This Master’s Degree has been designed to offer students a solid background in theoretical and applied linguistics. The mandatory subject module provides students with the theoretical-practical basis necessary for any type of Linguistics Master’s Degrees Final Project. The optional subject module enables students to specialise in different fields of their choice. We want to train highly qualified specialists in linguistics, who can work in multidisciplinary environments, possess communicative skills, know and manage specific languages, master the new technologies and virtual environments, and know how to manage and organise information, as demanded by the labour market. The Master’s Degree is also intended as a period of previous training to access a PhD programme in the linguistic field.
The essentially applied nature of this Master’s Degree we think will be one of the main basis for its success. During the last few years we assist to a quick European and worldwide evolution in the field of applied linguistics. There are more and more fields implied in which theoretical research on language is being applied. From the traditional field of the languages teaching to the current field of communication in companies, many of the current linguistics work on getting specialised to face professional specific tasks. To address the new challenges of modern society and the labour market needs new professions have come to existence, like linguistic and intercultural mediators, communication in companies’ experts, lexicographer computer scientists, educational advisor, language advisor for the deaf community, etc. The teaching, researching and professional experience of the teaching staff from the Master’s Degrees from which this Master’s Degree arises has enabled to provide an innovative training for our students in terms of research, but also for the business world.
This Master’s Degree has a very relevant academic interest, as it enable students, depending on their origins (graduated in languages, philology, communication, psychology, sociology, translation, advertising, etc.) to acquire or reinforce an advanced linguistic training (mandatory subjects module, with methodological and fundamental subjects) and to specialise in one of the applied options which group the optional subjects.
The students of the Master’s Degree must carry out professional internships, as the first step into the labour market. To perform these internships, there are agreements signed by the participating universities and also specific agreements. Hereafter you can find some of the current agreements: Cultural Group Alexandre Bóveda, Publisher Alvarellos, Library González- Garcés, House Museum Emilia Pardo Bazán, Supercomputing Centre of Galicia (CESGA), Red Cross, Publisher Netbiblo, Ferrol Sport Management, Galebook, Publisher Hércules, Imaxin Software, A Opinión, MACUF (Museum of Modern Art, Internet manufacturers (Koinedigital.com), Meubook, Netex Knowledge Factory S. L., Linguistic Normalisation Service of Betanzos Council, Linguistic Normalisation Service of Coruña Council, Publisher Urco, Hotel School (A Barcia/Santiago), Publisher Obradoiro and Galician TV.
The field of Applied Linguistics has been clearly nationally and internationally recognised and defined and there is a wide variety of Master’s Degree in applied Linguistics in different universities all over the world.
Within our country, there are different Master’s Degrees in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics which are similar to ours in various aspects. There are, for example, Master’s Degrees in Applied Linguistics focused on the Spanish as a Foreign Language or second language teaching all over the country. These are some:
Interuniversity Master’s Degree in Training of Teachers of Spanish as a Foreign Language (University of Barcelona and University of Pompeu Fabra).
Master’s Degree in Spanish as a Second Language or Foreign Languages Didactics (on line) (University of Rioja).
Master’s Degree in Linguistics Applied to Spanish as a Second Language Teaching (University of Nebrija).
Official Master’s Degree in SSL Teaching (Cervantes Institute and University Menéndez Pelayo).
Master’s Degree in Spanish and other Modern Languages as Second Languages Teaching (University of Sevilla).
Official Master’s Degree “Spanish as a Second Language Teaching” (University of Salamanca).
University Master’s Degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language Teaching (University of la Laguna).
With a very similar approach to our first speciality we can find the Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and Languages Acquirement in Multilinguistic Contexts of the University of Barcelona (fully taught in English).
Our Master’s Degree has the peculiarity of that, in the field of teaching, learning and acquiring languages, it brings special attention to the Spanish Sign Language, which has been a constant focus of interest for students from the previous Master’s Degree.
The offer of Master’s Degrees with this content in our country is very limited, although the Official Master’s Degree in Sign Language has been successfully taught for several years in the University of Valladolid.
The fact that both the University of Vigo and the University of Coruña count on linguists specialised in sign language makes our Master’s Degree an attraction for different researchers interested in the world of deaf people, not only from Linguistics but also from Psychology and Pedagogy.
There is also a certain settled tradition in the last years Master’s Degrees focused in the area of language and technology, following our 2 speciality line. For example, there is the Master’s Degree in Languages and Technology (Polytechnic University of Valencia), even though some of these correspond in our proposal to the shared module.
The Master’s Degree in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (University Pompeu Fabra) has a similar structure to ours, even though contents would mainly correspond to our 2nd and 3rd specialities, being organised partially differently.
The Master’s Degree in Theoretical and Applied Linguistic of the University of Murcia offers, on its side, many optional subjects, but the offer is in general less structured and coherent than ours or Pomepeu Fabra’s.
The offer in Master’s Degrees in Applied Linguistics, for which we have just offered some examples, it’s not only wide at a national level, but also in many foreign universities. We can point out some of the following Master’s Degrees:
The Master’s Degree in Linguistics in the UNAM (México) offers an itinerary in Applied Linguistics quite similar to ours, particularly in the mandatory subjects.
The University of Guadalajara (México) also offers a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics with a study plan similar to ours (it offers, among other, an itinerary focused in languages teaching, acquisition and learning).
The Master’s Degree in Linguistics offered by the Université Catholique of Lovain is similarly structured to ours, with a shared part of methodological subjects (and of deepening in fundamental subjects in linguistics), in addition to two itineraries, one of which is Linguistics applied to Languages Teaching.
If we open to the English speaking area, the panoramic of the Master’s Degrees in Applied Linguistic is very rich. It goes from extremely actual fields like languages learning assisted by computer, taught in the Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics in the University of Melbourne to the hundreds of universities offering Master’s Degrees in English as a foreign language teaching. The University of Boston, for example, offers PhD and Master’s Degree programmes in Applied Linguistics focused on the language acquisition, second languages and bilingualism, American Sign Language, Theoretical Linguistics, among others, which offers similarities with our proposal.
This Master’s Degree proposal implying the three universities originally arises from the conviction of the three parts that it is completely necessary to have a Master’s Degree in Linguistics in Galicia. The number of students that the four original Master’s Degrees add up in recent years (between 45 and 50 students), even not ensuring the survival for all of them with the new conditions (a minimum of 20 enrolled student), makes clear the good prospects for viability of the joint proposal and the need to offer such studies.
The Committee in charge of preparing this new proposal was originally composed by the three implied faculties’ Deans, with the coordinators of the four previous Master’s Degrees. This Committee, after several on-site and on-line meetings, and after different inquiries with representatives of the mainly implied departments, drafted a proposal for the new Master’s Degree structure. Once chosen the subjects for the shared part of the Master’s Degree and defined the three optional specialities, the design of these ones was given to three sub-committees, each of them chaired by one of the Deans and made up of representatives from the three universities. The design of the 1st speciality was coordinated by the UVigo, the 2nd by the UDC and the 3rd by the USC.
To design the subjects files the collaboration of teaching staff from the three Universities, of whom many were implied in the previous Master’s Degrees, was also requested.
In addition to the opinion of the teaching staff and the departments’ representatives, to prepare this proposal, the Committee took into account:
- The design of other Master’s Degrees in Languages and Linguistics taught in Spain proposals, as shown in the previous section.
- Students’ opinion on the pre-existing programmes (of which three are still being taught), through the analyse of the satisfaction enquiries.
To create the Study Plan the main criteria was the configuration offered by the Bachelor’s Degrees in the three centres implied in the Master’s Degree, in order to ensure a basic education for students in those subjects which are considered vital in the education of a linguistic.
During the drafting of the Plan configuring the mandatory and optional subjects integrating the training period of students, the contributions made by the coordinators of the previous Master’s Degree was particularly relevant, and their experience was vital in the design of the final proposal. In particular, in the selection of those contents that ended up configuring the specialities it was determining the previous experience, as it enabled us to understand the students’ preferences regarding optional subjects and specialities. Similarly, the monitoring of the graduated students (part of whom are still linked with our PhD Programmes) let us know their opinion on the usefulness of the received education once into the labour market.
The protocol drafted by the participating universities covers a public exposition period, through their web pages, of the drafting of the Master’s Degrees, with the mechanisms assuring the possibility of submitting the allegations of the University Departments and of professional associations and social agents in general. All of this together, the Master’s Degree proposal was directly submitted to different associations, institutions and companies linked with different themes included in each speciality (Official Language Schools, Galician Association of Entrepreneurs, Royal Galician Academy, Galician Federation of the Deaf, etc.).