Can you learn a second language the same way you learned your mother tongue? How does our brain cope with two or more languages? What is the best way to test the language proficiency level of students? How can computers and online technology help to learn a language? And how do we find out whether a given teaching pedagogy is effective? Find out in this master's track.
This one-year master's track focuses on research into foreign language learning and teaching. You will study the process of learning and the use of second languages. The track allows you to focus your research on your language of choice, for instance, English as a second or foreign language but also Dutch as a second language, French, German, Swedish, Chinese, or any other language. With increasing cross-cultural communication and mobility, the skills and knowledge you will acquire in this programme are highly valued in the areas of language teaching and testing, educational publishing, language policy making, and of course linguistic research.
You will approach second language acquisition from many different angles, including (cognitive) psychology, social interaction, and language teaching. You will not only be introduced to the field of linguistics, language acquisition, and language teaching and assessment theory but also the neighboring field of social and cognitive psychology and neuroscience. As such, our MA program is a truly multidisciplinary master’s track.
The master's track focuses especially on dynamic aspects of language development, which explains how the process of second language development is affected by the changing interaction of a wide range of factors. You will learn about the social, psychological, and cultural processes that interact in using a language or that may cause the use of a second language to grow or decline. You will explore theoretical developments and didactic applications of recent research, and learn about computer-assisted language learning. Although this is not a teacher training programme, there is ample opportunity to discuss issues related to teaching and in some cases, it is possible to do a language teaching internship in an academic setting.
While the first semester consists of a fixed set of courses, the second semester allows you to focus on your own interests within the field of Applied Linguistics. You will write a Master’s thesis on a topic of choice and you will take another course and/or do an internship (e.g. a research internship, or an internship in language teaching in an academic setting, educational publishing, or language testing, to give some examples). It is possible to switch to the Research Master programme ‘Language and Cognition' after this programme.
Read more about the Department of Applied Linguistics.
I not only learn about the theory, but also I am equipped with the practical experience.
When I was an undergraduate in 2010, studying abroad was nothing more than a mere dream. Five years later, this dream became reality! I thanked God that after so much effort, I had finally been able to obtain a scholarship from LPDP (Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education). Shortly after, I was accepted in the one-year Applied Linguistics MA program in Groningen. This degree was really everything I hoped for as I aspire to become an English teacher in Indonesia.
Besides gaining a theoretical insight, I have also acquired practical experience in this field. These experiences and qualifications will undoubtedly benefit me in my career within teaching and education, particularly towards TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
In the future I would like to work in the field of TEFL materials development
I had had more than six years experience in the department of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) before I decided to further advance in my professional career. To do so, I wanted to acquire a more in-depth understanding of how languages are learned and which neuroscientific components and teaching methods are involved in the efficient and sustainable acquisition of a second language.
The degree of Applied Linguistics contains a lot of research and
skills to be obtained. Despite being challenging, the study is
interesting and keeps students as well as staff engaged with the
topic at hand. I particularly enjoyed the modules concerning
Statistics, Language Development, and Teaching Methodology. The
advanced level of teaching in combination with being on the
forefront of research in this field also results in great
employment chances when entering the labour market.
With Groningen being a very international city, I made friends from all over the world, which was an incredibly enriching and inherently positive experience.
The good facilities at the university are another positive component whilst I also liked the applied teaching methods
and the supportive staff and academic surroundings. I aspire to continue working in the field of TEFL material development.
My time in Groningen has immensely contributed to obtaining the skill-set required for this work.
All of the teachers do their best to give students as much knowledge as they can
I was lucky enough to spend one semester at the Department of Applied Linguistics in Groningen, where I chose to follow the modules of Research Methodology, Teaching Methodology, and Theories of Second Language Development. Learning and comparing different theories of language learning, acquisition, and development enabled us to think critically about the discussed issues and also taught us how to conduct our own research.
The Applied Linguistics MA in Groningen really excels due to the
expertise of the instructors as well as the support provided to the
students. All in all, the learning community is very inclusive and
constructive. The classes taught me to think critically and also
contributed towards the development of my academic English skills.
There is also a strong emphasis on a very collaborative approach,
which I thoroughly enjoyed. The semester I spent in Groningen
benefited me massively as a
person as I was privileged enough to spend half a year in a very international environment, which enriched my academic skills as well as my general knowledge. The university and city of Groningen have been the perfect choice for me and I could only recommend studying there!
"The teachers are experts in the field and lectures and seminars are balanced in terms of theory, and individual and group assignments."
I ended up choosing the MA in Applied Linguistics due to my interest in language as such and particularly my interest for finding the best method of teaching and learning second languages.
The degree at RUG appealed to me as it balances theory and practice incredibly well. Simultaneously, I was looking for a program that was affordable and did not exceed the span of one year. I cannot say I have been disappointed: the instructors are experts in their field whilst lectures and seminars are well-balanced in their emphasis on theory, and individual and group assignments. This keeps the seminars very engaging as there is always room for debate within the group. As with any MA program, it is a lot of work. However, the studying certainly contributes to our academic development. A question I frequently hear is: “What is applied linguistics? Are you going to be a teacher?” The actual options are much broader: following the completion of The MA, you will be an expert in teaching languages. This enables you, for instance, to work in a language centres, as an advisor as on how to acquire language, or as a researcher.
Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.
Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of Linguistics.