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MA Applied Linguistics Research

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  • Objectives
    To enable students to develop systematic understanding of existing linguistically-informed research into how second languages are learned. To make students aware of the variety of methodologies used in teaching second/foreign languages, and of current trends in language teaching. To cultivate in students a critical awareness of the relationship between evidence and theory in the investigation of the learning and teaching of second/foreign languages. To provide specialist training in the research methods and techniques of Applied Linguistics, and to give students the opportunity to apply those methods and techniques in the design of an original research project. To empower students to undertake advanced original research using the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired during the programme.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications A good BA honours (or equivalent) degree (2:1 or above). For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TEOFL score of 580 (computer based 230). Some prior knowledge of Linguistics is useful but not essential.
  • Academic Title
    MA Applied Linguistics Research
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Applied Linguistic Research is similar to the Department's MA in Applied Linguistics (which explores the results of recent empirical studies of second language acquisition, focusing on how learners develop L2 knowledge and what role classroom practice plays in that development) but with a primary focus on research methods training, both quantitative and qualitative.

    Modules and Options

    The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.

    Stage 1

        Compulsory: APPROACHES TO SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
        Compulsory: ASSIGNMENT WRITING AND DISSERTATION PREPARATION
        Compulsory: DEVELOPMENTAL SECOND LANGUAGE SYNTAX
        Compulsory: EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
        Compulsory: FOUNDATIONS OF LINGUISTICS
        Compulsory: NON-EXPERIMENTAL QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        Compulsory: QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING/APPLIED LINGUISITICS RESEARCH
        Core: DISSERTATION: MA
        CORPORA IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN L2 LEARNING
        INPUT IN LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING
        LANGUAGE TEACHING
        TOPICS IN HEAD-DRIVEN PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMAR

    Teaching and Assessment Methods
      
    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : Systematic understanding of major research questions, leading ideas and controversies in research into second language acquisition.
        A2 : Understanding of the rationale underlying the main language teaching methods.
        A3 : Familiarity with the central concepts of modern generative grammar, and how they are applied to questions and problems in research into second language acquisition.
        A4 : Understanding of the relationship between theory and evidence in research into language.
        A5 : Knowledge of the techniques and methods of analysis used in linguistically informed research into second language acquisition.

        Teaching Methods
        Methods employed include:
        Lectures, seminars and classes (A1-5)
        Individual supervision for work leading to the dissertation (A1-5)
        Library and web materials (A1-5)
        Independent learning and research (A1-5)
        Computer lab sessions (A5)
        Written/oral feedback on assessed coursework (A1-5)

        Assessment Methods
        Assessment methods involve:
        Coursework essays (A1-5)
        Practical exercises (A3,4,5)
        Research dissertation (A1-5)

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : Analysis and description of complex language data.
        B2 : Use of evidence to support argumentation.
        B3 : Critical evaluation of argumentation.
        B4 : Production of coherent, well-researched and well-argued writing.
        B5 : Formulating research hypotheses, planning and managing a research project.

        Teaching Methods
        Methods employed include:
        Exercise material in seminars and classes (B1-4)
        Library and web materials (B2,3)
        Coursework essays and written/oral feedback (B1-5)
        Dissertation supervision (B1-5)
        Seminar in research design (B5)
        Independent learning and research (B1-5)

        Assessment Methods
        Assessment methods involve:
        Coursework essays (B1-5)
        Practical exercises (B1-5)
        Research dissertation (B1-5)

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : To use text-based and on-line resources to address specific research questions.
        C2 : To analyse linguistic datasets in terms of their grammatical properties.
        C3 : To apply descriptive statistics to results from language research and be aware of the role of inferential statistics in language research.
        C4 : To initiate, plan and carry out an original research project.

        Teaching Methods
        Methods employed include:
        Lectures, seminars and classes (C1,2)
        Exercise material in seminars and classes (C1,2)
        Library and web materials (C1-4)
        Coursework essays and written/oral feedback (C1,2)
        Dissertation supervision (C1-4)
        Seminar in research design (C3,4)
        Independent learning and research (C1-4)

        Assessment Methods
        Assessment methods involve:
        Coursework essays (C1-4)
        Practical exercises (C1-4)
        Research dissertation (C1-5)

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : (a) Ability to write coherent, concise and informed responses in essays, reviews, reports, using technical terms appropriately. (b) Ability to present a coherent, concise and informed line of argument orally.
        D2 : (a) Basic word processing and internet skills. (b) Ability to communicate through e-mail. (c) Ability to use on-line library resources in investigating research questions.
        D3 : (a) Ability to use descriptive statistics (b) Awareness of the role of basic inferential statistics
        D4 : (a) Ability to apply linguistic tools in the analysis of unseen data (b) Ability to produce well-organised responses to new problems
        D6 : (a) Ability to evaluate own written work critically. (b) Knowledge of the key resources in the discipline required for pursuing own learning further.

        Teaching Methods
        Methods employed include:
        Lectures, seminars and classes (D1,3)
        Non-assessed workshop and training courses (D1,2)
        Exercise material in seminars and classes (D4)
        Library and web materials (D6)
        Coursework essays and written/oral feedback (D1,2,4,6)
        Dissertation supervision (D1,2,3,4,6)
        Seminar in research design (D3,4,6)
        Independent learning and research (D2,6)

        Assessment Methods
        Assessment of key skills forms part of the assessment of coursework essays, practical exercises and the research dissertation.

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