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M.A. in Applied Linguistics

Elective Courses


The followings are the elective courses. Note that whether an elective course will be offered in a particular year depends on student enrollment and staff availability. 

MAAL6014 Language testing and assessment

This course introduces the fundamental principles of language testing and explores the design, trialling, moderation, validation and evaluation of testing instruments.

MAAL6017 Phonology

This course reviews current issues in phonology. By the end of the course, participants will be able to: discuss general aspects of phonological systems; identify specific pronunciation problems, mainly of Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) learners of English; and evaluate the theory and applications of different pronunciation teaching approaches.

MAAL 6018 Vocabulary teaching and learning

This elective course introduces latest research and theory on vocabulary teaching and learning with the aim of critically reviewing pedagogy for teachers and learners alike. Some key topics include goals of vocabulary acquisition, dimensions of morphological/lexical/collocational knowledge, teaching and learning strategies in general and specialized domains, dictionaries and contexts, testing, corpora and computer-assisted vocabulary learning. The course provides ways of assessing learners’ word power and reviews on-line approaches to vocabulary teaching aids such as the use of corpora and autonomous lexical development.

MAAL6023 Advances in writing pedagogy

This course will bring candidates up to date with developments in writing pedagogy. It reviews theoretical and practical developments that have influenced the teaching of writing in recent years and looks in particular at process, genre and critical approaches to writing and discourse studies.

MAAL6031 Technology in language teaching and learning

This course prepares teachers to use technology effectively in their professional practice. It explores some of the key issues in current uses of technology in language teaching and learning. It looks in particular at concepts of Computer-Assisted Language Learning, network-based teaching and learning, and electronic literacy. Topics such as online interaction, multiliteracies, autonomy and technological change, and teacher professional development will be addressed. It discusses the use of various resources, materials and activities in enhancing teaching and learning. It examines the use of technology from pedagogical and socio-cultural perspectives particularly with reference to language education.

MAAL6034 Gender and language

This course explores the role of gender as a sociolinguistic variable in female and male speech and examines the major theoretical approaches to the analysis of the differences between female and male speech behavior. By the end of the course, participants will be able to identify the linguistic features associated with gender-specific speech.

MAAL6035 Language Teacher Development

This course aims to engage participants in exploring how teachers of English as a second/foreign language pursue professional development. Topics include: expertise of effective language teachers, teacher language awareness, teachers’ beliefs and practices, teacher learning and teacher research, reflective practitioners, and teacher autonomy.

MAAL7001 Applied corpus linguistics

This course introduces candidates to a variety of applications of corpus linguistics, including genre/register analyses, contrastive (interlanguage) analyses, critical discourse analyses, and L1/L2 corpora for assessment and pedagogical purposes. The practical focus of the course encourages candidates to consider how to construct, annotate and derive statistical trends from large collections of both native and learner language data, either currently existing collections or of the candidate’s own collection. Candidates will receive hands-on training in corpus building and annotation software, and learn about automated techniques for dealing with large data. There will also be a focus on how corpora can be used in the English language classroom for the purposes of data-driven learning.

MAAL7002 Applied linguistics in the workplace

In the contemporary workplace, communication is not only concerned with language-in-use but embraces a range of associated social issues. This course introduces to participants key aspects of workplace communication and organizational interactions that are pertinent to applied linguists, such as rapport management, identities, roles, and interactional strategies. These aspects will be contextualized within a range of professional contexts and relevant discourse data will be provided for analysis with reference to frameworks such as communities of practice, critical discourse analysis and interactional sociolinguistics.