The information in this handbook should serve as a supplement but not a substitute for the policies and procedures of the College of Arts and Sciences detailed in the Graduate Bulletin. This Bulletin is available for the graduate division of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Applied Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field of research and instruction; its research and graduate instructional curricula integrate aspects of fields such as linguistics, English, teacher education, speech communication, psychology, sociology, computer science, and anthropology into a distinct field focused on issues in the learning and teaching of second languages. In the United States, applied linguists generally, but not exclusively, examine and work on the various issues involved in the teaching and learning of a second/foreign language (e.g., the teaching and learning of English as a second language).
Georgia State University is a metropolitan research university with a large enrollment of international students. Georgia State has a total enrollment of 33,000 students, including more than 9,000 graduate students, from all fifty states and over one hundred countries around the world. The University offers graduate students opportunities for developing expertise in teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). It offers access to extensive library holdings, modern language teaching facilities, and a distinguished and dedicated faculty.
The Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language in the College of Arts and Sciences provides instruction to (1) graduate students in the MA Program, (2) graduate students in the PhD Program, (3) ESL students in graduate and undergraduate programs at Georgia State University, (4) pre-university ESL students who wish to improve their knowledge of English for academic purposes before beginning their studies in an English-speaking university, and (5) residents of the Atlanta metro community who are nonnative speakers of English. In addition, the Department offers teacher-development courses and seminars for professionals from within and outside the United States. The faculty of the graduate program are teacher-scholars with national and international reputations in their areas of expertise.
The Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL is comprised of four interrelated components: the Graduate Program; the Intensive English Program Programs; the ESL Assessment and Evaluation Program; and courses for matriculated ESL undergraduate and graduate students.
The MA in Applied Linguistics Program. Approximately 30 students are enrolled in the Master of Arts degree program in Applied Linguistics at any one time. The Graduate Program also provides courses that are taken by students in other academic disciplines (e.g., as the cognate area for doctoral students in Education or the language courses for students in various areas in Arts and Sciences). Currently or in the recent past, the faculty have conducted programming and research in cooperation with Anthropology, the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy, Criminal Justice, Developmental Studies, Early Childhood Education, English, Foreign Languages, Law, Computer Sciences, Psychology, the Adult Literacy Research Center, and International Student and Scholar Services. Faculty in the Department also collaborate on research and teaching projects with faculty and officials at other agencies and institutions in the State of Georgia, at various universities throughout the United States and abroad (e.g., at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, the United States Information Agency, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and universities in Canada, China, Mexico and Turkey, to name but a few.)
The Intensive English Program(IEP) offers an EAP curriculum designed to prepare ESL students for U.S. college and university courses. In addition, the IEP provides various services to IEP students including computer workshops, a TOEFL preparation course, conversation groups, and workshops and orientation to the U.S. and the GSU campus. The IEP serves both international students and Georgia residents. Most IEP students attend classes full time (18 hours per week); they are not matriculated GSU students but have access to all GSU facilities and programs. In some cases, students who have been accepted to degree programs at GSU may combine upper-level ESL classes in the IEP and regular academic coursework.
The AL/ESL Assessment (Testing) Program evaluates the English language proficiency of various ESL populations in the Atlanta area. Approximately 400 GSU students are assessed each semester. These include (1) students in GSU's IEP Program for placement in their ESL courses and admission to degree programs in the University, (2) international teaching assistants, (3) ESL graduate students who wish to use English to fulfill a foreign language requirement for their graduate program, and (4) ESL students who take the GSTEP (Georgia State Test of English Proficiency) as an alternative to the Regents' Exam. It also provides language proficiency information to GSU's Admission office, to academic assistance offices in all colleges, and to graduate advisors in Business, Health Sciences, and Arts and Sciences. The Assessment Program also evaluates the English language proficiency for other college and universities in the Atlanta area, including Clayton State College, Southern Polytechnic University, Dekalb College and Emory University. The Department provides assistance to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory University in oral proficiency assessment and training in ESL for international doctoral students.
Courses for Matriculated ESL Undergraduate and Graduate Students include (1) freshmen composition for undergraduates, (2) academic ESL courses for graduate students, and (3) courses for international teaching assistants.
The Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language (AL/ESL) offers two areas of concentration for its Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics: A research track and a language instruction track. Both tracks integrate the study of linguistic theory with practical applications and focus on the language acquisition needs of post-secondary/adult learners of an additional language. Students within the language education track will continue to receive the theoretical and practical foundational knowledge needed to serve as language instructors at the postsecondary levels either domestically or internationally. Students within the research track will acquire the theoretical and practical foundational knowledge needed to serve as language instructors at postsecondary levels either domestically or internationally, secure jobs within industry, and/or to progress to doctoral work in applied linguistics or other language-study or language-instruction related areas including but not only
- second language teacher education
- second language acquisition theory and practice
- classroom-oriented teacher development
- structure and use of English
- intercultural communication theory and research
- ESL/EFL materials research and development
- sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis
- corpus linguistics
- natural language processing
- work with members of the faculty as research assistants
- teach in the department's Intensive English Program (IEP)
- teach within the ESL community in Atlanta
- assist in classes taught by ESL professionals
- tutor ESL students at various levels of proficiency
- help develop social and cultural programming for ESL students
- live and study in a multinational multicultural urban environment
- participate in professional development activities of the International Teachers of
English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), the American Association
of Applied Linguists (AAAL), Georgia TESOL, and other professionally relevant organizations.
- study abroad in programs in Canada, Mexico, and Turkey
Students are required to complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work to earn the M.A. Degree in Applied Linguistics. The following courses are required of all students in the program regardless of track (i.e,. students in both the instruction and research track must take these course) and make up 15 of the total number of credits. Each track also has two required courses (6 credits). In total, students must take seven required classes that comprise 21 credit hours. The remaining credit hours (15 hours) can be met through elective courses. Click here for course descriptions.
Required Courses (15 hours)
AL 8240 General Linguistics
AL 8250 Second Language Acquisition
AL 8330 Intercultural Communication
AL 8450 Approaches to Teaching Second Languages
AL 8460 English Grammar for ESL/EFL Teachers
Required Courses for the Instruction Track (6 hours)
AL 8320 Sound System of English
AL 8900 Practicum or AL 8480- Classroom Practices in Second Language Instruction
Required Courses for the Research Track (6 hours)
AL 8550 Second Language Evaluation and Assessment
AL 8710 Research Design
Elective Courses (15 hours from below)
AL 8470 Sociolinguistics
AL 8500 Pragmatics and Language Teaching
AL 8520 Psycholinguistics
AL 8530 Issues in Second Language Writing
AL 8570 Second Language Reading-Writing Relations
AL 8760 Corpus Linguistics
AL 8770 Conversation Analysis
AL 8780 Discourse Analysis
AL 8660 Material Design and Publication
Please note that a minimum of 36 credits of course work are required for graduation. In addition, all courses that are counted toward the degree must be taken within the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language unless the prior approval of the Academic advisor and the Department Chair to register in a graduate course given outside the AL/ESL Department has been obtained. Conflict of schedule or unavailability of a particular course are not sufficient reasons to petition the Academic advisor and Department Chair to count a course taken outside the Department as fulfilling the minimum 36 credits of course work required.
Concurrent Required Courses for Students Receiving Assistantships
These courses do not count toward degree requirements and are ungraded; they document on your transcript the special training you received as a graduate assistant.)
AL 8920 Research Apprenticeship for GRAs
AL 8930 Laboratory Apprenticeship for GLAs
AL 8940 Teaching Apprenticeship for GTAs
AL 8950 Portfolio Development for all GAs
For information about possible transfer credit, please see:
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. In addition to maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, they may count no more than 1 grade of "C" toward completion of program course requirements. If students receive a second grade of "C" in their course work, they will be required to (1) re-enroll for credit in the course in which they received the second "C" grade (and obtain a grade of "A" or "B" in that course); or (2) enroll for credit in another (i.e., an additional) MA in Applied Linguistics course (and obtain a grade of "A" or "B" in that course). If they receive a second grade of "C" in a graduate course, students should consult with their academic advisor who will counsel them about retaking the course or enrolling in another course (i.e., in an additional course) in the MA in Applied Linguistics program. A third grade of "C" will result in the student's being dropped from the program.
APA Style Manual
Students are expected to use the American Psychological Association (APA) manual in writing their course papers.
The program includes a language requirement to demonstrate students' experiences with language learning. The MA language requirement can be met in any of the following ways: (1) one year of university foreign language study, (2) one year of living/study abroad in a non-English-dominant country, or (3) status as a speaker of English as an additional language.
By the end of the fourth week of the final semester in residence at Georgia State University, students are required to submit a master's portfolio that has received the approval of the graduate faculty of the department. A Master's portfolio may be submitted for final approval only during fall and spring semesters---not in the summer term. Members of the graduate faculty are unavailable to read and approve portfolios during summer semesters. If you plan to graduate during a summer semester, be sure to have completed and to have secured final approval of your portfolio from both of your faculty readers during the preceding spring semester at the latest. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the position of having to wait until the next fall semester to finalize this graduation requirement.
Sample MA Portfolios Online
You can find links to sample online MA portfolios from the following alumni (used with permission).
- Elizabeth Nighman, Spring 10
- Dani Rose, MA 2014, currently in Poland for a Fulbright ETA Fellowship
- Marcel Daniels, MA 2012, currently teaching in Shanghai, China
- Peter Dye, MA 2017
1. Portfolio Contents
In order to graduate, students will compile a portfolio, the purpose of which is to provide a record of cumulative reflection, showing growth and development as a professional. Students are responsible for keeping records of all documentation. Copies of documentation must also be filed with students' advisors at the end of each term. The portfolio will be organized following the format specified below, and each major section should have a brief introduction with corresponding documentation.
a. Student Permission Form
b. Table of Contents
c. C.V. Click here for a model in .pdf format. The models will open in a new Window.)
d. Reflective Overview: 2-page synthesis of portfolio contents
e. Instructional Service Activity and Teaching Documentation (60 hours for students in the Instruction Track and 30 hours for students in the Research Track): A brief overview statement on what has been gained from the ISA experiences; for each individual semester for which instructional hours were gained: reflections, lesson plans, student course evaluations, course materials, course designs, and other materials that document teaching activities and classroom-based experience; at least one classroom observation evaluation—click here for a copy of the MA teaching observation form.)
f. Research Activity (for students in the Research Track only, 30 hours): An overview in the form of a brief report (not a reflection) of what has been learned during research activities for each individual semester in which research hours were gained.
g. Microteaching video (for students in the Instructional Track only): A video recording in disk form of a 15-20 minute lesson for a language class produced either in Practicum, AL 8900, or independently while enrolled in the MA program; click here for a copy of the MA microteaching rubric.)
h. Master's Paper and Scholarship Documentation: Papers and projects from courses that are outstanding work and have been selected with the approval of the instructors of the courses for which they were written. Though not required, a thesis option is available. Please ask your adviser about this option.
j. Professional Development Documentation: A brief overview statement about professional activities--how the student views professional development and the ideas that the student has about future growth through organized professional development activities; reflections on individual activities)
2. Portfolio Documentation
A. Instructional Service Activity
Students in the Instruction Track are required to have continuous Instructional Service Activity (ISA) that normally begins after their first term in the graduate program for a minimum of 60 hours distributed over the course of the student's tenure in the program. These hours must be accumulated over time and cannot be achieved during only 1 or 2 semesters. Students within the Research Track will need to accumulate 30 hours of Instructional Service Activity. This requirement not only provides students with practical experience that will enhance their employment opportunities, but also enables students to make connections between their coursework and the real world of the ESL classroom.
Appropriate ISA includes but is not limited to the following: teaching in an ESL program, teaching in a foreign language program, being a GTA in the GSU IEP, and doing volunteer teaching in an ESL classroom. This experience must be completed under the guidance of a supervising teacher. In general, one-on-one tutoring does not fulfill the ISA requirement; however, students working as GLAs in GSU's tutoring lab under the supervision of the IEP may count up to 30 hours of tutoring towards their ISA requirement.
Before beginning their ISA, graduate students will need to fill out the ISA form (included in the handbook) and have the experience approved by their graduate advisor. After completing the semester's ISA, the student will then have the form signed by their ISA supervisor and will return it to their advisor.
Students are required to have at least one class session observed and evaluated by a teaching supervisor. A signed teaching evaluation form must be included in the portfolio. If no standard teaching evaluation form exists for the program where ISA hours are performed, please use the form available below. Only one evaluation is needed for the required 60/30 ISA hours even if the student teaches in multiple programs.
At the end of each term, students will also compose a 500-750 word synopsis of their teaching experience to be submitted to their graduate advisor and included in the portfolio. This documentation must be provided to the graduate advisor at the end of the term in which the activity was completed.
B. Research Activity
Students in the Research Track are required to have Research Activities (RAs) that normally begins after their first term in the graduate program for a minimum of 30 hours distributed over the course of the student's tenure in the program. These hours must be accumulated over time and cannot be achieved during only 1 or 2 semesters. Students within the Instructional Track will not need to accumulate any research hours. This requirement provides students in the research track with practical research experience that will enhance their employment and future educational opportunities. Additionally, the experience will enable students to make connections between their coursework and applied linguistics research.
Appropriate ISA includes but is not limited to the following: conducting research with a faculty member, internships in research oriented industries, or research employment. This research experience must be completed under the guidance of a supervising faculty member.
Before beginning their RA, graduate students will need to fill out an RA form (included in the handbook) and have the experience approved by their graduate advisor. After completing the semester's RA, the student will then have the form signed by their RA supervisor and will return it to their advisor.
C. Professional Development
Professional development is an important component of teacher and researcher development, since the work of ESL teachers and linguistic researchers extends far beyond individual classrooms and labs and includes multiple responsibilities to the profession as a whole and to other scholars and teachers as individuals. These professional responsibilities include continued development of our knowledge and skills, and also service to the profession in both governance, research, and educational roles. The professional development component of the graduate program is designed to initiate graduate students into the life of ESL/EFL and/or research professionals, and to help them build a strong record of achievement by the time they have completed their degrees.
Each semester graduate students are required to participate in one professional development activity. Appropriate activities can be selected from the many opportunities offered through GSU that are aimed at general development as teachers or language researchers as well as participation in activities more closely focused on TESL/TEFL or language analytics. For example, students can attend workshops or conferences offered by the department, other GSU departments and organizations, Georgia TESOL, International TESOL, the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), or other workshops or conferences related to TESL/TEFL, applied linguistics, or language analytics. Students are encouraged to be active in the Graduate Student Association's Professional Development Committee, through which they can participate in workshops and can also gain experience in the planning and presentation of professional development programs. Students are expected to become acquainted with the range of opportunities available for ongoing professional development and for service to the profession. Active and documentable service on Georgia TESOL, International TESOL, AAAL or similar organizational committees will also count toward this requirement. In addition, students can participate in training workshops and programming offered through GSU's Center for Teaching and Learning or through GSU's Computer Center or Instructional Technology Center. If students would like to participate in training other than that listed here, they must submit a written explanation for their advisor's approval.
For documentation, graduate students need to provide evidence of attendance or participation as well as a one-page analysis of the experience to be turned in to their graduate advisor for inclusion in the portfolio. This documentation must be provided to the graduate advisor by the end of the term in which the activities were completed.
D. Master's Paper
As part of their program portfolio, students will prepare and include in their portfolio a master's paper which demonstrates their mastery of the bridging of theory, practice, and/or analytics. This master's paper will originate as a paper or project which the student has prepared for a departmental course (either a required or an elective course). The student will make the necessary revisions and additions to that paper to turn it into a scholarly paper which demonstrates the bridging of theory and practice. This paper is not a "thesis" or even a "mini-thesis" although a thesis option is available for students in the Research Track. The paper shall be the student's opportunity to prepare himself or herself to write knowledgeably about theory, practice, and/or language analytics in a particular, specialized area of inquiry, as well as to develop the writing ability needed to participate as a scholar in the profession. Students are expected to use APA format in writing their Master's Papers.
Students will formally present the final version of their master's paper to an audience of faculty and peers from the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL. This presentation will demonstrate their mastery of effective oral communication within the field of applied linguistics, as well as their ability to use technology (e.g., PowerPoint and related software) during the presentation. Presentation styles will conform to the standards in our field, giving students experience participating in this much valued oral aspect of our profession.
The two readers of the MA paper will be the reviewers for the paper presentation. If either of them is unable to attend the presentation, they may, after consulting with the student, ask another faculty member to serve in this role. Both faculty members must agree that the master's paper presentation satisfies the requirement. Upon completion, a copy of each reviewer’s evaluation of the presentation will be sent to the student and placed in the student's file. One faculty member--normally the faculty member for whom the paper was written--will be the primary reviewer of the master's paper. A second faculty member, selected by the student in consultation with the primary faculty member, shall act as second reviewer of the paper. Both faculty members must agree that the master's paper satisfies the requirement.
All students planning to present their MA papers must contact their advisor and the graduate director at the start of the term that they wish to give their MA paper presentation in. Usually one day will be set aside each semester for MA paper presentations. Two days may be needed, however, when an unusually large number of MA students are graduating.
The master's paper presentation may be given only during fall and spring semesters--not in the summer term. Members of the graduate faculty are unavailable to attend presentations during summer semesters. If you plan to graduate during a summer semester, be sure to have completed your master's paper presentation during the preceding spring semester at the latest. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the position of having to wait until the next fall semester to finalize this graduation requirement. See the following links for rubrics for the MA Paper itself and the presentation:
Because much of the portfolio documentation must be submitted to the graduate advisor each term, graduate students need to make an appointment to meet with their advisor at the end of each term in which they are enrolled in the program.
Two copies of the portfolio are required. One copy is kept by the student. The other is submitted to the department after the advisor's approval. Also, two Faculty advisor Approval Forms are required. One is part of the portfolio and the other is kept in the student's departmental file.
As is the case with the overall portfolio, the Master's paper may be submitted for final approval only during fall and spring semesters--not in the summer term. Members of the graduate faculty are unavailable to read and approve master's paper during summer semesters. If you plan to graduate during a summer semester, be sure to have completed and to have secured final approval of your Master's paper from both of your faculty readers during the preceding spring semester at the latest. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the position of having to wait until the next fall semester to finalize this graduation requirement.
Print a copy of this timeline for the detailed calendar for preparation of the paper and for the approval process.
During your study in AL/ESL, you will need to complete a variety of forms that document your work. These forms include (1) the advising form, (2) Instructional Service and Research Activity Forms, (3) the Master's Paper approval form, and (4) the Portfolio approval form. In addition, there is a form to go with your portfolio on which you give or deny permission for other students to see your portfolio. Another set of forms is used when you apply for assistantships. You can find links to these forms by clicking here.
Working with Your Faculty Academic Advisor
When beginning your Graduate Program, you are assigned a Faculty Academic advisor in the Department. Before enrolling in any degree courses, you need to contact the Director of Graduate Studies or your advisor to discuss your program of study and your plan for fulfilling all the degree requirements (e.g., the coursework and language requirements, etc.) The Academic advisors shoulder many responsibilities in their work with Master's candidates. They are responsible for advising graduate students concerning the student's selection of coursework. Academic advisors are also available to discuss with you various academic problems that may arise in the course of your graduate study. Furthermore, advisors work with graduate students as students make career plans and apply for teaching positions. Advisors can be contacted at their offices in the Department (404-413-5200). Get to know your advisor. They are busy but very dedicated and committed professionals. They enjoy helping their graduate students to develop and achieve educational and professional goals and to become competent instructors and inquiring researchers in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Types of Financial Support | Applying
A. Types of Financial Support
Several types of financial support are available for graduate students on a competitive basis in the Department of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language: (1) Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), (2) Graduate Laboratory Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships; (3) Out-of-State Tuition Fee Waivers, and (4) International Student Fee Waivers. In addition, other types of aid are available to all Georgia State University students through the Office of Student Financial Services. Financial support is only available for students who are registered full-time (9 hours or more).
1. Graduate Teaching Assistantships provide an opportunity for paid, practical, and supervised experience in the department. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must have native or near-native-speaker proficiency in English. Students who have completed 18 hours of coursework, including including AL8450 (Approaches) and AL8900 (Practicum),are eligible to apply for GTAB positions. MA-level GTABs ordinarily teach one ESL class each semester (PhD GTAs may be assigned up to two classes), are paid a stipend, and have fees and tuition reduced. MA students who have completed AL8450 (Approaches) and AL8900 (Practicum) but have fewer than 18 hours of coursework are eligible to apply for GTAA positions. Students holding GTAA appointments may not have a primary responsibility for a course, but they may serve as discussion leaders in breakout sections, grade papers, or assist the primary instructor of a course in other ways. GTAs are required to participate in several hours of in-service training and supervision throughout each semester. Assistantships are usually granted for one semester and are renewable based on the GTA's performance and enrollment needs.
Nonnative speakers of English applying for a GTAB position in the department must normally have received an overall score of 111 on the TOEFL iBT and a score of at least 22 on each of the subscores (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). These MA and doctoral students interested in applying for an assistantship will take an Oral Proficiency Teaching Simulation (OPTS) exam offered by the department; they must pass this test to receive a GTAB assignment. If students do not pass the test, they must take and successfully pass the ITA class. Exemptions include:
OPTS, ITA course Exempt
- Native speakers of English from a country where English is the primary language, such as English-Speaking Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.
- English-medium schooling from elementary school through college (All subjects taught through English except for the mother tongue.)
- English-medium schooling from elementary school through college (All subjects taught through English except for the mother tongue.)
- A score of 27 or higher on both the writing and speaking sections of the TOEFL.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Level A (GTAA)
Students appointed as a GTA Level A must have a baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in a graduate program. Students holding GTAA appointments may not have a primary responsibility for a course, but they may serve as discussion leaders in breakout sections, grade papers, or assist the primary instructor of a course in other ways. GTAAs will normally have completed less than 18 hours of graduate course credits in the appropriate discipline. The department chair or division director shall determine that the
credentials of a student qualify the individual to undertake the work assignment.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Level B (GTAB)
Students appointed as a GTA Level B must have a baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in a graduate program, and will have completed more than 18 hours of graduate course credit in the appropriate discipline. GTABs must be under the general supervision of regular faculty members, and there must be a mentoring process in the department or division to assist them in their teaching activities. GTABs require Board of Regents approval prior to assignment as the instructor of record for a course. The department chair or division director shall determine that the credentials of a student qualify the
individual to undertake the work assignment.
Each full GRA and GLA appointment—as well as each GTAA appointment—corresponds to 20% FTE. The appointing department will arrange the specific work schedule for each appointment. A GTAB appointment may range between 20% and 30% FTE, depending on the size of the class, the course requirements, and other factors. The college or academic unit will determine the commitment of effort associated with teaching a given (normally 3 semester hour) course.
2. Graduate Laboratory Assistantships (GLAs) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)are available for graduate students to assist faculty with their research. GLAs and GRAs must be enrolled in 3 graduate courses for the semester of the assistantship and work a total of 10 hours each week helping faculty members with research projects. They receive compensation and have their fees and tuition reduced for the semester. These assistantships pay less than the GTA-B positions, but they provide the same reduction in tuition and fees. The Graduate Assistantships are granted for one semester and are renewable if performance warrants renewal, and if funding is available.
3. Out-of-state tuition fee waivers are available for selected students who participate in the Master's International program. The waivers provide a reduction in tuition and fees to the same amount paid by legal residents of the State of Georgia. Students interested in fee waivers should Contact Dr. Diane Belcher, Director of Graduate Studies at (404) 413-5194.
Students interested in other forms of financial aid, including loans, should contact the Office of Student Financial Services, 122 Sparks Hall, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083. Telephone (404) 413-2400.
Applications for assistantships and tuition waivers are taken at the end of each semester. E-mail correspondence is sent each semester to all AL/ESL graduate students, listing the deadline for application. Letters of assistantship application should be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Diane Belcher, and should contain relevant information about the applicant (e.g., coursework taken, grades achieved, computer skills and/or teaching experience acquired, etc.)
Securing one type of assistantship does not give a student special priority when she or he applies for another type of support. For example, a student who is a GLA does not have priority when applying for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. All appointments are made on a semester-by-semester basis. Reappointment is based on merit and the availability of Departmental resources.
Because of budget uncertainty and fiscal constraints with the State of Georgia and the University, the exact amount of assistantship funding for any term is often uncertain. As a result, the Departmental faculty will often not be able to make decisions about the granting of assistantships until the term breaks, and sometimes not until immediately before the start of classes for the semester. Therefore, applicants for competitive assistantships need to be flexible and patient.
Graduate students in the department are urged to join Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). TESOL is the international professional organization of our field and provides professional development possibilities through its conventions and conferences, electronic mail exchanges, publications and special interest sections. Students can obtain membership forms from their advisors and take advantage of reduced student membership. TESOL hosts an international convention annually in the spring. Students can also join the local affiliate, Georgia TESOL. GATESOL also organizes workshops and conferences, and publishes a newsletter. Students should endeavor, in every way, to develop as committed TESOL professionals by attending and presenting papers at conferences, and by volunteering to obtain a variety of different kinds of teaching experience, as time permits.
Atlanta has many opportunities for Georgia State students to secure teaching experience as volunteers and as paid teachers and staff members at many different organizations and schools. Students are advised to take advantage of the many opportunities by following up on announcements of volunteer and paid positions listed on the front-page of the AL/ESL website.
Because the Department uses electronic mail (e-mail) for information about course offerings, registration information, notices about financial aid applications, and so forth, it is important that you either use the Georgia State student email address for all your email or link the Georgia State student email address to the email address that you actually do use. When you are in the student email page (viewing the list of messages) there are 3 icons at the top of the page, the middle icon is for "options." You click on that and go to "Mailbox Management". Then you put your other email address in the "forward to" box. You have to click on the "YES" radio button, and it is probably a good idea to click "YES" on the 'keep copy' as well (so a copy is saved in the Georgia State mailbox as well). Then you have to click "save" at the bottom of the screen.
The office needs your mailing address and phone number as well, so you should inform the staff of the Department regarding changes. Changing your address at the registrar's office is not sufficient; you must also notify the Department staff (404-413-5200) so that your file can be kept current.
Participating in the TESL Graduate Student Organization and the Graduate Student Professional Development Committee
The graduate students in the Department of Applied Linguistics/ESL all belong to the Department's Graduate Student Association (GSA). This organization serves primarily a social function, sponsoring various get-togethers throughout the year, and you will receive e-mailed notices of these Georgia State social functions. The GSA Faculty adviser is Dr. Nan Jiang. Students have also organized a Professional Development Committee (PDC) that organizes programs for graduate students. The main objective of the PDC is to promote and facilitate professional development among the graduate students in the program through workshops, professional involvement, and reference material.
Students must apply for graduation well in advance, usually two semesters before graduation. Check with the graduation office about deadlines. Georgia State University has published procedures that all students must follow when applying for graduation. Please refer to the College of Arts and Sciences' Graduate Bulletin for this information. Check the website of the Graduation Services Office for more information.
Current job announcements and employment possibilities for graduate students are posted in the Department and on the Web. Tutoring opportunities including foreign language and ESL are also posted in the Department. Graduate students are encouraged to use these bulletin boards.
An employment workshop is held once a year for graduate students who are interested in teaching overseas. This workshop covers resume writing, interview strategies, contract negotiations, and intercultural aspects of getting and keeping work abroad.
Students are advised to familiarize themselves with, and are required to abide by, the Policy on Academic Honesty printed in Georgia State University's general catalog. Graduate students will be held accountable both for being familiar with and for abiding by the standards of intellectual and academic integrity presented in the Policy.