This college-wide program uniquely prepares students with second language teaching skills, which are based on sound teaching theories that build on and go beyond the scientific study of language. The SLaT M.A. assists second- and foreign-language teachers in improving their professional qualifications in second language pedagogy, research, and assessment.
The focus is on teacher preparation, providing a skillset suitable for a variety of careers within both higher education and second language teaching. There is an industry need for teachers who are prepared to teach a variety of languages; this program helps to satisfy that need. The SLaT program also prepares a foundation for continued study in Ph.D. programs in foreign language education and eventual entry into academia.
Is SLaT for Me?
The SLaT program is ideally suited to the needs of individuals who have completed undergraduate degrees in a foreign language and have an interest in teaching their acquired language in an advanced educational setting, such as in a college or university, or in a business enterprise. The SLaT M.A. is not a public-school certification program, but the program will be beneficial to currently certified foreign language teachers as part of their continuing professional development or as preparation to pursue a Ph.D.
For more information on the program requirements, please visit the catalog.
NOTE: Those who wish to teach English, Portuguese, or Spanish should apply to the TESOL or Spanish/Portuguese MA programs rather than to SLaT.
Public School Teachers
The Second Language Teaching MA can accommodate full-time, public school teachers who are able to come to campus in the evenings and during the summer. Normally, these students complete their degree in 3 years and take 1 evening class each semester, with 1-2 courses in the summer. Most of our courses are held in the late afternoon or evening.
Those who participate in BYU Summer Institutes for Teachers of French or German may apply that coursework to the MA program. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Optional 3rd Year Teaching Licensure Track
The current BYU Second Language Teaching (SLaT) MA does not lead to state licensure. Therefore, an optional 3rd year licensure track is available for students who wish to not only graduate with an MA in Second Language Teaching but also obtain a teaching license.
There is an industry need for trained and qualified instructors who are prepared to teach a variety of languages, particularly in Utah, where there are more dual language immersion (DLI) programs (one-way) than in any other state. The proposed 3rd year licensure track will meet all licensing requirements including course work and exams.
The SLaT 3rd year licensure option will only be available to students in languages that are taught in BYU's partnership districts (Provo, Alpine, Nebo, Jordan, Wasatch) where BYU can place students for practicum and student teaching. Those languages are currently Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian.
Students should apply and be accepted to the third-year licensure track. The following requirements should be met.
- Prospective students should apply to be admitted to the third-year licensure program before the fourth semester of the second year. This acceptance will be contingent upon the completion of the M.A. requirements, including the thesis/project.
- Students who are accepted into the 3rd year licensure program must attain an ACTFL OPI rating of Advanced-Low or higher. (Advanced-Mid or higher is required for DLI).
- Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and may not have any grade lower than a B- (classes can be repeated).
- Students should submit one letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
Scholarships are available for the third year licensure option based on student academic performance and student evaluations. Availability is dependent on need. Contact email@example.com after acceptance for scholarship enquiries.
McKay School of Education Classes (11 credits):
SLaT students who choose to do the 3rd year licensure track will join with BYU education majors to take the following classes.
- CPSE 402 - Educating Students with Disabilities in Secondary Classrooms (2 credits)
- SC ED 353 - Multicultural Education for Secondary Education (3 credits)
- SC ED 375 - Adolescent Development and Classroom Management (3 credits)
- IPT 371, 372 - Integrating K-12 Educational Technology 1, 2 (2 credits)
- IPT 373 - Teaching in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Contexts (1 credit)
- Students must pass the Praxis in their language of instruction prior to beginning student teaching. Go to https://www.ets.org/praxis/ut/test-takers/plan-your-test/licensure-requirements.html#accordion-654bf1c582-item-01c71fcd4e
Additional Field Experience Classes (17 credits):
SlaT 3rd year licensure track students will join the Spanish/French/German teaching practicums and student teaching courses (below). These students will have a cohort and meet weekly to develop lesson plans, discuss teaching experiences, refine teaching skills, and engage in professional development and reflection. A BYU professor skilled in target language pedagogy will serve as the university supervisor that completes the observations and evaluations required for licensure. All students will be expected to pass the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT), which is an online portfolio that measures teacher candidates’ abilities and readiness to teach.
- Exploration of Foreign Language Teaching: FLANG 276 (4 credits). Ideally this class should be taken 3rd or 4th semester of the SLaT Program as prospective teachers visit many different language classrooms.
- Practicum in Language Teaching: SLaT 380, cross-listed with SPAN 380 (1credit). This practicum should be taken fall semester.
- Student Teaching/PPAT: SLaT 476 (cross-listed with FREN 476, GERM 476, and SPAN 476) (12 credits). Student teaching occurs winter semester.
- Jordan Wilson, 2015 SLaT graduate
- Jeremy Evans, 2015 SLaT graduate
-Yu Fang Liao, 2014 SLaT graduate
Application and Admission Requirements
- Undergraduate GPA: a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
- Statement of Intent: a one-page statement of intent, outlining your interest in the program, your potential as a scholar, and your intended contribution to the field of second language teaching
- Language of Specialization. Designated language of specialization as indicated on the “Desired Research Area” portion of the application. Normally, the SLaT program admits students of French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic, as these are languages for which we have graduate faculty.
- Language Proficiency Proof: ACTFL OPI rating of Advanced Low for languages in difficulty categories 1 and 2 or Intermediate High for difficulty categories 3 and 4 (see table below). If ACTFL exams are not available in the language, other proof may be considered. This does not apply to native speakers of their language of specialization.
- Scholarly Writing Sample: a 10- to 15-page scholarly writing sample in English addressing a topic relevant to second-language teaching
- 3 Letters of Recommendation: three letters of recommendation, two of which should be from persons familiar with the applicants’ skills in teaching and their proficiency in the language of specialization
- Graduate Records Exam (GRE): score at the 50th percentile or above on the verbal section of the exam and receive at least a rating of 4 on the analytical/writing section
- TOEFL: score of 90 or above on the TOEFL iBT (minimum score of 24 in Speaking and minimum score of 22 in Listening, Reading, and Writing). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about other English test options. NOTE: This requirement only applies to non-native speakers of English.
- Prerequisites: Successful completion of a language-teaching methodology course. Exceptions may be allowed for equivalent experience, such as other extensive, formal language teaching experience.
- Complete an ecclesiastical endorsement.
- Application Fee: $50 (USD) to be paid online
- International Students: See the Graduate Studies International Students page for additional requirements
ACTFL Second Language Difficulty Categories for Speakers of English
|Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4|
|Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish||Bulgarian, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Malay, Urdu||Cambodian, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Hmong, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese||Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin|
Application Deadline: February 1st
SLaT scholarships are available, depending on student performance and funding availability. Incoming students are automatically considered for scholarships. No separate application is required.
Second-year tuition scholarships are based on academic performance, student evaluations, meeting minimum registration requirements, and scholarship application. Scholarships normally range from 50%-80% of tuition.
Learn more about BYU Graduate Student scholarships.
SLaT students are often hired as graduate student instructors within the departments of their language of specialization. Graduate instructors are solely responsible for class instruction, assigning and correcting assignments, giving quizzes and exams, and awarding grades at the end of the semester.
Students applying for instructorship positions must be accepted into the SLaT program and have demonstrated prior teaching experience. Hiring takes place a few months before each semester. Each student will be required to apply through their respective language department. Often, departments require instructors to attend orientation and in-service meetings prior to the start of the semester.
Graduate students are normally hired for 10 hours/week per course, and paid on average between $14-$20/ hour, depending on experience.
Students who are interested in acquiring an instructorship should email the Assistant Director at email@example.com.
Learn more about BYU tuition costs and financial aid.
The SLaT M.A. Reading List gives you broad exposure to some of the most influential research and texts in the area of language teaching. The Reading List materials are incorporated into the Written Comprehensive Exam, which aims to test your understanding of and ability to apply concepts and information presented during your program.
You will need to read and carefully consider all of the works on the list. It is recommended that you read items in conjunction with your class registrations, but you are welcome to begin reading the summer before you start your coursework.
You can read more about the Reading List and Comprehensive Exam in the SLaT Graduate Handbook.
The Center for Language Studies has compiled all of your readings for the SLaT MA Comprehensive Exam into the HBLL Course Reserve System. Many of the items can be accessed digitally, while a few are only available in hard copy at the Harold B. Lee Library.
Graduate Studies Advisement Forms (ADV Forms)
Graduate Travel Assistance Application
SLaT 601: Survey of Second Language Teaching and Acquisition: Theory and Practice
SLaT 602: Linguistics for Language Teachers
SLaT 613: Teaching and Learning about Culture
SLaT 603: Research
SLaT 614R: Online Teaching
SLaT 610: Using Media and Technology in Second Language Teaching and Research
SLaT 614R: Teaching Dual Immersion
SLaT 604: Assessment
SLaT 611: Teaching, Listening, and Speaking Skills
SLaT 612: Teaching, Reading and Writing Skills
SLaT 698R: Master's Action Research Project
or SLaT 699R: Master's Thesis
SLaT 698R: Master's Action Research Project
or SLaT 699R: Master's Thesis
Possible Proficiency Course SLaT 680R
Research Interests: Effective language teaching, perceptions of effective language teaching, written error correction, ACTFL oral proficiency for pre-service language teaching
Research Interests: Study abroad, stress, and motivation
Research Interests: Advanced language pedagogy, assessment, and oversees study. Also, Chinese linguistics, Chinese diaspora language, and Chinese dialects
Research Interests: Advanced language pedagogy and assessment, second language reading, affective and social factors in language learning.
Research interests: L1 and L2 language variation, especially in English and Spanish
Michael W. Child
Research Areas: Bilingualism, Corpus linguistics
Research Interests: Second Language Assessment and Teaching, Language Proficiency Scales/Standards, Self-Assessment and Objective Measurement
Research Interests: Student success in face-to-face, online, and blended language classes. Language gains during study abroad/direct enrollment
second language learning and agency, self-regulation, motivation, social networking (social interaction), anxiety (stress), study abroad, and testing/assessment
Research Interests: Second language writing
Research Interests: Writing in a second language—written corrective feedback, self-regulated language learning, and language curriculum development.
Research Interests: Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Writing, Curriculum and Materials Development, Teacher Training, Second Language Measurement and Assessment, Program Administration, Development, and Evaluation
Affiliated Faculty, Second Language Teaching
Research Interests: Spanish language and culture acquisition and assessment; Spanish language and culture curriculum and materials development
Research Interests: Dual language immersion (DLI) pedagogy, curriculum and policy, second language teacher training, bilingual literacy acquisition (English/Chinese), remote language learning, and adult literacy learners
Research Interests: Russian Linguistics
Affiliated Faculty, Second Language Teaching
Research Interests: language teaching and learning in study abroad and other experiential learning contexts, language teaching and technology, and pronunciation teaching and learning, and proficiency oriented teaching.
Research Interests: curriculum development and implementation in dual language immersion (DLI), Foreign Language Student Housing (FLSR), literacy development and the use of culturally authentic materials for language learning, project-based language learning (PBLL), and scaffolding
Research Areas: Computational linguistics, Computer assisted learning, Corpus linguistics, Digital humanities, L2 education, L2 testing, Linguistics, Morpho-syntax, Psycholinguistics
French Teaching Advisor
Affiliate, Second Language Teaching
Research Interests: I explore oral proficiency gains in upper-division literary-cultural courses through learner–learner interactions and in lower-division courses through the scaffolding technique of pre-speaking.
Research Interests: Psycholinguistics, Second Language Acquisition, Phonetics, Speech perception and production, Foreign Language Housing
Laura Catharine Smith
Research Interests: Proficiency gains, Can-Do statements, language gains in immersion settings, second language pronunciation, influence of dialect on pronunciation, German plurals, prosody gains
Research Interests: code-switching in the foreign language classroom; heritage language learners; service-learning and language acquisition; bilingualism and languages in contact; placement exams and language testing
Research Interests: language use in dual language immersion programs, multi-literacies instruction, and pronunciation instruction.
J. Paul Warnick
Research Interests: Development and validation of assessments and related statistical methods and processes. Focus on test design, development and validation using experimental and quasi-experimental research design and psychometrics, including Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), Item Response Theory (IRT), and other relevant statistical models.
Rachel Yu Liu
Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages
Research Interests: Chinese linguistics, Second language acquisition, Teaching speaking and writing to advanced level learners, Material development
The following are theses presented by previous SLaT students. Hyperlinks to online versions of the theses are organized by year. Theses prior to 2005 are available through the Center for Language Studies.
Impact of Intercultural Competence on Communicative Success in L2 Environments(With Reference to Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
Implications of Academic Pathway to Teaching in Utah: Does Alternative Certification Alleviate Teacher Shortages?
The Classroom Teaching of Chinese Formulaic Language and Its Effects on Students' Writing Performance
Purposeful Integration of Literacy and Science Instruction in a Fourth Grade Partial Immersion Program
Strategies Utilized by Secondary French Teachers to Help Students Visualize Their Progress
Using Religious Themes and Content to Affect Cultural Sensitivity in Russian Language Learning
Relationship Between Using Korean Folktales in Foreign Language Class and Learners' Reading Comprehension and Cultural Understanding
The Effect of Transition Word and Pre-Speaking Activities on Text Type: Moving from Intermediate to Advanced Speech
Spaced versus Massed Practice in L2 German Listening Comprehension
Incidental Learning of Japanese Through Reading Online, In Print, and In Digital Games
What, Why, and How Much?: The Integration of Culture in Secondary Foreign Language Classrooms
An Investigation into the Motivational Practice of Teachers of Albanian and Japanese
Japanese Vocabulary Learning Through and Interactive Video Platform: Comparative Effects of L1 versus L2 Definitions and Kana versus Kanj Presentation
Effects of Culture Awareness Lessons on Attitudes of University Students of French
Identifying and Understanding the Difference Between Japanese and English When Giving Walking Directions
Improving Reading Fluency and Comprehension in Intermediate L2 Japanese Learners
Exploring Language of Assessment on Reading Proficiency Exams of Advanced Learners of Russian
The Effectiveness of Computer-Enhanced Shadowing and Tracking Pronunciation Exercises for Intermediate Level Foreign Language Learners
The Use of Dictionaries, Glosses, and Annotations to Facilitate Vocabulary Comprehension for L2 Learners of Russian
Understanding L1-L2 Fluency Relationship Across Different Languages and Different Proficiency Levels
Teachers Observing Teachers: Factors that Contribute to Critical Thinking in Peer Coaching
Understanding the Experience of Successful Study Abroad Students in Russia
Student Attitudes Toward Social Media Technology as and Enhancement to Language Acquisition
The Effects of Pre-Speaking Planning on Students' Performance During Speaking Tasks
Defining Critical Thinking for the 21st Century World Language Classroom
Improving Implicit Learing and Explicit Learning of Adult and Child Learners of Chinese
The Role of Intonation in L2 Russian Speakers' Intelligibility, Comprehensibility, and Accentedness
Having Fun While Speaking French: A Foreign Language Housing Case Study
The Effect of Furigana on Lexical Interferencing of Unknown Kanji Words
The Effects of Stress Presentation Mode on Stress Acquisition Among Advanced Learners of Russian
Linguistic Improvements and Correlates in a Japanese Study Abroad Program
Student and Teacher Perceptions of Motivational Strategies in the Foreign Language Classroom
Effects of Multimedia Glossary Annotations on Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition in L2 Learners of Japanese
The Effects of Second Language Experience on Typologically Similar and Dissimilar Third Languages
Shu Ling Ko
Female CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) Learners' Acquisition of Native-Like Features of Feminine Chinese Speech
Language Gain During Arabic Study Abroad: A Case Study of a Semester Abroad in Amman, Jordan
A Study of the Effectiveness of Annotations in Improving the Listening Comprehension of Intermediate Learners
The Effects of Experience on the Perception of German Rounded Vowels by Native Speakers of American English
Brigham Young University Students' Beliefs About Language Learning and Communicative Language Teaching Activities
The Relationship Between Vocabulary Knowledge and Reading Comprehension of Authentic Arabic Texts
The German Proficiency Exam at Brigham Young University: A Validation Study
Factors Affecting the implementation of Instructional Technology in the Second Language Classroom
Authentic Out-of-Class Communication in Study Abroad Programs: Success Defined by Continued Motivation and Cultural Appreciation
A Process-Based CALL Assessment: A Comparison of Input Processing and Program Use Behavior by Activity Type
The Effect of Computer-Adaptive Control (Remediation) on Achievement and Time on Task in Foreign Language Learning
The Effect of Second Language Instruction on the Acquisition in the Foreign Language Classroom
The Dominant Listening Strategy of Low Proficiency Level Learners of Mandarin Chinese: Bottom-Up Processing or Top-Down Processing
Life Stories of Ninkejin Seeking Better Opportunities: The Motivation of Brazilian Immigrants in Japan for Learning Japanese as a Second Language
The Effect of Repeated Textual Encounters and Pictorial Glosses Upon Acquiring Additional Word Senses
Vocab Acquisition in CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) Contexts: A Correlation of Performance and Strategy Use
Employment: Adjunct Faculty, Private University
"My degree and connections helped get the job."
Employment: Program Assistant
"The value of the SLaT program is in the combination of learning the latest research, having real teaching experiences where that research can be practiced, and having intimate access to professors via small classroom sizes and other opportunities for one-on-one interactions."
Employment: Substitute Teacher
"Learning to critically analyze research and statistics. This skill has gone far beyond language and teaching and had helped me in several different aspects of my life to not just believe what people tell me, but to do research and find out for myself."
Employment: Instructional Designer
“I loved my time in the SLaT program! In my daily work designing online language courses, I constantly pull from the skills and experience I gained from my studies.”
Yu Fang Liao
Employment: Assistant Professor, Federal Language Institute
"If you are looking for a high-quality yet affordable language teaching program. Congratulations! You have found it!"
Employment: Language Teacher, Private School
"The SLAT program qualified me for many opportunities and introduced me to new ideas. I got to meet, work with, and learn from top experts in various fields of language teaching. I was prepared to implement innovative pedagogical methods and technology applications in my classes that have helped my students succeed."
Employment: Assistant Professor, Private University
"I value the research that I conducted in my courses and for my MA thesis. Knowing that I enjoyed research not only prepared me for my PhD program but motivated me to continue my studies. I also enjoyed the support of my advisor and other professors. What I learned through their mentorship is still valuable to me today."
Donna Andrus Scordari
Employment: Teacher, Public School
"This program helped me gain a broader appreciation for language acquisition and equipped me with very useful understanding and skills needed to teach a language. It's been six years since I graduated, but I refer back to principles I learned in this program pretty much every day at work!"
Employment: Language Program Administrator
"The SLaT program gave me the pedagogical and research knowledge needed to be successful in a variety of educational settings. I loved my time in the SLaT program, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a top-notch, intimate, and affordable program that will allow them to work in any Foreign Language educational setting they choose."