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MA Program Goals
MA PROGRAM GOALS
Knowledge Base of Second Language Studies. Our graduates will develop familiarity with topics and concepts fundamental to the broad knowledge base of the field of Second Language Studies, including: (a) the scope of issues and methods in applied linguistics, (b) linguistic analysis, (c) second language acquisition, and (c) sociolinguistics. They will also understand how their own interests in SLS relate to the larger academic, educational, and sociopolitical contexts of the discipline.
Utilization of research. Our graduates will be able to access, understand, and critically evaluate the current SLS research literature and engage in systematic investigation of topics and concepts in the SLS knowledge base to inform their own and others’ professional practices.
Professionalism. Our graduates will acquire the disposition to continue professional development for the duration of their careers, seeking increased knowledge of themselves and the discipline while remaining flexible and open to change. To do so, they will acquire the skills to communicate and interact effectively with their colleagues, in order to promote effective and ethical professional environments. In addition, our graduates will be able to communicate skillfully about their SLS work, both orally (e.g., at work or professional meetings) and in writing (e.g., through in-house reports and/or articles in professional newsletters and journals).
For students pursuing one of the five MA in SLS specializations, additional learning outcomes are associated with each. In 2006, the Department radically revised the MA program core course requirement in order to provide students with added flexibility in selecting specializations within the MA degree. The MA in SLS allows for students to concentrate in a particular area of “specialization”. Each specialization has additional requirements and expectations in course selection. Each specialization requires a distinct selection of seminar, as well as four more required courses taken from among subsets of courses listed electives”. In addition, depending on program plan (A, B, or C), from two to four electives must be chosen. At the present time, five areas of specialization have been elaborated: “Second language acquisition”, “Language teaching”, “Language assessment, measurement, and program evaluation”, “Critical second language studies”, and “Language and social interaction”. All specializations require a common core of four (4) courses and a seminar comprising a 15 credit core: These courses are:
- SLS 441 Language Concepts for Second Language Learning and Teaching
- SLS 600 Introduction to Second Language Studies
- SLS 650 Second Language Acquisition
- SLS 660 Sociolinguistics and Second Languages
- SLS 730, 750, 760, or 775 as required by the specialization
In addition, our graduates should acquire values so as to act in accordance with ethical standards and professionalism amongst colleagues, and to continue professional development for the duration of their career, seeking increased knowledge of themselves as students while remaining flexible and open to change.
We expect our graduates to influence the field, guide its direction, and eventually take on leadership roles in SLS. They may expect to be involved in training and supervising other SLS practitioners. To do this, they will need the skills to communicate and interact effectively with their colleagues, in order to orient new teachers, to support teachers in the classroom, and to evaluate the teaching of others while giving effective feedback. In addition, they should be competent in professional communication. Our graduates will be able to communicate skillfully the results of their instructional successes and failures, and of their other systematic investigations concerning SLS through the full range of professional communication, both orally (e.g., at work or professional meetings) and in writing (e.g., through in-house reports and articles in professional newsletters and journals). (Adopted June , 2007)