Concordia University

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Applied Linguistics MA

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their past academic record, competence in written and spoken English, letters of recommendation, and experience teaching a second or a foreign language. To be accepted into the program, a student is required to have an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (B average). An academic concentration in second language acquisition, applied linguistics, pedagogy, education, or related discipline and at least one year of professional experience in the field of second language teaching and learning or related areas are desirable. Knowledge of a second language is an asset.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

  2. Courses. Students may select one of two options, A or B, outlined below.
     

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Residence. The minimum residence is one year (3 terms) of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
     

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts with Thesis (Option A)

All students must: 1. take APLI 604, APLI 621, APLI 660 (9 credits); 2. take 3 credits from each of the three clusters (9 credits); 3. take 6 additional credits from any of the clusters, electives, or courses approved by the Graduate Program Director; 4. write a thesis proposal, APLI 690 (3 credits); 5. write a thesis, APLI 691 (18 credits). Up to 9 credits from other departments or universities may be credited toward the degree.

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts without Thesis (Option B)

All students must: 1. take APLI 604, APLI 621, APLI 660 (9 credits); 2. take 6 credits from each of the three clusters (18 credits); 3. take 6 additional credits from any of the clusters, electives, or courses approved by the Graduate Program Director; 4. write an extended essay, APLI 696 (12 credits). Up to 9 credits from other departments or universities may be credited toward the degree.

Courses

Core Courses

All students must take the following core courses: APLI 604, APLI 621, APLI 660.

APLI 604 Applied Language Studies (3 credits)
This course examines the different theoretical concepts and methods used to analyze and describe the linguistic structure of language, and explores ways in which these can be applied to the teaching of second languages. The course introduces students to the key concepts that characterize the different components of language, namely phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, within an approach that recognizes that languages can be affected by the social, psychological, and pragmatic aspects of human behaviour.

APLI 621 Issues in Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
Research in second language acquisition (SLA) is surveyed in this course. Students read, critique, and discuss a number of research reports and survey articles on topics including research techniques in SLA, individual differences believed to affect success in second language learning (e.g., age, motivation), the systematicity of learner language (interlanguage, developmental sequences), the influence of learners’ first language on the structure of their interlanguage, the development of general theories of SLA. The course concludes with a discussion of SLA research carried out in classroom settings.

APLI 660 Research Methods I (3 credits)
The principal aims of the course are to enable students better to evaluate reports of empirical research in the language sciences and to plan limited studies of their own. Emphasis is placed upon the logic of research designs, the nature of scientific proof, and the assumptions underlying data analytic procedures. Case studies of published research, readings and lectures illustrate the concepts of data, scales, models, sampling, theory, description, estimation and significance testing.

Cluster Courses

Thesis students take a minimum of one course from each cluster; non-thesis students take a minimum of two courses from each cluster.

Cluster A: Focus on Theory

APLI 623 Sociolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism and Multilingualism
This course is an introduction to educational and sociolinguistic issues affecting the promotion and maintenance of individual and societal bilingualism, multilingualism, and multiculturalism. The societal consequences of being multilingual and multicultural and the perspectives of both students and educators in multilingual/multicultural language classrooms will be examined.
Note: Students who have received credit for APLI 642 may not take this course for credit.

APLI 624 Psycholinguistic Aspects of Second Language Acquisition
Prerequisite: APLI 660 (previously or concurrently).
This course examines issues in second language acquisition and bilingualism/multilingualism from a cognitive (psycholinguistic) perspective. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with basic psycholinguistic concepts of language representation and use, focusing on the learning of different aspects of language, the role of attention and memory in language acquisition, the development of language comprehension and production skills, and the cognitive consequences of bilingualism/multilingualism. Throughout the course, emphasis is given to understanding research methodologies used in psycholinguistic investigations.
Note: Students who have received credit for APLI 642 may not take this course for credit.

APLI 626 Variationist Second Language Acquisition
The acquisition of a second language is a process that is inherently variable due to factors such as the influence of the learner’s first language, the target language, extralinguistic variables, and other factors. This course examines the interplay of these variables, focusing on current research in variable second language acquisition and on the pedagogical implications and applications of this knowledge for second language teaching.
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under an APLI 651 number may not take this course for credit.

APLI 627 Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition
The course provides an overview of learners’ individual differences in cognitive, social, affective, and motivational variables and the role of those differences in second language teaching and learning. Course topics may include language aptitude, motivation, learning and cognitive styles, personality, and language learning strategies. The course offers a research-based framework for understanding how individual differences impact language learning for different learners in various learning contexts. 
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under an APLI 651 number may not take this course for credit.

APLI 634 Cross-Linguistic Influence
Prerequisite: APLI 604.
This course provides an overview of different perspectives that have been taken on the ways previously learned languages affect the learning of subsequent languages. Topics include: the contrastive analysis and error analysis approaches; avoidance; markedness; selective, bidirectional, and conceptual transfer; and factors affecting cross-linguistic influence among trilingual and multilingual speakers. Throughout the course, the implications for language teaching of the theoretical perspectives and empirical findings are considered.

Cluster B: Focus on Language

APLI 601 Phonological Aspects of Second Language Acquisition
Prerequisite: APLI 604 (previously or concurrently).
This course is an introduction to second language phonology, with emphasis on how theoretical knowledge and research can be applied to the teaching of pronunciation in traditional and computer-based environments. This course familiarizes students with the English sound system and associated phonetic phenomena, research in the development of second language phonology, and key concepts in phonemic representation, production and perception.

APLI 610 Teaching and Learning Second Language Vocabulary
Prerequisite: APLI 604 (previously or concurrently).
The course provides an overview of research perspectives on second language vocabulary acquisition. Topics include the characteristics of lexis, the structure of the mental lexicon, implicit and explicit learning, and issues in assessment. The course also outlines a research-informed approach to instruction: in addition to examining both old and new techniques for teaching vocabulary, it explores developments in corpus linguistics that are relevant to vocabulary instruction and materials design.

APLI 616 Pedagogical Grammar
Prerequisite: APLI 604 (previously or concurrently).
This course surveys the theoretical and empirical literature related to the teaching and learning of grammar in second language classrooms. Topics include the nature of pedagogical rules, the use of metalinguistic terminology, teachers’ knowledge and beliefs, learner characteristics, task types, and sequencing. Students also study a grammar structure in depth for which they subsequently develop, pilot, and critically evaluate a set of instructional materials.

APLI 636 Language Awareness
This course focuses on current research and practice in language awareness relating to language teaching and learning for a variety of learners in different contexts. Topics may include the learning of first, second and additional languages, language teaching methodology, language teacher education, attitudes towards language, cross-linguistic and cross-cultural awareness, and critical language awareness. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on both the theoretical and practical implications of language awareness. 
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under an APLI 651 number may not take this course for credit.

APLI 643 Pragmatics and Second Language Acquisition
The course provides an overview of pragmatics, which includes topics ranging from reference, implicature, presupposition, speech acts, information structure, and conversational structure. The course also provides a research-informed approach to the study of these topics in second language learning contexts, exploring developments in second language research that are relevant to the understanding of pragmatics.

Cluster C: Focus on Pedagogy

APLI 625 Second Language Speaking and Listening
The course provides an overview of several topics in second language listening and speaking such as fluency, formulaic language, strategies, and inferencing. The course provides a research-informed approach to second language listening and speaking, exploring trends in second language acquisition research and pedagogy that are relevant to the understanding of skill development.

APLI 630 Second Language Syllabus Design and Curriculum Planning
The aims of the course are to examine the evolution of the syllabus in second language teaching and to consider issues related to the development, planning and implementation of language programs in a range of educational settings. Topics include the history of second language teaching; current issues in pedagogical practice; assessment of student needs; and the design, sequencing, and evaluation of language teaching materials.
Note: Students who have received credit for APLI 638 may not take this course for credit.

APLI 635 Language Assessment
The course provides an overview of theory and research that informs language testing. Students explore historical developments in language assessment as well as current trends. The course enables them to critically evaluate a range of test types including standardized placement instruments, diagnostic tests, progress/achievement measures, and non-traditional assessment techniques. Students are guided in designing sample tests; they are also familiarized with established methods for analyzing test items and interpreting results.

APLI 644 Technology in Language Learning
This course explores theoretical and applied issues related to the use of technology in second language learning and teaching. The principal aims of the course are to enable students to critically evaluate existing instructional uses of technology and to design methodologically sound technology-based materials for second language teaching. Emphasis is placed on developing skills needed for the integration of instructional technology into second language instruction.

APLI 646 Literacy (3 credits)
This course examines the development of reading and writing abilities in a second language, including the connections between the two. It discusses literacy issues pertaining to different age groups and proficiency levels, including university students acquiring advanced academic writing skills. Throughout the course, the implications for language teaching of the different theoretical and empirical findings will be considered.

APLI 647 Supervision of Practice Teaching
This course is designed for students who have some ESL teaching experience and a particular interest in working in the field of teacher training. The course has both a practical and a theoretical component. In the practical component, students observe and assist novice ESL teachers; in the theoretical component, students meet weekly in an academic seminar.

Elective Courses

Each year the department offers a selection of courses from those listed below. All courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

APLI 641 Research Methods II
Prerequisite: APLI 660.
The principal aims of the course are to enable students to evaluate the statistical information provided in reports of empirical research in the social sciences and use statistics in small scale studies. Emphasis is placed upon the logic of statistical tests, the assumptions underlying their use, and the interpretation of the results. The course also includes basic elements of data analysis and synthesis in research employing qualitative methodologies.
Note: Students who have received credit for this topic under an APLI 651 number may not take this course for credit.

APLI 651 Special Topics in Applied Linguistics
This course provides an advanced treatment of specialized literature in an area of Applied Linguistics.

APLI 671 Reading Course in Applied Linguistics I
APLI 672 Reading Course in Applied Linguistics II
APLI 673 Reading Course in Applied Linguistics III
APLI 674 Reading Course in Applied Linguistics IV
APLI 675 Reading Course in Applied Linguistics V
(6 credits)

Thesis

APLI 690 Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
APLI 691 Thesis (18 credits)
APLI 696 Research Paper (12 credits)

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