Linguistics, Applied

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College of Liberal Arts
Linguistics Program

M.A. Degree

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 30 credits

Linguistics is the study of language and covers a variety of subjects including theories of grammar and how we produce language. It has a number of applications, including language teaching, teaching of English as a second or foreign language, and documentation of endangered languages.

Graduate students in applied linguistics may pursue a general program or develop a concentration in either language documentation or second language acquisition and teacher education. Students are expected either to have or to develop proficiency in at least one language other than English, as demonstrated by a proficiency exam or a comparable measure determined by the student’s graduate committee. Students pursuing certification in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education must demonstrate proficiency in the language they intend to teach.
 The general program provides students with a practical foundation in linguistics but remains broad enough to allow exploration of a variety of possible thesis topics.

Language documentation is designed to provide practical foundations in linguistics, techniques of fieldwork and documentation, with special focus on Alaska Native languages.

Second language acquisition and teacher education is designed for students interested in teaching English as a second language, a foreign or Alaska Native language. It is designed to provide theoretical and practical foundations in second language acquisition, language teaching, materials development, and language assessment. Students may earn a postcertification endorsement in second language acquisition, bilingual education and literacy (SLABEL).

SLABEL is an innovative master’s degree program that combines course work in literacy with second language acquisition. Candidates will receive an interdisciplinary education that will have immediate application for K-12 language arts, English, bilingual, ELL and content-area teachers, working in increasingly complex bilingual, multilingual and multi-modal classroom environments. Candidates simultaneously earn a master's degree and a K-12 statewide endorsement based on TESOL standards, Alaska Teacher Standards and Alaska Cultural Standards. The program may be completed in either education (M. Ed.) or applied linguistics (M.A.). While program requirements are identical, the specific degree awarded (M.Ed. or M.A.) is determined by the advisor's department or school. Comprehensive exams and teacher-action research are required.