Recent alumni have launched careers in corporate settings as language researchers and data analysts.
The Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language offers a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics that integrates the study of linguistic theory with practical applications and focuses on the language acquisition needs of post-secondary/adult learners of an additional language.
M.A. students receive the theoretical and practical foundational knowledge needed to teach language at the post-secondary level. If the student wishes to progress to doctoral work in applied linguistics or other language study or language teaching-related areas. In addition to required courses in second language acquisition theory, approaches to language teaching, grammar for language teachers and intercultural communication. Students may choose the following elective courses in sociolinguistics:
- Technology for language teaching
- Discourse analysis
- Corpus linguistics
- Second language literacy theory
Course work culminates with the compilation of a professional portfolio submitted in electronic format and is Internet-accessible if the graduating student wishes.
The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in response to societal needs resulting from English as the language of international communication. This worldwide use of English in programs and institutions of higher education has created a need in two areas. The first urgent need is research on an assortment of interrelated topics: language learning by adults who will use English for academic purposes, effective teaching of adult language learners and the nature of English as an academic language. The second need is for doctoral faculty who can teach in educational programs that prepare master's level teachers of English as a Second/Foreign Language.
Ph.D. students may focus on a range of topics. Research may be related to issues in second language writing, reading, listening, or speaking; analysis of academic language; assessment; teacher cognition; classroom dynamics; sociolinguistics; or the role of culture in second language acquisition.
The Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is an entry-level credential for those who plan short-term stays overseas. Also, for those interested in employment in adult schools, private language institutes or non-profit organizations that offer adult English language courses.
The TESOL field has been rapidly expanding since the 1970s; its continued job growth and educational opportunities continue as English remains a worldwide Lingua Franca; local and national governments, non-governmental agencies and corporations support English language education.
Students earn the Graduate TESOL Certificate by completing five graduate courses (15 hours) offered by the department. Additionally, students in the certificate program who want to pursue a degree can have the courses applied towards an M.A. degree in Applied Linguistics. Current M.A. students can also pursue the certificate if they wish.