SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Dissertation in Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2017/2018
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the programme, the students should demonstrate, by their writing of a dissertation, their appreciation of the concepts, modes of analysis and theoretical approaches in the area of Language Pedagogy, including second language learning theories and teaching methodologies. 

Through the courses offered in the programme, the students will be able to assess various approaches and perspectives concerning the nature/nurture debate in language acquisition studies, theories of how language is mentally represented, as well as the psychological and social factors contributing to their acquisition and use.


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour seminar.  Three hours individual supervision throughout the year.

Scope and syllabus

The students enrolled in this course will have completed core courses and optional or recommended courses for their own chosen path of MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy by the time they complete their dissertation. By conducting a project on a topic of their choice (approved by the convener and supervisor) and writing a dissertation on it, the students will demonstrate their knowledge and intellectual capacity that they have acquired in the programme.

Method of assessment

A 20 minute oral presentation on the dissertation in term 3 (5%); attendance of the research foundations seminar (5%); Dissertation Final Submission (90%): 10,000 words, due September following final year of study (exact date determined by School).

Suggested reading

  • Arabski J. (ed.) 2006 Cross-linguistic influences in the second language lexicon, Multilingual Matters
  • Bachman L.F. & A. D. Cohen, eds.1998 Interfaces between SLA and Language Testing Research, CUP
  • Benson P. J 2001 Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning
  • Cook Vivian & B. Bassetti 2006 Second language writing systems, Multilingual Matters
  • Davies Alan and Catherine Elder eds. 2004 The handbook of applied linguistics Blackwell
  • DeKeyser Robert ed. 2005 Grammatical development in language learning, Blackwell
  • Doughty C and M H. Long eds. 2002 The handbook of second language acquisition, Blackwell
  • Dyorney Z 2001 Teaching and Researching Motivation
  • Hartman R. 2001 Teaching and Researching Lexicography
  • Janik Daniel S 2005 A neurobiological theory and method of language acquisition, Lincom
  • Johnson Keith 2002 Designing Language Teaching Tasks, Basingstoke
  • Johnson K. & H. Johnson eds. 1998 Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics, Oxford: Blackwell
  • Kaplan Robert 2002 The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics, OUP
  • Lust Barbara and Claire Foley eds. 2004 First language acquisition – The essential readings, Blackwell
  • McCarthy Michael 2001 Issues in Applied Linguistics, Cambridge University Press
  • Ramat, Anna Giacalone, ed. (2003) Typology and Second Language Acquisition, Mouton de Gruyter
  • Saville-Troike M. 2006 Introducing second language acquisition, CUP
  • Schmitt Norbert 2002 An Introduction to Applied Linguistics Arnold
  • Trask, R.L. 1998, Key concepts in language and linguistics, Routledge
  • Weir, Cyril 2005 Language Testing and Validation - An Evidence-Based Approach, Palgrave Macmillan

(Reading requirements are based on the specific research topic selected. The topics must be approved by the supervisor and convenor, and it is expected that they will largely draw from the research resources already in the SOAS Library.)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules