fall of 2001, a specialization stream in Applied Linguistics was first offered at the MA level. This program is still running and is offered for the students in the outgoing 5-year MA program. In continuation of the old stream, beginning in the fall 2009, a specialization in English Applied Linguistics is offered as one of the three specializations in the new two-year MA program in English Studies. On the BA level, even though we do not have a formally defined program of study in applied linguistics, our faculty offers a great variety of courses in their areas of specialization to interested students. The PhD program in English Applied Linguistics was accredited in 2000 and has been operating since the fall of 2001.
We have had Erasmus exchanges for applied linguistics students and faculty since 2000 at various European Universities. The most developed and oldest mobility programs we have are with Finnish Universities. Our oldest program, an extremely rewarding exchange program going back to the 1980s, is with the University of Turku. Between 2000 and 2005 we collaborated with the English Department of the University of Joensuu, Finland, and since 2005 with the English Department of the University of Oulu, Finland.