Language and Learning, Master of Arts (MA)
Overview, Description and Purpose of Program
Housed in the Department of Language, Learning, and Leadership within the College of Education, this Master of Arts in Language and Learning degree is a 30-credit, interdisciplinary graduate-level program designed for gaining a master’s degree with a chosen focus in one of five specializations: TESOL, Language Policy, Bilingualism/Multilingualism, Heritage Languages, and Sociolinguistics. The chosen specialization area will be indicated on the candidate’s transcript when degree is awarded. The Master of Arts in Language and Learning does not lead to recommendation for teacher certification in New York State.
NOTE: We are only actively recruiting for the TESOL, Bilingualism/Multilingualism, and Heritage Languages specialization track as of July 16, 2015. However, the admission requirements are the same for all five specialization areas.
This degree choice is perfect for
- International students who want to teach English in their home country (ESL or EFL)
- People who want to work with adults or other language learners in non-K-12 settings
- Those who want to gain an MA to apply towards potential future certification of teaching indigenous languages in New York State (e.g., Seneca)
- Administrators or teachers who want a better understanding of or to continue their studies in one of the identified specializations listed above, even if already holding an earned graduate degree
- Those who would like a master’s in one of the specialization areas and are considering future doctorate-level studies.
All of this is possible without needing to meet the requirements for K-12 teaching certification in New York State.
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Specialization: For people interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language (i.e., internationally) (with a focus on methods and pedagogy applicable in both ESL and EFL contexts) or for people who want to teach English in international or non-school settings to adults or children. It is also a platform for those interested in going on for a Ph.D. in a related field.
Bilingualism/Multilingualism Specialization: For teachers or school leaders who are interested in learning more about bilingual/multilingual education or policy, or for those who are considering a Ph.D. program in language studies. This specialization has an interdisciplinary focus on the cognitive, linguistic, and social applications of two or more languages without the need to complete New York State teacher certification coursework.
Heritage Languages Specialization: For those interested in revitalizing or maintaining a heritage language or those who would like to work with people or communities in learning and teaching their heritage language. The term “heritage language” is a complex one, with a definition encompassing the teaching, learning, maintaining and/or revitalization of languages for people and communities who do not yet speak the language and desire to do so. These are often the languages at risk of being lost for future generations or which are less commonly taught in schools. This specialization focuses on teaching languages other than more dominant ones (e.g., other than English) and is a concentrated attempt to maintain or reverse the decline of heritage languages in communities locally and globally.
Admission and Program Requirements