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MS in Applied Linguistics

The Master of Science (MS) in Applied Linguistics at Virginia International University is designed to foster the skills necessary to improve the effectiveness of language instruction, content delivery, and program efficacy. The program seeks to be a pioneer in the field of language teaching by building a curriculum that includes the recommendations from employers in the community during the creation and development of new courses' overall goals. This provides graduates with a needed edge in their job search, as the curriculum is focused on providing employers what they are looking for in current and future candidates. Concentrations are available in Multlingual Education, Program Management, and Educational Technology.

Graduates from VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics will be able to successfully apply their understanding of teaching in a variety of educational settings locally, nationally, and globally. Upon graduation from VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics program, graduates will have the ability to build careers in various educational institutions employing foreign and additional language teaching in post-secondary educational settings, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics maintains the university's mission of striving to embrace freedom of thought and diverse interpretations of human experiences, aspects that are vital in the field of education and in a global context. Our goal is to graduate students who display and make use of their moral, intellectual, and professional excellence to serve as role models for and educate future generations and make a difference in their communities.

Program Description

The School of Education at VIU offers courses in the field of Education that are designed to prepare future educators for leading roles in the growing field of education. Graduates from the MS in Applied Linguistics will be able to work as educators and consultants in a broad array of educational institutions that provide services to learners from differing linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Graduates of the MS in Applied Linguistics program can serve in these institutions as second language instructors, researchers, program administrators, intercultural communications specialists or second language technology specialists. All of these areas are increasingly in high demand and will continue to grow as the field of Linguistics expands into new areas of technology and intercultural interactions.

Mission

The Mission of the Master of Science in Applied Linguistics (MS Applied Linguistics) Degree Program is to enable professional educators and administrative leaders to effectively serve in culturally diverse and technologically enhanced educational environments by providing them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary in the modern-language program or school.

Employment Opportunities

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to teach foreign or additional languages in a variety of educational settings in the US and abroad, such as:

  • Private language schools
  • Adult education programs
  • Foreign language programs

The program's concentration courses also open opportunities for graduates to work in various positions related to the concentration including but not limited to:

  • Online teaching and development
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Program or school management
  • Foreign language teaching

Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach grades K-12 in American public schools.

Academic Preparation

  • Assist in the strategic growth and development of an academic program
  • Apply a solid linguistic and pedagogical base to their classroom teaching and curriculum development
  • Manage a variety of classroom and organizational scenarios effectively
  • Develop and create interesting and meaningful teaching materials
  • Evaluate and assess student and program performance
  • Use innovative technology in the classroom
  • Communicate effectively with students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds

Degree at a Glance

Degree at a Glance
Number of Credits 36
Cost per Credit $726.00
Total Tuition $26,136.00
*Other university fees may apply

World Class Faculty and Staff
The Applied Linguistics program boasts a history of highly skilled and dedicated faculty and staff who are ready to assist students along their journey through the program. The program's faculty offer expertise in various areas including curriculum development and design, technology in the language classroom/program, language acquisition, program management, and online education.

Delivery of the curriculum is only one aspect of the programs at VIU! Come experience the personalized, accessible, engaging, and fun experience!

Program Overview
Benefits of a degree VIU's degree in Applied Linguistics:

  • Gain a solid understanding of language acquisition principles and how to effectively teach based on how people acquire a language
  • Obtain practical experience through the Internship course
  • Learn methods of incorporating technology and how to foster a nurturing and supportive learning environment
  • Gain practical skills to foster a class/campus culture supportive of various backgrounds and learning styles
  • Learn how to develop a classroom that focuses on student needs and ultimate goals through outcome-based course and lesson development

Program Features
Features of the Applied Linguistics program:

  • Faculty with real-world language teaching experience
  • A solid field-based curriculum built with feedback from employers
  • Receive a world class education in an engaging and supportive learning environment
  • Improve upon teaching abilities and qualifications
  • Faculty are available outside of the classroom for assistance
  • Program can be completed with courses taken online and on-ground
  • Dedicated program administrators for every student

Admission Requirements
Admission to the program does not require any previous coursework in pedagogy or language studies. A bachelor's degree or equivalent in any field and evidence of sufficient English language proficiency are required for admission. Candidates are also required to submit a minimum of one official recommendation, an academic statement of purpose and a resume or curriculum vitae.

Graduation Requirements
To qualify for the MS in Applied Linguistics degree, students must meet all credit requirements, as described below:

  1. Students enrolled in the graduate program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B), out of 4.0, and a minimum of grade not less than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, in all courses to qualify for the M.Ed. Degree to remain in good academic standing and to graduate. The maximum time frame permitted for the completion of any graduate program is 54 semester credits.
  2. Only graduate-level courses may be applied toward the degree. A master's student may transfer up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions.
  3. Beyond the prerequisites, the student must have completed 39 credit hours, consisting of 30 credit hours of required core courses, 6 content area credit hours, and 3 credit hours of specialization area courses.
  4. No degree credit is earned by a graduate student for any grade below 2.0 (C), out of 4.0,received in a graduate-level course. However, any grades lower than 2.0(C), out of 4.0, will be calculated in the grade point average.

All candidates for graduation are required to submit a formal Summative Concentration Portfolio, the details of which include: Part A-Career Preparation; Part B-Two Writing Samples; Part C-Concentration Application; and Part D-Internship Experience. Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one other language other than English prior to graduation from the program. Proficiency can include a minimum of an intermediate level by demonstrating graduation from a secondary or post-secondary program whose primary language was a language other than English, taking a graduate course in a language other than English, proficiency as demonstrated by completion of a recognized proficiency exam(TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), obtaining an intermediate level in a foreign or second language as demonstrated by completion of coursework from an accredited institution, or as deemed by the Associate Dean of the School of Education.

Accreditation
Virginia International University is an accredited institution of higher learning holding accreditation through the accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is certified to operate by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Additionally, information on accreditation can be found in the Accreditation and Certifications section of the Academic Catalog.

Optional Master's Thesis Track
Students electing to complete the optional thesis track must be on track for successful completion and must meet all other program requirements prior to conferral of the degree. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of registration for the thesis and must remain in good standing throughout the time enrolled in the thesis course (typically the final semester of study). VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics program, with the optional thesis, requires completion of APLX 699 as the elective course option for a minimum of three credits.

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach in grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.

Program Outcomes

In working to achieve the mission of the program and those of the School of Education, the following outcomes will be achieved:

Program Outcomes

PO-1: Understand the nature, structure, and uses of human language and theoretical models of language acquisition.
PO-2: Critically analyze current research regarding language learning and teaching, and demonstrate knowledge of research findings and how to apply them.
PO-3: Demonstrate the ability to design language courses, curricula, assessment practices, and learning environments that enhance learning and reflect the needs, goals, and values of students and other stakeholders.
PO-4: Make principled use of established, new, and emerging technologies to promote access, engagement, and success in learning within and beyond the classroom.
PO-5: Drawing on observations, experiences, theory- and research-based knowledge, and/or reflection, design and conduct research to answer original questions of personal and professional interest.
PO-6: Utilize critical-thinking skills to problem-solve issues faced by language learners and educators.
PO-7: Use community, institutional, and technological resources to demonstrate use of proper academic communication, ethics, and professionalism.

This program requires completion of a portfolio. You can find information here.

Students in this program will take part in an internship experience. Information about the internship experience can be found here.

Students who may be interested in the OPTIONAL thesis track should consult the requirements for the thesis as early as possible. The thesis requirements and guidelines for the current academic year can be found here.

Degree Requirements

Program Details
This program can be completed within four (4) semesters of full-time study and is offered in both the online and residential formats. A total of 36 credits (12 courses) are required for graduation. The required minimum cumulative GPA for this program is 3.0. The program consists of seven (7) Core Courses (21 credits), four (4) Concentration Courses (12 credits) and one (1) course (3 credits) of Elective Courses.

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core courses 7 21
Concentration Courses 4 12
Elective courses 1 3
Total 12 36

Core Courses

VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics Program provides a comprehensive core, which is required for all students enrolled in the degree program. The MS in Applied Linguistics degree consists of seven courses (21 credit hours) in the core program.

Course Number Course Title Clock Hours Credit Hours
Core Courses (Must take 7)
APLX 500

Prerequisite: None This course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to the scientific study of language. The goal is to familiarize students with linguistic terminology, teaching both the methods of linguistic analysis and how to apply them. The course focuses on an introduction to the nature of the language faculty, speech (including physical and mental aspects), the structure of language (including morphology and general syntax), and how language is used. The course also provides an introduction to language acquisition principles, language processing in the brain as well as language change and variation. For students studying a linguistic concentration, it provides the background needed to succeed in other linguistic courses.

45 3.0
APLX 510

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course introduces students to the main theories of language acquisition and their relevance to language teaching. Students will become familiar with the key concepts that inform the study of L2 acquisition through the review of relevant literature on second language acquisition. The course will also develop students' ability to relate their understanding of how learners acquire second language to language pedagogy.

45 3.0
APLX 530

Prerequisite: None

This course is an introduction to the modern theories and current practices of second language pedagogy. Students will learn methodologies of lesson planning, skill integration techniques, course and program development and classroom management. This course provides students with a framework to develop course and programmatic curriculum defined by outcomes centered on an integrated approach to language teaching.

45 3.0
APLX 540

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course introduces the students to a needs-based, learning-centered approach to designing courses. Through needs assessment, students identify curricular goals and course objectives. From these they determine an appropriate syllabus structure, develop a course unit outline, plan and create materials for lessons, determine training needs for course instructors and devise a system of evaluation.

45 3.0
APLX 550

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course examines in depth the major categories of language assessment. The main topics include approaches to evaluating language sub-skills (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation) and communication skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing); models of language assessment; examination of standardized tests and their appropriate application; and research-based framework linking assessment to instruction.

45 3.0
APLX 572

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course examines the use of technology as a teaching tool for the traditional classroom. Students explore methods of implementing technology into the classroom/curriculum and how to discern the efficacy of digital/online resources to provide an engaging and authentic learning environment.

45 3.0
APLX 640

Prerequisite: APLX 530 and APLX 540
Credit Hour Breakdown: 40 hours of Lecture; 10 hours of Lab

This course covers quantitative and qualitative methods of designing and implementing research in a classroom or institutional setting. It prepares students to conduct and prepare independent research from design to publication.
50 3.0

Concentration Options

VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics Program offers three Concentrations: Multilingual Education, Program Management, and Educational Technology. Students enrolled in the MS in Applied Linguistics Degree Program will be required to complete four courses (12 hours) in one of the Concentrations.

Course Number Course Title Clock Hours Credit Hours
Concentration in Multilingual Education (Must take 4)
APLX 520

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course provides an introduction to the linguistic theories and methods associated with multilingualism. Students gain perspectives on the similarities and differences between first and additional language acquisition in children and adults. Key areas of the course include models of second language acquisition, multilingual development, sentence processing, aging and the multilingualism brain, social and cultural constraints, motivational constraints, communication disorders, identity and the education of bilinguals.

45 3.0
APLX 615

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course provides an overview of the structure of language drawing upon the theoretical perspective of generative grammar, cognitive sciences, systemic-functional, and corpus linguistics to illuminate how grammar operates at the morphological, syntactic, and discourse levels. The course provides insight into the nature of the human capacity of language via means of a concentrated focus on the structure of language. Students will explore and analyze the internal structure of words, phrases and sentences as well as gain a foundation in understanding how language is structured but also how it is changeable over time.

45 3.0
APLX 630

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course introduces students to theoretical principles governing social and linguistic variation, the methodology used to study it, the patterns and systems that underlie language variation in use, and the ways in which alternations between different language varieties index personal style, social power, and national identity.

45 3.0
APLX 666

Co/Prerequisite: Permission of the Academic Advisor and a minimum of 18 credits in the program

This course provides supervised field experience in a setting appropriate to the student’s program and career goals. Examples of appropriate experience include (but are not limited to) teaching language courses; assisting a language instructor; developing language teaching materials or tests. The students are expected to work on-site for at least 135 hours; when the student is the primary instructor of a course, it may be appropriate to count 2 hours of prep and grading for each hour of face-to-face classroom instruction. Students are expected to communicate with the faculty advisor regularly and submit required documentation and projects on time.

135 3.0
Concentration in Program Management (Must take 4)
APLX 635

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course also serves to introduce students to key issues of intercultural communication, core American and foreign cultural concepts, and ways in which culture affects language teaching and learning.

45 3.0
EDUC 590

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 530 and successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in APLX 540

This course provides an in-depth perspective of the administrative requirements of a language program including how to effectively lead and manage a program. Students gain a behind the scenes view of what occurs outside of the classroom environment including the areas of people management, curriculum and programmatic development, customer service and the logistics of managing a program. The course explores the lifecycle of the student from admission to graduation; the lifecycle of faculty members within the program; and the administrative role of managing a curriculum.

45 3.0
EDUC 595

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 530 and successful
completion of or concurrent enrollment in APLX 540

Successful educational programs require the development of curricula centered on student needs and ultimate goals. Additionally, language programs have an ethical and social duty to provide a quality, accessible, and relevant educational product for all stakeholders invested in and benefiting from the program. This course explores the need to examine and evaluate both the needs of the stakeholders and the effectiveness of the program by focusing on clear outcomes. Students will learn skills necessary to design evaluations at the course, programmatic, institutional, and societal levels. These skills provide students with the ability to develop, evaluate, and improve existing or new programs.

45 3.0
EDUC 667

Co/Prerequisite: Permission of the Academic Advisor and a minimum of 18 credits in the program

This course provides supervised field experience in a setting appropriate to the student’s program and career goals. Examples of appropriate experience include (but are not limited to) managing a writing center or a language learning resource center; assisting with language program administration; conducting language testing. The students are expected to work on-site for at least 135 hours. Students are expected to communicate with the faculty advisor regularly and submit required documentation and projects on time.

135 3.0
Concentration in Educational Technology (Must take 4)
EDUC 574

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 572

This course emphasizes the theories and methods of course development specifically for the online environment. Students will learn methods of material creation, skill integration techniques, course and program development, adaptation of onground materials to the online environment and integrative-skill techniques. Students will also learn about the various methods of delivery including onground, online and hybrid courses/programs. Students will learn methods to adapt existing material to a hybrid course.

45 3.0
EDUC 575

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 572

This course provides an in depth perspective on methods of teaching in the virtual classroom including virtual classroom management, online student engagement techniques, addressing learning modalities, discipline, methods of providing feedback, motivational theories, individual needs assessments. Students will be able to apply theories to practice in the virtual classroom in the roles of teacher, coach and motivator.

45 3.0
EDUC 576

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 572

Students will learn methodologies and principles associated with designing and implementing virtual classrooms. Students learn theoretical understandings and considerations of the authenticity of material, interaction among participants, practical learning scenarios and techniques to promote student learning outside of the virtual classroom. Students will also learn about instructional design models and the importance of selecting the appropriate model for lesson development. Additionally, students will be introduced to a needs-based approach to course development in order to identify curricular goals and course objectives. Students will use this needs-based approach to develop a syllabus, a course outline, lesson plans to develop and implement this material into a fully online course.

45 3.0
EDUC 668

Co/Prerequisite: Permission of the Academic Advisor and a minimum of 18 credits in the program

This course provides supervised field experience in a setting appropriate to the student’s program and career goals. Examples of appropriate experience include (but are not limited to) teaching online or blended language courses; assisting a language instructor teaching online or in blended contexts; developing language teaching materials or tests for online or blended classrooms; conducting or contributing to online language testing; conducting or assisting with research into topics relevant to online language learning and teaching. The students are expected to work on-site for at least 135 hours; when the student is the primary instructor of a course, it may be appropriate to count 2 hours of prep and grading for each hour of classroom instruction. Students are expected to communicate with the faculty advisor regularly and submit required documentation and projects on time.

135 3.0

Elective Course Options:

VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics Program offers several elective options for students in the program. Students will be required to take 1 course (3 credit hours).

Course Number Course Title Clock Hours Credit Hours
Elective Courses (Must take 1)
APLX 520

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course provides an introduction to the linguistic theories and methods associated with multilingualism. Students gain perspectives on the similarities and differences between first and additional language acquisition in children and adults. Key areas of the course include models of second language acquisition, multilingual development, sentence processing, aging and the multilingualism brain, social and cultural constraints, motivational constraints, communication disorders, identity and the education of bilinguals.

45 3.0
APLX 615

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course provides an overview of the structure of language drawing upon the theoretical perspective of generative grammar, cognitive sciences, systemic-functional, and corpus linguistics to illuminate how grammar operates at the morphological, syntactic, and discourse levels. The course provides insight into the nature of the human capacity of language via means of a concentrated focus on the structure of language. Students will explore and analyze the internal structure of words, phrases and sentences as well as gain a foundation in understanding how language is structured but also how it is changeable over time.

45 3.0
APLX 655

Co/Prerequisite: Permission from the Academic Advisor

This course covers topics of current interest selected by the faculty before each semester. Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum, but deemed to be of special interest to language teaching professionals.

45 3.0
APLX 630

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course introduces students to theoretical principles governing social and linguistic variation, the methodology used to study it, the patterns and systems that underlie language variation in use, and the ways in which alternations between different language varieties index personal style, social power, and national identity.

45 3.0
APLX 635

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course also serves to introduce students to key issues of intercultural communication, core American and foreign cultural concepts, and ways in which culture affects language teaching and learning.

45 3.0
APLX 620

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course is a comprehensive introduction to pronunciation pedagogy. This is a two part course including a theoretical look at the sound system and practical application of phonology/pronunciation in the second language classroom and curriculum. Students will study the anatomy and mechanics of speech as well as principles/practices and realistic resources and technology for application in the classroom.

45 3.0
APLX 623

Co/Prerequisite: None

This course introduces students to the pedagogical approaches to second language reading and writing in the framework of current theoretical perspectives on second language reading and writing processes, practices, and authors. Students gain practical knowledge in the areas of phonemic awareness, vocabulary and text comprehension, tactics for improving reading fluency and teaching writing in contextual exercise.

45 3.0
EDUC 574

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 572

This course emphasizes the theories and methods of course development specifically for the online environment. Students will learn methods of material creation, skill integration techniques, course and program development, adaptation of onground materials to the online environment and integrative-skill techniques. Students will also learn about the various methods of delivery including onground, online and hybrid courses/programs. Students will learn methods to adapt existing material to a hybrid course.

45 3.0
EDUC 590

Co/Prerequisite: APLX 530 and successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in APLX 540

This course provides an in-depth perspective of the administrative requirements of a language program including how to effectively lead and manage a program. Students gain a behind the scenes view of what occurs outside of the classroom environment including the areas of people management, curriculum and programmatic development, customer service and the logistics of managing a program. The course explores the lifecycle of the student from admission to graduation; the lifecycle of faculty members within the program; and the administrative role of managing a curriculum.

45 3.0
MBA 513

Prerequisite: None

This course focuses on how people behave in organizations and groups. Topics include leadership, motivation, organizational culture, and roles within groups.

45 3.0
MBA 514

Prerequisite: None
This course examines the methods and strategies used by corporations and firms in developing marketing efforts, strategy and policies. It focuses on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of company's marketing resources and activities to create an effective, cost-efficient marketing strategy to succeed and become profitable, in particular, within rapidly emerging forces of globalization. Also, a course provides learning experience and cultivates operational skills and knowledge on designing and facilitating marketing campaigns within business environment.

45 3.0
MBA 516

Prerequisite: None
The course focuses on the analyses, decisions, and actions that an organization undertakes in order to gain and maintain competitive advantage. The extensive use of case studies focuses students on diagnosis of problems and opportunities as well as the development of alternative courses of action and implementing organizational leadership.

45 3.0
MBA 624

Prerequisite: None

Internship / CPT Qualified

Advertising and promotion form the means by which organizations communicate the distinctive characteristics of their offerings to potential buyers. This course examines the theory and practice of promotions and advertising. The primary focus is on how advertising and promotions contribute to the overall marketing plan.

45 3.0
APLX 699

Co/Prerequisite: Concurrently enrolled in or successful completion of EDUC 640,good academic standing, and permission of the Academic Advisor

The Master’s Thesis provides an opportunity for students to build upon and contribute considerably to existing knowledge in the field. Students shall formalize a specific and specialized topic of interest directly related to their field of study. This shall be done through independent research and empirical analysis on an area deemed to be a problem or needs more extensive consideration.
The purpose of the thesis is to incorporate and integrate knowledge learned throughout the courses in the program of study. Students will work closely with a core faculty member to identify a topic of interest and conduct rigorous review and analysis of the relevant theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge. Students are encouraged to choose topics related to their specific interests including previous experience and or future professional or academic goals.

135 3.0

Master's Thesis Track
Students electing to complete the optional thesis track must be on track for successful completion and must meet all other program requirements prior to conferral of the degree. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of registration for the thesis and must remain in good standing throughout the time enrolled in the thesis course (typically the final semester of study). VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics program, with the optional thesis, requires completion of APLX 699 as the elective course option for a minimum of three credits.

Information for Students on an F-1 Visa
Please note that students on an F-1 Visa are responsible for maintaining their own visa status. Since internship is an integral part of this program, all students on an F-1 Visa are required to complete their internship course (APLX 666, EDUC667, and/or EDUC 668) as Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and must meet all requirements of CPT as set forth by the International Student Services Office. CPT is employment pursuant to an internship requirement which is an integral part of the established curriculum of your school. Students with an F-1 Visa are required to take the internship course (APLX 666, EDUC667, and/or EDUC 668) with at least one other on-ground course in the final semester of study in order to remain in-status.

Sample Schedule

The following is a sample schedule of the possible sequencing of courses in the MS in Applied linguistics program.

Code Course Name Credits
First Semester
APLX 510 Introduction to Language Acquisition 3.0
APLX 500 Introduction to Language and Linguisticss 3.0
APLX 540 Language Curriculum and Materials Design 3.0
Second Semester
APLX 530 Language Teaching Methods 3.0
APLX 550 Language Assessment 3.0
APLX 572 Technologies for Language Teaching 3.0
Third Semester
APLX 640 Introduction to Research Methods 3.0
APLX ### Elective Course 3.0
APLX ### Concentration Course 1 3.0
Fourth Semester
APLX ### Concentration Course 2 3.0
APLX ### Concentration Course 3 3.0
APLX ### Concentration Course 4 (Internship) 3.0