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Areas of Specialization

The SLAT program is increasingly interdisciplinary, designed to provide rigorous advanced training for researchers, teachers, and administrators concerned with second language acquisition, learning, and teaching. Students select from among the following specializations:

l. L2 Analysis

L2 Analysis includes areas such as grammar, contrastive linguistics/interlanguage studies, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, computational linguistics, and historical linguistics.  This specialization allows a student to focus on the development of theory and the formal analysis of linguistic and textual aspects of second language acquisition. This specialization includes relationships between second language acquisition processes and language change.

2. L2 Use

In L2 Use, students explore areas involving discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, language policy/language planning, rhetoric, pragmatics, variation, and/or socio-cultural factors.  This specialization focuses on the analyses of discursive, sociolinguistic, socio-political and socio-cultural factors in the use and acquisition of a second language.

3. L2 Processes and Learning

L2 Processes and Learning focuses on fields like psycholinguistics, cognitive studies, language processing, theory and research, foreign language learning and research, and interlanguage.  This specialization offers students an opportunity to investigate cognitive, linguistic and social processes involved in second language learning and second language processing from a theoretical or applied point of view.

4. L2 Pedagogical Theory and Program Administration

L2 Pedagogical Theory and Program Administration includes ESL, EFL, and foreign language ESL/FL curriculum development, skills development, testing and evaluation, and educational technology.  This specialization provides an opportunity for students to study current theoretical approaches to second/foreign language curriculum design, program design and pedagogy, and language proficiency assessment, for English and for many other languages.