The MA in Applied Linguistics (MAAL) is designed as a course of continuing development for language professionals, especially those working in the field of language teaching. Core modules are offered in language description, language pedagogy and language learning, and students are given an up-to-date knowledge of principles and issues of importance within the broad field of study of language in use. Through a choice of options, students also have access to a further range of pedagogy and non-pedagogy-related areas of interest.In addition, the dissertation (with its Research Methods module) provides them with the opportunity to pursue a particular topic of interest at a greater depth, and to gain research skills which will benefit them if they go on to doctoral studies or in professional investigations. Thus students receive a thorough grounding that will help them to develop their career in a wide range of language related professions. By the end of the course we expect students to have developed the following general academic skills: analysing and categorising – and hence evaluating – language at different levels synthesising, analysing and evaluating information and theoretical claims in specialist literature giving well-organised, clear oral presentations to a specialist or semi-specialist audience producing well-structured and clearly-written academic and professional papers collaborating with others in research, problem-solving and/or the development of plans and recommendations designing and conducting a research project, including a clear statement of research aims, identifying and searching relevant bibliographical sources, conducting an empirical or library-based investigation, and analysing and interpreting results in relation to established theory and professional concerns using time efficiently while carrying out reading, research and related writing activities.
The MAAL course allows students some freedom to suit their own needs, but with a shared foundation of compulsory core modules. The latter combine with option modules which may be selected from a range of available subjects within the School.
The compulsory modules are divided into four areas: language description (with specific reference to English), sociolinguistics, language teaching and learning and research. The language description, language teaching and learning, and sociolinguistics modules run in the Autumn term. The research area comprises a non-assessed module in research design and basic statistical methods (taught in the Spring Term) and the dissertation, of 15,000 words, on a topic in the field Applied Linguistics, broadly defined.Research for, and the writing of, the dissertation take place in the Summer term and the Summer vacation.
The optional modules cover a wide range of linguistic and applied areas offered within the School and, together with the dissertation, provide flexibility and the opportunity for specialisation.
-Foundation phonetics & phonology
-English grammar and lexis
-Discourse analysis for language teachers
-Second language learning principles
-Research design & dissertation
Optional Modules (3 modules from the following list)
-Child language development
-Language curriculum design
-Language testing principles
-Written language (reading & writing)
-Corpora in applied linguistics
-English for specific purposes
-English in the world
-Experimental phonology for language teachers
-First language acquisition
-Research topics in English grammar
-Spoken language (listening & speaking)
-Teaching young learners
-Information technology for language teaching