Degree Requirements and Course Descriptions

Degree Requirements

  • Credit hours: 33
  • Required courses (21 hrs.)
    • Four core courses (12 hrs.): SLaT 601, 602, 603, and 604
    • Plus three courses (9 hrs.) from SLaT 610, 611, 612, 613 or 614R
  • Elective courses (6 hrs.)
    • Language: One (3 hrs.) graduate-level language, linguistics, or literature course of the language of specialization or SLaT 680R
    • General: One (3 hrs.) additional graduate-level language-specific course or one (3 hrs.) additional pedagogy course approved by student’s graduate committee
  • Master’s Thesis (6 hrs.) 
    or
    Master’s Action Research Project (3 hrs., plus an additional class)
  • Examinations: Written comprehensive exam and oral defense of thesis or project.
     

Course Descriptions

SLaT 601
Survey of Second Language Teaching and Acquisition
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Research in second language teaching; theories of language learning; historical trends and current practices and issues in language education.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Interpret both quantitative and qualitative research in second language education, and explain theoretical and practical differences between the two.
  • Critically evaluate published research in second language teaching.
  • Summarize major theories about what it means to "know" a language.
  • Summarize major theories of language learning.
  • Review major historical trends in language teaching methodology.
  • Discuss current thinking on how best to teach and assess language and culture.
  • Discuss ways of addressing student diversity in a language classroom.
  • Write a review of the literature or annotated bibliography on a topic related to second language teaching.
SLaT 602
Linguistics for Language Teachers
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

In-depth knowledge of language systems, i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Explain and use common terminology used in the field of linguistics
  • Analyze language in terms of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
  • Explain how language is used in society and how and why it changes.
  • Apply principles of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics to the target language.
SLaT 603
Conducting Research in Second Language Teaching
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Reviewing, understanding, and evaluating published research; designing quantitative and qualitative research studies; using basic statistical procedures for analyzing data; writing a research prospectus conforming to APA style guidelines.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Interpret and critically evaluate published research studies in second language teaching.
  • Use databases to locate and review previously published research on a given topic.
  • Discuss principles of experimental (quantitative) research design, including ways of maximizing validity and reliability.
  • Select and use basic statistical procedures for analyzing quantitative data.
  • Discuss principles of interpretive (qualitative) research design and data analysis.
  • Write a prospectus for a Master's Thesis study or a Master's Action Research Project appropriate to the graduate level and conforming to APA style guidelines.
SLaT 604
Assessing Language Skills
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Purposes and uses of various forms of assessment; development of tests, surveys, questionnaires, and alternative forms of assessment; evaluation of the quality of assessments.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Discuss various forms of assessment and their uses.
  • Select appropriate assessments for various purposes, skills, levels, and types of learning.
  • Align assessments with learning objectives and standards.
  • Write selected-response and constructed-response test items.
  • Design alternate forms of assessment, including checklists, rubrics, and portfolios.
  • Construct surveys and questionnaires.
  • Analyze and interpret the results of assessments.
  • Evaluate the quality of assessments in terms of validity, reliability, etc.
SLaT 610
Using Media and Technology in Second Language Teaching and Research
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Use and application of various types of media and technology appropriate for second language teaching, learning, and research.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Evaluate the use of technologies in second language instruction using an appropriate theoretical framework.
  • Develop knowledge of and skill using technologies available for second language teaching.
  • Evaluate the usefulness and quality of research and development on the use of media and technology for language teaching and learning.
  • Create and implement functional media applications that can be effectively used in a second language classroom.
SLaT 611
Teaching Listening and Speaking Skills
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Theory and research on teaching and learning listening and speaking skills; application of professional guidelines on listening and speaking; selection and use of appropriate techniques for teaching and assessing oral skills.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Summarize current theory and research in second language speaking and listening.
  • Apply professional guidelines, including the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines, to the teaching of oral skills.
  • Discuss the role of grammar instruction and error correction in learning to speak a second language.
  • Select and sequence materials for teaching and assessing listening comprehension.
  • Select and use appropriate classroom techniques for teaching and assessing oral skills.
  • Reflect on themselves as second language speakers and listeners and as teachers of speaking and listening.
SLaT 612
Teaching Reading and Writing Skills
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Theory and research on teaching and learning reading and writing skills; application of professional guidelines on reading and writing; selection and use of appropriate techniques for teaching and assessing literacy skills.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Summarize current theory and research in second language reading and writing.
  • Apply professional guidelines, including the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, to the teaching of literacy skills.
  • Select appropriate reading materials for a variety of levels.
  • Develop instructional plans for helping students read specific texts.
  • Develop writing tasks for different purposes and audiences.
  • Select and use appropriate techniques for responding to students' writing.
  • Select and use appropriate techniques for assessing reading and writing skills.
  • Reflect on their own skills as second language readers and writers.
SLaT 613
Teaching and Learning About Culture
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Role of culture in second language courses; current theory and research on culture teaching and learning; techniques for teaching and assessing culture.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Discuss the relationship between language and culture and the role of culture learning in a second language class.
  • Summarize current theory and research on culture teaching and learning, learning, and assessment.
  • Discuss various models of culture learning.
  • Select and use appropriate techniques for helping students learn about the target culture(s) and about their own culture(s).
  • Evaluate and supplement the cultural content of second language textbooks.
  • Select and use appropriate techniques for assessing culture learning.
  • Reflect on themselves as products of a particular culture and as second culture learners and teachers.
SLaT 614R
Seminar in Second Language Teaching
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Topics vary. In-depth discussion about issues relating to second language learning, teaching, and research.

Learning Outcomes:

Will vary according to the topic of the course.

SLaT 680R
Directed Studies (in language of specialization)
Credits:
1-3
Catalog Description:

Individualized studies in language of specialization, directed by a faculty member. Research paper required.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to . . .

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the target language as a system.
  • Locate, review, and evaluate published literature on specific aspects of the target language.
SLaT 698R
Master's Action Research Project
Credits:
3
Catalog Description:

Design, production, and evaluation of MA action research project in the student's language of specialization.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to . . .

  • Explain and apply principles and practices for effectively teaching second languages and cultures.
  • Explain and apply principles and practices for effectively assessing second languages and cultures.
  • Locate, review, and evaluate published research in second language teaching.
  • Design second language research studies, collect and analyze data, and report the findings.

*Such a project would follow procedures accepted--and even encouraged--by researchers in our profession. Mills (2003) summarizes this framework as follows:

  • Describe the problem and area of focus.
  • Define the factors involved in your area of focus (e.g., the curriculum, school setting, student outcomes, instructional strategies).
  • Develop research questions.
  • Describe the intervention or innovation to be implemented.
  • Develop a timeline for implementation.
  • Describe the membership of the action research group.
  • Develop a list of resources to implement the plan.
  • Describe the data to be collected.
  • Develop a data collection and analysis plan.
  • Select appropriate tools of inquiry.
  • Carry out the plan (implementation, data collection, data analysis).
  • Report the results.

Action research projects envisioned for the SLaT program should follow a similar format. The student's thesis/project advisor will assist the student in planning and carrying out his or her project.

(Mills,G.E. (2003). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.)

SLaT 699R
Master's Thesis
Credits:
6
Catalog Description:

Master's Thesis includes a review of the research literature and a report on the research study. Thesis students are encouraged to work with faculty members in their areas of research.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to . . .

  • Explain and apply principles and practices for effectively teaching second languages and cultures.
  • Explain and apply principles and practices for effectively assessing second languages and cultures.
  • Locate, review, and evaluate published research in second language teaching.
  • Design second language research studies, collect and analyze data, and report the findings.