PhD in Spanish with a Concentration in SLA

For detailed information on the requirements for the PhD in Spanish with a Concentration in Second Language Acquisition, see the link "PhD Degrees"

What is Second Language Acquisition study?

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is a field of research that investigates how humans learn a language that is not their native language. This can be in any context (e.g., a college student learning Spanish in Florida, non English-speaking immigrants who come to live and work in the United States, etc.). Researchers study the processes and products as well as the social environment in which this learning takes place. Research in SLA draws upon insights from a number of disciplines including linguistics (including syntactic theory, pragmatic theory, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis), cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics (including first language acquisition), educational psychology (especially reading research and comprehension), and others in an attempt to address some of the problems and questions that confront researchers.

What are the general features of SLA study at FSU?

SLA study was established in 1996 as a concentration within the Spanish doctoral program in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. An interdisciplinary program with participation from faculty in a variety of fields, SLA study is coordinated by a departmental committee within Modern Languages and Linguistics. Doctoral supervisory committees are composed of faculty from the various disciplines; the major professor is normally from the Spanish faculty.

How are students admitted into the SLA doctoral Concentration?

Applicants must meet all university, departmental, and program requirements and criteria for admission to graduate study in Spanish (please see link "Admissions"). Applicants without the MA degree may apply to the program. Such applicants will be advised by the SLA coordinating committee concerning appropriate MA-level course work to complete before formal application for doctoral studies. In addition to the criteria for admission into the Spanish PhD program, admission into the SLA concentration include: undergraduate and/or graduate coursework in fields related to SLA (linguistics, psychology, education, etc.), superior communication skills, evidence of professional development beyond college coursework, and commitment to research in SLA. Applicants will be informed of the committee’s decision in a timely manner. If applicants are not admitted as regular students in the SLA concentration, they may choose one of the department’s other doctoral programs. If applicants are admitted as provisional students in the SLA concentration, they will be informed of deficiencies in their preparation and how they can remove these deficiencies. Once deficiencies are removed, provisional students may then apply to be admitted as a regular student. Provisional status does not guarantee acceptance as a regular student.   
What are the features of professional development in the SLA concentration?

The strength of doctoral studies in SLA at Florida State University is the professional development of each student. Early on in the program, students are encouraged to engage in SLA research by assisting in ongoing projects conducted by faculty. Furthermore, seminars offered by faculty members require students to develop research proposals and conduct their own research. This provides students opportunities to present papers at regional, national and international conferences, as well as the potential to publish original work prior to completing their Ph.D. In sum, SLA students complete doctoral studies as fully prepared professionals who are ready to make a significant contribution to the field.  

For detailed information on the requirements for the PhD in Spanish with a Concentration in Second Language Acquisition, see the link "PhD Degrees"

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