DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN APPLIED LINGUISTICS

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1 DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN APPLIED LINGUISTICS UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA

2 2 DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN APPLIED LINGUISTICS UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA Introduction 3 About the program: unique aspects Program overview 6 5 The GRAL research group 7 Grants 9 Admissions and registration 10

3 3 INTRODUCTION Nowadays, there is an increasing need in the training of specialists in language learning processes, both in education as well as in language planning. Such factors as immigration fluxes, the globalization of economy, increasing multilingualism as well as the building of the Common European Space have undoubtedly helped create this need. Applied Linguistics is the field that encompasses a wide range of linguistic issues as they relate to real world problems and contexts. It is also the area in which many academics around the world conduct their research, focusing on a range of disciplines related to language and education. The University of Barcelona offers two postgraduate degrees in Applied Linguistics: a Master s and a doctoral program. The Master s degree in Applied Linguistics and second language acquisition in multilingual contexts is designed to cover the theoretical and empirical dimensions of Applied Linguistics and offers an introduction to research. The doctoral degree provides rigorous training in advanced topics of research in the field. The program offers several broad fields of study in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, which can be investigated in a number of contexts (instructed/informal, monolingual/ bilingual, study abroad/at home etc) and under different research paradigms (statistical, survey, interpretative, etc.). The doctoral program at the University of Barcelona, launched in 2000, was a pioneer in this field of study in Spain. The program is coordinated by the GRAL group (Language Acquisition Research), which has obtained the label of Excellence by the Catalan government. The quality of this PhD has also been acknowledged by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, which has recognized the program with a Quality Award since Nowadays the program is fully consolidated with an international student body, a stable group of graduate research assistants, a regular program of visiting lecturers, and student-oriented faculty members.

4 4 Barcelona is quite a unique place to pursue a degree in Applied Linguistics.

5 5 ABOUT THE PROGRAM: UNIQUE ASPECTS International student profile. Both the Master s and the doctoral programs are characterized by the international profile of the students (14 different nationalities represented in ) and the fact that the program is entirely run in English. Dedicated faculty. Professors develop close working relationships with their doctoral students. They help them develop original research interests and support them as their research gets off the ground and develops. Visiting lecturers. Every year well-known applied linguists are invited to teach several sessions to doctoral and Master s degree students. Also, lectures on topical issues of Applied Linguistics are regularly organized at the University of Barcelona. European dimension. Students in the program are encouraged to obtain a European doctorate mention and fulfill the corresponding requirements. Barcelona and Applied Linguistics. Barcelona is quite a unique place to pursue a degree in Applied Linguistics, a city where students are invited to take advantage of the numerous seminars, lectures and resources offered throughout the year by the 19 university-based research groups in Catalonia presently working in the field.

6 6 PROGRAM OVERVIEW From , a new PhD regulation applies at the University of Barcelona which aims to offer students and faculty more chances of success in the process of getting a doctoral degree. Upon enrolment the student will be asked to choose one area of study. Areas within the field of second language acquisition which faculty members are especially interested in are: second language writing, vocabulary acquisition in the L2, cross-linguistic influence, task-based design and instruction, L2 phonology, integrated language learning, pragmatics, study abroad contexts, as well as internal (age, aptitude, motivation, learning strategies) and external factors (input, time distribution) in language learning. Faculty members have extensive expertise in the areas of English and German as a second/foreign language, but would also consider supervising research that deals with the acquisition of other languages. Once the student has been assigned a supervisor at the beginning of the first year, a contract is signed which makes obligations and duties explicit for the two parties, PhD student and supervisor. The regularity of the tutorials is also agreed upon at this point. At the end of the first year, students hand in a written document with their thesis proposal (approx words). In order to ensure that a satisfactory proposal is produced, each student will have previously met with a doctoral supervisory committee during the second semester to discuss their work and get feedback. In subsequent years, students send their progress reports to a supervisory committee who will monitor the candidate s progress as well as the fulfillment of a proposed study plan. It is estimated that candidates who have a job requiring no more than 20 hours a week can complete their PhD thesis in a maximum of four academic years. Academic events. A number of additional events addressed to all doctoral students are scheduled periodically and often include the following activities: doctoral seminars, workshops on academic writing, and short courses on advanced topics of Applied Linguistics by wellknown specialists in the field.

7 7 THE GRAL RESEARCH GROUP The program is run by GRAL, a research group based at the University of Barcelona who initiated their activity together back in Members of the GRAL group are devoted to the study of topical issues in second language acquisition as well as teaching, and often participate in international conferences on Applied Linguistics. Projects. At present GRAL is involved in a number of other research projects supported by various institutions including the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innvovación, the Catalan government and the European Commission. Publications. Recent work by GRAL members have been published in System, IRAL, Language Awareness, Language Learning, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Eurosla Yearbook, International Journal of English Studies as well as a number of book chapters. Visit GRAL s website at to learn more about ongoing projects as well as the group s publications.

8 8 The doctoral program was a pioneer in this field of study in Spain and it has been recognized with a Quality Award.

9 9 GRANTS There are a number of grants by the Ministerio de Educación to fulfill some of the requirements to get a mention of European Doctorate (stays abroad and inclusion of external members in the thesis committee). Information on these grants is regularly sent to all students in the program. Other grants of interest to doctoral students are advertised in The following is a brief summary of the main options. -> Pre-doctoral grants: These contracts involve collaborating with faculty s ongoing research projects for a period of four years. Institutions (programs): Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (FPI), Ministerio de Educación (FPU), Generalitat de Catalunya (FI), and the University of Barcelona (APIF). -> Financial aid for change of residence (province or country in Europe). Institution: Ministerio de Educación Program: Subvenciones para la movilidad de estudiantes en programas de doctorado con Mención de Calidad. Capítulo II. Modalidad A-2. -> Grants for Spanish and foreign students. Institution: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación Program: Lectorados y becas MAEC-AECID

10 10 ADMISSIONS AND REGISTRATION If you are interested in this program, you may contact the program coordinator, Dr. Elsa Tragant, by to get further information. She will inform you about the process of admission and will give you the necessary details and assessment. Once admitted to the program, you can register in the administration office (Secretaria, Facultat de Filologia). There are two registration periods (October and February). The subsidized registration fee was 528 Euros (in ). Info Address: Universitat de Barcelona Gran Via, 585 Barcelona web: programs_eees_nou.html

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