Research in Applied Linguistics focuses on the process of learning and using a second language. It covers various fields of study because learning and using a second language can be approached from many different angles, including cognition, psychology, social interaction, language teaching and culture.
I have gained the experience tackling difﬁculties while doing research
Whilst intensifying my interest for the English language, the MA in Applied Linguistics has also taught me how to tackle difficulties in conducting research.
Eventually writing my thesis was a massive challenge for me as it was difficult to find a research topic. However, my supervisor, Prof. de Bot, always assisted me in providing me with enough liberty to organize and structure the process of writing in the manner most suitable for me. This helped to keep myself organized, motivated, and ultimately enabled me to write a well-researched thesis. The Applied Linguistics department provided great support to all thesis-writing students
despite difficulties such as not having enough participants, collecting effective data or employing the correct SPISS techniques. A weekly appointment with the respective supervisor helped whilst working on the thesis. Studying and living in Groningen has left me with beautiful memories, precious experiences, and brilliant friends. I hope that all new students can have as much of a great time as I did.
Interesting and well-balanced in terms of theory and research practice
The program of Applied Linguistics generates a good balance in terms of theory and active research practice. The first semester provided me with the information and skills I eventually required for writing my thesis in the second semester. Despite my fear of statistics, the expertise of my instructors and the application of frequent practice even made statistics in the Research Methodology module much easier than I had thought. In my second semester, I could choose my research topic based on my own personal interest, which really helped to keep me interested and motivated. The regular thesis workshops and meetings with fellow students really helped me in researching and ultimately writing the thesis.
What is the best way a language can be acquired in what situation?
The Applied Linguistics degree focuses on a task-based approach of learning a second language and then compares its findings with previous approaches, for instance the more old-fashioned way of focusing on grammar and specified exercises.
In the course, we aspire to answer the question “what is the best way a language can be acquired in what circumstance?”. An intriguing part is the construction of a learning for a specific group. This task needs to incorporate various components, which make it very interesting as it makes one more aware of the complexity of learning situations and thus shapes the ability to think critically.
Theoretical Perspectives on Language Learning and Teaching: a really interesting course!
One of the first courses we had to attend was Theoretical Perspectives. The expertise of our instructors became evident immediately: in class, we discussed a book written by one of our instructors!
The course made us more accustomed to different perspectives within applied linguistics. As the degree is very diverse, there will always be something that you will end up finding interesting despite not everything maybe being you favourite topic. Generally, assignments are fun and also contribute academically as they teach you how to conduct independent research. I thoroughly enjoyed this degree!
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!
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).
"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 centers, as an advisor as on how to acquire language, or as a researcher.