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Applied Linguistics MA at ODU

Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics

The ODU MA website can be accessed here.

For detailed information about the program and requirements please see the MA Handbook.

The Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics prepares students to pursue advanced graduate study or to teach in colleges, adult education programs, businesses, private schools, or institutions in other countries. The program requires 33 credits. Two emphases are offered, one in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and one in Sociolinguistics. A graduate certificate in TESOL is also offered. The College of Education offers a Master of Science in Education: Secondary with English as a Second Language Licensure.

Entrance Requirements

All normal university graduate admission requirements apply, and applicants must have a B average in their major field. Applicants must have taken at least 12 hours of undergraduate courses in language or literature (in any language), nine on the upper level. The GRE, two references, and a statement of purpose are required. Non-native speakers of English must submit scores from the TOEFL iBT (88 for regular admission and 80 for provisional admission) or from the TOEFL PBT (570 for regular admission and 550 for provisional admission), a sample of scholarly writing, and three recommendations, one of which evaluates proficiency in English.

Language Requirement

Before graduation, the student must have 12 credits or the equivalent in a single foreign language; this can be at the undergraduate level. After twelve hours of graduate work, international students must score 570 on the TOEFL examination (or 230 CBE or 80 on the iBT).

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Forensic Casework

Forensic Casework

Forensic Phonetic Casework Statement of Purpose and Description of Work:

I employ laboratory standard acoustic phonetic methods and knowledge of the social and linguistic dimensions of varieties of American English to determine speaker identification in forensic phonetic casework involving voice comparisons. I am uniquely qualified for this task because, in addition to expertise in acoustic phonetics, I also have training in linguistic anthropology and extensive experience in the acoustic analysis of “everyday” types of speech.

Typically, speaker identification is restricted to vowel formants, and current automated technology (i.e. voice recognition systems) is largely unable to correctly identify highly variable vernacular speech (in other words, “real world” speech). My approach addresses this problem by expanding analysis beyond vowel formants to also include patterns of coarticulation, pitch contours, vowel duration, and voice quality. In particular, patterns of coarticulation (the way that articulators such as the tongue, mouth, and lips show overlapping gestures in the acoustic signal) are highly individualized and largely below the level of speaker consciousness. By examining a constellation of features, I make determinations in voice comparisons and speaker identification.

Experience:

Forensic Linguistics Team, U.S. Secret Service, 2005-2009. participated in a federally funded project that created dialect-sensitive voice recognition systems, with a focus on African American English

United States Secret Service in Quantico, VA (forensic phonetics, forensic dialectology)

Medina, Ohio Sheriff’s Department (voice comparisons for a bomb threat case)

Brunswick, Ohio Police Department (voice comparisons for a bomb threat case)

Detective Tom Dunn, Mount Pleasant, MI (voice comparisons for a harassing phone call case)

The State of Tennessee (voice comparisons for a narcotics case)

U.S. Department of Justice (voice comparisons for a narcotics case, in Spanish)

U.S. Secret Service Atlanta Field Office (voice comparisons for an identity theft case)

McEachin & Gee, P.C. Attorneys at Law (bomb threat case, sociolinguistic style analysis of slang)

City of Bellingham, Washington Police Department & U.S. Secret Service (voice comparisons for hoax 911 calls in an attempted murder case)

Image captured by B.L. Anderson in The Great Smoky Mountains

About Tidewater Voices

Tidewater Voices

Tidewater/Hampton Roads …
A treasure trove of history and physical beauty defined by a unique cultural identity

Share your memories … tell your own stories …
In your own words, tell us about life in the Tidewater region!

Introducing an oral history and dialect project about life in the Tidewater region

Tidewater Voices: Conversations in Southeastern Virginia

Tidewater Voices is an oral history and dialect project will provide a living history that captures all that makes this fascinating region distinctive– in terms of language, culture, and history– from other parts of Virginia and the nation.

Your participation helps to create a collection of narratives that will forever tell the story of language and life in the Tidewater region. This oral history research project seeks to answer questions such as the following:

What does it mean to be a native of the Tidewater region?
How has the area changed over the years?
What are the key moments in the history of the area?

I and my students invite you, the residents of this region and the true experts on its culture and history, to share your knowledge of the Tidewater region with us and with the world!

We will record conversations in which participants share their everyday experiences and recollections about life in Tidewater. Recordings will be archived and available to the general public.  You may withdraw your oral history at any time, for any reason.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about our work or about your part in it.
Thank you for your participation! May our stories live forever!

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TESOL Emphasis

TESOL Emphasis – Curriculum Requirements

The following six courses are required:

ENGL 540 General Linguistics
ENGL 670 Methods & Materials in TESOL
ENGL 671 Phonology
ENGL 672 Syntax
ENGL 675 Practicum (Student Teaching)
ENGL 679 First and Second Language Acquistion

Three courses must be chosen from the following:

ENGL 544 History of the English Language
ENGL 550 American English
ENGL 577 Language, Gender, and Power
ENGL 673 Discourse Analysis
ENGL 676 Semantics
ENGL 677 Language and Communication Across Cultures
ENGL 678 Sociolinguistics
ENGL 695 Topics in English (Linguistics)
ENGL 705 Discourse and Rhetoric Across Cultures
ENGL 770 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
ENGL 773 Seminar in Discourse Analysis
ENGL 778 Seminar in Sociolinguistics

Students have 6 hours of electives approved by the Graduate Program Director. In some cases, a 700-level course may be substituted for the corresponding 600-level course.

  •  ENGL 696 Independent Readings. Available for students with more than 18 hours in the program. Students should write a proposal and receive written permission from the appropriate faculty member before signing up for this course.
  •  ENGL 698, 699 Thesis. Students may elect to write a thesis or may choose six hours of elective courses appropriate to their individual career choices.

No more than 12 hours may be taken at the 500 level, and no more than 12 hours may be transferred in from another program. Other appropriate electives include courses in composition, reading, education, or linguistics. These should be chosen with the help of your advisor.

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Sociolinguistics Emphasis

Sociolinguistics Emphasis – Curriculum Requirements

The following six courses are required:

ENGL 540 General Linguistics
ENGL 550 American English
ENGL 671 Phonology
ENGL 672 Syntax
ENGL 673 Discourse Analysis
ENGL 678 Sociolinguistics

Three courses must be chosen from the following:

ENGL 544 History of the English Language
ENGL 577 Language, Gender, and Power
ENGL 670 Methods and Materials in TESOL
ENGL 676 Semantics
ENGL 677 Language and Communication Across Cultures
ENGL 679 First and Second Language Acquisition
ENGL 695 Topics in English (Linguistics)
ENGL 705 Discourse and Rhetoric Across Cultures
ENGL 770 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
ENGL 773 Seminar in Discourse Analysis
ENGL 778 Seminar in Sociolinguistics

Students may elect to write a thesis or may choose six hours of elective courses appropriate to their individual career choices. No more than 12 hours may be taken at the 500 level. At the end of the program, students must pass a comprehensive oral examination.

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TESOL Certificate and ESL Endorsement

Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

This graduate certificate qualifies students to teach ESOL to adult learners. This certificate may be of particular interest to students who want to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) abroad or teach ESL in the private sector or in non-governmental organizations (e.g., private language institutes, corporate settings, immigrant & refugee centers, etc.). In order to obtain this certificate, students need to take ENGL 670, 671, 672, 675, 677.

Commonwealth of Virginia Endorsement for English as a Second Language (ESL)

Students who already have a teaching license (e.g., licensure to teach in elementary or secondary education) may pursue an added endorsement in ESL. This endorsement requires a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work. Some of these credits can be earned by taking graduate level courses in our program. For more information on the ESL add-on endorsement, contact Nola Nicholson, M.S. Ed.