MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics

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Mission and Professional Development
Admissions
Outcomes
Program Description
Required and Elective Courses
Internships
Examinations
Core Faculty
Reading List

 

Mission

The Master’s Degree in Hispanic Applied Linguistics at UMD seeks to provide rigorous training in advanced linguistic and sociocultural skills in Spanish through a solid foundation in Spanish Applied Linguistics, diverse courses in US Latina/o, Latin American, Spanish and literatures and cultures, and hands-on options such as internships, community service learning, and technologically-rich environments.

Professional development options

Students in the MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics may be interested in pursuing professional development options for:

  • Pre-service and in-service Spanish language teachers in the private, public, and government sectors in need of advanced training in language related areas.
  • In-service Spanish language teachers in the private, public, and government sectors who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in a variety of areas, not only literature.
  • Teachers, curriculum designers and supervisory staff in state, local and federal government agencies providing linguistic and cultural services to the Spanish-speaking community in Maryland and the greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.
  • Individuals who are interested in pursing a career change, and who have decided to focus on teaching languages, or working with Spanish-speaking clients.
  • Employees in language consulting firms and agencies and organizations serving the Spanish-speaking community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UMD is also a member of the MultiELE consortium, designed for people working or intending to work in the field of teaching Spanish in multilingual and international contexts.

Admissions

To be considered for admission to the MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics, candidates:

  • Must have completed a minimum of four (4) courses at the advanced undergraduate level in either Spanish or Latin American/US Latina/o literature, Hispanic applied linguistics, or a combination.
  • Submit a writing sample in Spanish produced in an undergraduate literature/linguistics course.
  • Submit a statement of purpose.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from professors/professionals in related fields.
  • Submit official transcripts.

Candidates on the "short list" may be interviewed by the Graduate Director in person or by phone.

For further information about admissions to the Graduate School, please consult the Main Graduate Page.

Outcomes

Upon completion, students in the MA in Hispanic applied linguistics will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in Hispanic Applied Linguistics and Sociolinguistics.
  • Demonstrate advanced language capabilities essential for communicating in Spanish in a variety of academic and professional contexts.
  • Demonstrate the intercultural skills necessary for interacting with Spanish-speaking populations, in educational, business, or political venues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural and political conditions of Spanish-speaking heritage communities, in general, and the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, in particular.
  • Demonstrate mastery of specific major works and concepts of Latin American / Spanish / US Latina/o literatures and cultures, as relevant to the student’s professional goals.

Students will demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skill areas essential to the program’s core areas and to a subset of those relevant to their professional interests, as detailed below.

Language Capabilities

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate advanced language capabilities essential for communicating in Spanish in a variety of academic and professional contexts.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI). Students must demonstrate speaking skills at the Advanced-mid level or above on the ACTFL scale. Writing skills will also be assessed through the appropriate ACTFL scale.

Hispanic Applied Linguistics

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate understanding of specific concepts in Hispanic linguistics and sociolinguistics.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Written course examinations addressing particular areas in Hispanic linguistics and sociolinguistics.

Latin American / Spanish / US Latina/o literatures and cultures

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate mastery of specific major works and concepts of Latin American / Spanish / US Latina/o literatures and cultures relevant to the student’s professional goals.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Research project/paper addressing a particular issue in the relevant field of study or written course examinations.

Intercultural Skills

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the intercultural skills necessary for interacting with Spanish-speaking populations, in educational, business, or political venues; Synthesize and compare cultural constructs characteristic of Spanish-speaking environments and the United States.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Research project/paper addressing a particular issue of comparative culture.

Learning Outcome: Analyze and summarize information about key issues in one or more of the following areas: educational, political, and business venues, related to Spanish-speaking cultures.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Research project/paper addressing a particular issue in one or more of the above-mentioned areas.

Heritage Language Teaching and Learning

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate understanding of the social, cultural and political conditions of Spanish-speaking heritage communities, in general, and the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, in particular.

Assessment Measurements and Criteria: Research project/paper addressing a particular issue in a heritage community or written course examination focusing on the major issues of the field of heritage learning.

Program description

 

MA in HAL (Thesis Option)

 

 

MA in HAL (Non-Thesis Option)

 

12 credit hours in Hispanic applied linguistics

12 credit hours in Hispanic applied linguistics

9 credit hours in Latin American/Spanish/Latino(a) literatures

9 credit hours in Latin American / Latino(a) / Spanish literatures and cultures
3 credit hours in an elective course (to be determined by the student and advisor)6 credit hours in elective courses (to be determined by the student and advisor)
6 credit hours of thesis research

3 credit hours in a final project

Total = 30 credits

Total = 30 credits

Sample of required and elective courses

The following are some of the existing courses in Spanish language/linguistics and Latin American, US Latina/o, and Spanish literatures and cultures that may serve as required or elective courses:

SPAN 401 Advanced Composition I (3 credits)
Compositions and essays with emphasis on stylistics, idiomatic and syntactic structures. Organization and writing of research papers.

SPAN 402 Advanced Composition II (3 credits)
Compositions and essays with emphasis on stylistics, idiomatic and syntactic structures. Organization and writing of research papers.

SPAN 470 United States Latino Literature (3 credits)
Introduction to US Latina/o literature through exploration of narrative, poetry, and drama by Chicano, Nuyorican, Cuban American, and Central American diasporic writers. Discussion of socio-historical issues involved in construction of Latino cultural identity in literature.

SPAN 474 Central American Literatures, Cultures, and Histories (3 credits)
An overview of Central American history and cultural production, focusing primarily but not exclusively on literary texts.

SPAN 610 The History of the Spanish Language (3 credits)

SPAN 611 Applied Linguistics (3 credits)
Nature of applied linguistics and its contribution to the effective teaching of foreign languages. Comparative study of English and Spanish, with emphasis on points of divergence.

SPAN 625 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics I:Basic Concepts (3 credits)
Introduction to basic terms and definition in Hispanic Linguistics. Fundamental aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics.

SPAN 626 Hispanic Linguistics II: Language in Use (3 credits)
This course will focus on issues related to language variation and use with a more in-depth analysis of the semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics of Spanish. Students will be introduced to current research in the fields of dialectology, bilingualism and language policy, and the social aspects of language change. This course will include an analysis of current research as it relates to the field of linguistics and other social sciences.

SPAN 698 Masterpieces of Hispanic Literatures (3 credits)
Masterpieces of the Hispanic literatures, topics, areas of literature and works to vary.

SPAN 750 Workshop in Essay Writing (3 credits)
Different genres of writing in Spanish including essays, articles, reviews, biographies, etc. Students will analyze models of a genre, produce their own version, edit and revise.

SPAN 798 Open Seminar (3 credits)

Reading List (click for pdf)

Capstone projects

The following are some examples of projects developed in recent years by graduate students in Hispanic Applied Linguistics:

●  Curriculum Development for Spanish programs in Elementary Education
●  Available Lexicon of Hispanic Students at the University of Maryland
●  Bimodal vs. reversed subtitling: Effects on Foreign Language Reading Comprehension
●  Correlation Between Student Perceptions of Foreign Language Test Format and Student Achievement
●  Target Language Practice in Study Abroad Programs
●  Perceptions of Language by Heritage Language Learners of Spanish
●  The Effects of Parental Attitudes upon Bilingualism in Their Children
●  The Effects of Music and Illustrations in Vocabulary Acquisition in Spanish
●  Vocabulary Retention Among Adult ESL Learners: Differences Between Ages
●  Linguistic Human Rights and Educational Policy in Guatemala
●  Learning Processes in Explicit Instruction

Options for internships

The following are some of the possible options for students interested in participating in an internship as part of their MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics.

The requirements for application to the internship are:

  • Student is in her/his 3rd or 4th semester of MA program (it is highly recommended that student conduct an internship during her/his  3rd semester).
  • Excellent academic standing (3.0 GPA or higher).
  • Letter of recommendation from advisor.
  • Statement of purpose after initial meeting with internship supervisor at host institution.

The academic requirements to be completed during the internships are:

  • Biweekly written progress reports, to be signed by supervisor and submitted to internship coordinator.
  • One report on a research issue/problem in the internship.
  • Presentation at the end of the internship to faculty and students.
  • A final evaluation of the placement.
  • Updated resume to include the internship and a final portfolio of the internship.

Outreach and community-based activities may focus on:

  • Cultural and linguistic differences in parent–teacher communication.
  • Cultural and social issues in parents’ involvement in their children’s education.
  • Importance of learning Spanish beyond what has been learned at home.
  • Attitudes towards Spanish in the society and within the school.
  • Advantages of bilingualism for the society in general.
  • Fostering learner’s independence and strong family support.
  • Dialectal and generational differences among Latino families with regards to Spanish.
  • Cultural differences about education for Latino families and non-Latino teachers.
  • Socioeconomic and sociocultural profile of Latino families in the Washington, DC area.
  • Latino cultures and histories and how to incorporate them into any academic subject.
  • Development of events and activities related to Spanish language and Latino cultures in the school.
  • Ways of involving Latino parents in the school in more inter- and pro-active ways.

Examinations

The comprehensive examination is given three times per year, on designated days in January, May and August. The examination is based on reading lists (one for each area), which are prepared and periodically revised by the faculty. Further information about exams and the reading lists may be obtained from the departmental website (http://sllc.umd.edu/spanish).

Core faculty

Manel Lacorte  (B.A., University of Barcelona, M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Scotland) is Associate Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics, and Director of the Spanish Language Program. Lacorte also works as associate director of undergraduate studies at the Spanish School of Middlebury College, Vermont. His research focuses on second language classroom interaction and context(s); language use and identity, social and cultural issues in second language and heritage language teaching and learning; applied linguistics; and language teacher education in the US. He has published in journals such as Foreign Language Annals, Language Teaching Research, Spanish in Context, Hispania, Heritage Language Journal, and Cultura & Educación, among others. He has edited or co-edited several volumes: Romance Languages and Linguistic Communities in the United States (Latin American Studies Center/UMD, 2002), Contacto y contextos lingüísticos: El español en los Estados Unidos y en contacto con otras lenguas (Iberoamericana, 2005), Lingüística aplicada del español (Arco Libros, 2007), Spanish in the United States and Other Contact Contexts: Sociolinguistics, Ideology and Pedagogy (Iberoamericana, 2009), and Didáctica de la lengua y la literatura (Miríada Hispánica, 2013). He is a co-editor (with Judy Liskin-Gasparro) of the Prentice Hall Second Language Professional Series. At present, Manel Lacorte is working on several projects such as a book on context and contextualization in foreign language teaching and learning, an edited volume on Hispanic applied linguistics, and two textbooks for beginning and advanced students of Spanish.

Roberta Z. Lavine received her PhD from the Catholic University of America in 1983. She is currently Director of Undergraduate Program and Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She has 25 years of teaching experience and has taught all levels of Spanish language, Business Spanish, Cross-cultural Communication, and methodology, among other courses. Her current research interests deal with learner variables in language learning, especially learning disabilities, Language for Specific Purposes, and technology. She has extensive experience in technology and the use of computers for instructional purposes, and currently teaches business language and cross-cultural communication in a technology-enhanced environment. She has won the University of Maryland Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology as well as a Fellowship from the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. She has published in all of the above mentioned areas and has lectured and given workshops all over the world.

Ana Patricia Rodríguez  is associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches courses in Latin American, Central American, and U.S. Latina/o literatures and cultures. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include Central American and U.S. Latina/o literatures and cultures; Central American cultural production in the U.S.; transnational migration and cultural production; diaspora studies; violence and postwar/trauma studies; gender studies; U.S. Latina/o popular culture; community-based research; and Latina/o education (K-16). Professor Rodríguez has published numerous articles on the cultural production of Latinas/os in the United States and of Central Americans in the isthmus and in the wider Central American diaspora. She is the author of Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Histories, Literatures, and Cultures (University of Texas Press, 2009) and co-editor (with Linda J. Craft and Astvaldur Astvaldsson) of De la hamaca al trono y al más allá: Lecturas críticas de la obra de Manlio Argueta (San Salvador: Universidad Tecnológica, 2013).

Advisory board for the MA in Hispanic Applied Linguistics

• Josebe Bilbao-Henry (World Bank)
• Deborah Espitia (World Languages Coordinator, Howard County Public School System)
• Catherine Ingold (National Foreign Language Center)
• Joy Peyton (Center for Applied Linguistics)
• Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia (Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, UMD)