The purpose of this course is to introduce the major components of theoretical and action research as carried out in language learning and teaching. Students read a variety of case studies on theoretical and action research with a focus on understanding and evaluating study design, procedures, analyses, as well as the use of electronic resources. They consider the process of literature review in the development of research questions and develop a proposal for their own research project.
This course will examine current theories of second language acquisition, in relation to the acquisitional process, developmental stages, and external factors conditioning acquisition, including the effects of the first language, age of acquisition, motivation, instructional context and the nature of input. Topics discussed will include the critical period hypothesis, parallels with first language acquisition, bilingualism and exceptional language learning.
Evaluation and Assessment of Language Use 3 credits
This course introduces students to fundamental concepts of language testing and assessment and critically examines testing instruments and procedures for specific purposes, with particular attention to test use in classroom settings.
Language and Linguistics 3 credits
This course introduces key concepts and approaches to the study of language and linguistics. It provides an overview, with basic terminology, of the major sub-fields of linguistics, investigating the nature, history, and structure of language, and how language relates to the mind, society, and education. It provides the basis of investigation in subsequent courses in the MA in SLA program. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own language experience and apply the theories covered in the course to their own linguistic context.
Project Report 6 credits
The Project Report may incorporate elements of data collection, data processing, data analysis and data solution. Students need to identify a proper research question and access to relevant and appropriate data for close examinations of that particular question under investigation. Topics can range from second language acquisition to language assessment, among other such applied linguistics topics. Students are expected to conduct the research independently, implementing and applying the big data approach to their proposed project and in their selected fields of second language studies, and submit an individual report.