MSc in Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field which mediates between the theory of language and the practice of language learning.

It is also an overarching field that includes Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and as such, can shed light on the teaching and learning of a second or foreign language.

The MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition is a popular course which introduces students to key issues within the field of Applied Linguistics with a focus on topics relating to second language learning. The topics represented within the course draw from some of the related disciplines within Applied Linguistics such as Psycholinguistics, Education (Language Teaching/Learning), Linguistics, and Sociolinguistics. It can be taken either full–time (1 year) or part-time (2 years). The full time course consists of 8 taught modules (4 modules in each of two years if students choose the part-time route) and 1 research dissertation.

Part time students follow 4 modules in Year 1 and then 4 in Year 2. In Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, modules are taught from 4.30 – 6.30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 5.30 – 6.30 pm on Wednesdays for those studying part-time, so two are offered in Michaelmas and two in Hilary of each year.

A number of research methods sessions are timetabled through the year and many of those will fall on a Monday or a Wednesday. If a part-time student cannot attend those sessions in Year 1 then they can pick them up in Year 2. There is also an understanding that supervisors of part-time students will spend a little time addressing research methods on an individual basis.

It is expected however that all new students will attend a Saturday session on research methods that will be offered in early Michaelmas term.

The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to reflect and further develop their understanding of both theoretical and practical considerations in the field of language learning and teaching. It encourages students to develop a broad theoretical base reflecting current cutting edge research within Applied Linguistics and related disciplines. Additionally, this course makes links between the different disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of language learning and issues related to language pedagogy.

Students who would be ideally suited to take this course would be those who are:

  • graduates in a discipline related to Applied Linguistics and who wish to further their academic study with a focus on language learning and SLA,
  • graduates of related disciplines who have an interest in the learning and teaching of English and foreign languages,
  • teachers of English as a Second Language and/or Foreign Languages in all phases of education
  • educationalists interested in the study of a second language.

The MSc ALSLA student group (October 2016)

The following are typical dissertations by students on our course:

  • Jess Briggs: A whole new world of words: out-of-class contact, strategic behaviour and vocabulary gain in a study-abroad context.
  • Ernisa Marzuki: pls 4gv me:  SMS apologies by Malay and English native speakers.
  • Shiira Matsui: Self, language anxiety, and other emotions in motivation for English second language learning.
  • Yuka Mizuno: Teachers’ beliefs, perceptions and practice concerning communicative language teaching in Japanese secondary education: a systematic review.
  • Jiawei Lu: Taking a closer look at vocabulary learning strategies: a case study of three highly proficient Chinese learners of English.

The University of Oxford and the Department of Education provide a stimulating academic and social environment for study. The department itself is a friendly academic community where research and students are strongly supported.

Tutors currently teaching and supervising on the course are:

Page last modified: November 15, 2016