Jul 14, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Linguistics, Literature, and Writing, BA, with Teaching Endorsement Option

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Linguistics, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

85 credits (58 additional credits for teacher certification)


This interdisciplinary major combines the study of language with the study of English literature and of writing studies. The study of linguistics will provide an understanding of social, political, cultural, historical, and economic factors that affect peoples and their languages and will provide students with the tools to apply the findings of linguistic analysis in a broader context. Studies in English engage students in diverse literary heritages as well as fostering the development of sophisticated abilities in critical analysis, creative inquiry, reflective reading, and effective communication and expression.

Why Consider a Teaching Endorsement in Linguistics Major?

The major in Linguistics, Literature, and Writing includes coursework in linguistics, literary theory, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing, as well as teaching methods courses. In the linguistics courses, students will acquire knowledge of the functions of language at various levels and knowledge of the techniques and methods used in linguistic analysis. In the literature courses, students will gain awareness of the study of literatures in historical and cultural contexts in coursework in literary theory, creative writing, and composition and rhetoric. A student in this major will thereby significantly advance their appreciation and understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity; they will gain a sense of historical scope as they explore literatures from a range of periods; they will develop their craft and aesthetics through intensive writing and reading; and they will acquire valuable intellectual skills, including analytic reasoning and argumentation. 

This major is open to any student who would like to engage with linguistics, English literature, and writing, but it is especially designed for students wishing to pursue a career in high school teaching, in which the direct study of language/linguistics is becoming increasingly important, and the long-standing tradition of the contextualized study of literature from various periods remains important, as does a focus on the craft of close reading and of writing in a variety of genres. 

To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the teacher certification program, which is offered by the Department of Secondary Education 1) as part of the undergraduate BA degree, or 2) as a post-baccalaureate program, or 3) as a part of the Master’s in teaching program. See the Secondary Education Professional Program for program admissions and teacher certification requirements. Completion of the major plus the secondary education certification program leads to an endorsement in English Language Arts.

 Contact Information

Linguistics Chair
Kristin Denham
Bond Hall 418G

Academic Department Manager
Sara Helms
Bond Hall 418D

English Education Advisor
Steve VanderStaay
Humanities 281

 Sample Careers

Secondary Education | K-12 Language and Literacy specialist | higher education research and teaching

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students wishing to declare as a major should contact the Linguistics Department Chair or Academic Department Manager or the English Education Advisor.

Before declaring, a student must have completed ENG 202 (a prerequisite that does not count towards major credits) and LING 201 (or ANTH 247 or HNRS 217) with a grade of “B-” or better (or permission of chair).

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses.


Optional Requirements

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