Applied Second Language Acquisition

Graduate programs

Master of Applied Second Language Acquisition

Dr. Luciane Maimone, Program Director
Siceluff Hall, Room 139

Program description

The Master of Applied Second Language Acquisition (MASLA) is a flexible degree program that combines training in topics pertinent to second language acquisition theory and practice, including linguistics, research and teaching methods, and materials and assessment design, with advanced discipline-specific coursework focused on the areas of TESOL, Spanish and French. It is designed for anyone with an interest in teaching one of these languages, including currently certified teachers. MASLA graduates will be well qualified to teach languages in a variety of settings, both in the United States and abroad.

Admission requirements

In addition to the general requirements outlined in the Admission to Graduate Study section of the Graduate Catalog, applicants for admission to the MASLA program must fulfill the following requirements:

  1.  Hold a bachelor's degree in English, French, or Spanish, or a bachelor's degree in another field and significant coursework and/or experience relating to the focus areas of this program (linguistics, language teaching, foreign language proficiency, etc.);
  2. Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00 in all previous university-level coursework;
  3. Submit a completed Missouri State University Application for Graduate Admission;

All candidates must apply to one of the following language tracks:

TESOL

Candidates wishing to pursue the TESOL track must submit the following to the English Department:

  • Submit a Graduate Assistantship Application if the prospective student would like to be considered for this award;
  • A personal statement (a 200- to 250-word description of the reasons and goals behind the applicant's interest in graduate studies in TESOL);
  • At least two letters of recommendation from individuals able to speak of the applicant's academic achievements and potential;
  • A writing sample (a 10-12 page academic paper written in English).

FRENCH

Candidates wishing to pursue the French track must submit the following to the Modern and Classical Languages Department:

  • Submit a Graduate Assistantship Application if the prospective student would like to be considered for this award;
  • A personal statement (a 200- to 250-word description of the reasons and goals behind the applicant's interest in graduate studies in French);
  • At least two letters of recommendation from individuals able to speak of the applicant's academic achievements and potential;
  • A rating of at least Advanced Low on the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test dated within the past three years;
  • A rating of at least Advanced Low on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Test dated within the past three years.

SPANISH

Candidates wishing to pursue the Spanish track must submit the following to the Modern and Classical Languages Department:

  • Submit a Graduate Assistantship Application if the prospective student would like to be considered for this award;
  • A personal statement (a 200- to 250-word description of the reasons and goals behind the applicant's interest in graduate studies in Spanish);
  • At least two letters of recommendation from individuals able to speak of the applicant's academic achievements and potential;
  • A rating of at least Advanced Low on the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test dated within the past three years;
  • A rating of at least Advanced Low on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Test dated within the past three years.

Applicants will be notified once their application is complete.  Students who do not meet GPA and/or language proficiency requirements but who show high promise may be admitted conditionally.  As conditions of admission, they may be required to take extra courses to make up deficiencies (including weaknesses in writing) or they may have other requirements stipulated.

Transferred Courses

Candidates may transfer up to nine hours in coursework taken at other regionally accredited institutions into the MASLA program.  However, any decision regarding credit for transferred courses is subject to the terms of the Transfer Credit policy outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

Double Counting of Coursework

MASLA student may double count toward the MASLA all 15 hours of coursework taken as part of the Graduate Certificate in TESOL.  Up to nine hours of coursework may double count toward the MASLA and the M.A. in English or Writing.

Teacher Certification/TESOL Endorsement

The MASLA is not a teacher certification program and does not contain a certification or endorsement option.  One of the purposes of the program is to allow presently certified foreign language teachers to pursue a master's degree in their fields.  Prospective MASLA candidates who are not certified to teach in Missouri but who wish to seek certification in Spanish or French or to add a TESOL endorsement to an existing certification should speak with an advisor in the Department of English or in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Accelerated Master's Degree Option

Missouri State University Bachelor of Science in Modern Language majors who meet all MASLA admissions requirements may apply for preliminary acceptance into the program. If accepted, they may apply up to 9 hours in graduate coursework toward both their undergraduate degree and the MASLA.

Accelerated option students may only count one MASLA core course (MCL 691 or MCL 710) toward both degree programs. The other two courses must be language track required or elective courses with the same course prefix as their BSML concentration. Accelerated master’s students must use a mixed-credit permission form to obtain approval for the courses they wish to count toward both degree programs.

Students interested in the accelerated master option should meet with their undergraduate advisor and with the MASLA program director to determine eligibility and apply during the second semester of their junior year.

Program requirements   (33 - 36 hours)

In consultation with the program director and faculty advisors, all degree candidates complete the 15-hour Second Language Acquisition core and one of the three 15-hour language tracks, for a total of 30 hours of coursework.  The course associated with the research requirement brings the total hours for the program to 33.  Students writing just 1 degree paper complete an additional 3 hours of advisor-approved coursework (for a total of 36 hours).

Second Language Acquisition Core

All candidates must complete the following 18-hour core:

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours

ENG 691 OR

MCL 691

Linguistics Theory OR

Principles of Linguistics

3 hrs

ENG 695 OR

MCL 695

Principles of Second Language Acquisition OR

Principles of Second Language Acquisition

3 hrs

ENG 700  OR

MCL 710*

Introduction to Research Methods in English  OR

Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition

3 hrs

ENG 605  OR

MCL 700*

Methods in TESOL    OR

Advanced Teaching Methods and Technology

3 hrs

ENG 696  OR

MCL 706*

Materials and Assessment in TESOL   OR

Materials and Assessments in Foreign Language Teaching

3 hrs

ENG 793 OR

MCL 798

Seminar:  Linguistics OR

Degree Papers

3 hrs

*Candidates pursuing the TESOL track are encouraged to enroll in the ENG-coded classes, whereas those pursuing tracks in French or Spanish should enroll in the MCL-coded classes.  However, with advisor approval, candidates may take either ENG- or MCL-coded classes in the core regardless of the track.  Students seeking the Missouri K-12 ELL endorsement must enroll in the ENG-coded core courses.  MCL-coded courses will not count toward ELL certification.

Language Track 

All candidates must complete one of the following 15-hours language tracks: 

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Complete the following 6 hours:  
ENG 688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teaching 3 hrs
ENG 690 Grammatical Analysis 3 hrs
     
  Complete 9 hours in electives from the following:  
ENG 793 Seminar:  Linguistics (may be repeated up to 9 hours with different topics. 3 hrs
ENG 792   Linguistics in Rhetoric and Composition 3 hrs
ENG 689  Studies in Linguistics 3 hrs
700-level ENG course Any advisor-approved 700-level English course in literature, composition, or rhetoric 3 hrs

 French

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Complete the following 9 hours:  
MCL 724 Seminar in Linguistics for Foreign Languages 3 hrs
FRN 690 Advanced French Grammar 3 hrs
FRN 725 Seminar in Francophone Literature and Culture 3 hrs
     
  Complete 6 hours in electives from the following:  
ENG 688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teaching 3 hrs
FRN 624 Advanced Topics in Francophone Linguistics 3 hrs
FRN 735 Advanced French Proficiency 3 hrs
MCL 688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teachers  3 hrs
MCL 650 Advanced Study Abroad 3-6 hrs
MCL 697 Topics for Teachers of Foreign Languages 1-6 hrs
MCL 701 Applied Foreign Language Practicum 1-3 hrs
RDG 660 Diversity Issues in Literacy and Content Area Instruction 2 hrs
700-level FRN or MCL course Any advisor-approved 700-level FRN or MCL course 3 hrs

Spanish

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Complete the following 9 hours:  
MCL 724 Seminar in Linguistics for Foreign Languages 3 hrs
SPN 690 Advanced Spanish Grammar 3 hrs
SPN 725 Seminar in Hispanic Literature and Culture 3 hrs
     
  Complete 6 hours in electives from the following:  
ENG 688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teaching 3 hrs
MCL 688 Sociolinguistics for Language Teacher  3 hrs 
MCL 650 Advanced Study Abroad 3-6 hrs
MCL 697 Topics for Teachers of Foreign Languages 1-6 hrs
MCL 701 Applied Foreign Language Practicum 1-3 hrs
SPN 610 Advanced Translation 3 hrs 
SPN 624 Advanced Topics in Hispanic Linguistics 3 hrs
SPN 735 Advanced Spanish Proficiency 3 hrs
700-level SPN or MCL course Any advisor-approved 700-level SPN or MCL course 3 hrs
Research Requirement

Candidates have the option of completing a thesis, 2 degree papers, or 1 degree paper and an additional 3 hours of advisor-approved electives.  In order to work with a faculty advisor to complete a thesis or degree paper(s), candidates must enroll in a thesis or degree paper supervision course.  Enrollment in ENG 793 for degree paper supervision does not count toward the TESOL required hours.  Further details regarding the procedures for proposing and writing degree papers are available in the MASLA Student Handbook.

Examination Requirement/Comprehensive Examination

All candidates will take two written examinations, one focused on issues related to second language acquisition theory and practices and another relating to their chosen language track.  Further details regarding the content and format of the comprehensive are available in the MASLA Student Handbook.

Language Proficiency Requirement

TESOL Track Candidates.  TESOL track candidates must provide evidence of intermediate-level proficiency in a language other than English.  The language proficiency requirement may be met through one of the following options:  (a) completion of 12 hours of undergraduate coursework in a foreign language with at least a C average; (b) completion of the second intermediate foreign language college course with a grade of C or higher; or (c) passing a reading competency test equivalent to the level of the second intermediate foreign language college course administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.  A TESOL track candidate whose native language is not English will be considered to have met the language requirement.

French and Spanish Track Candidates.  As noted in the Admission Requirements section above, French and Spanish track candidates must demonstrate speaking and writing proficiency consistent with the Advanced level on the ACTFL scale.  If such proficiency is not clearly evidenced, additional proficiency assessments may be administered at the discretion of program faculty.