What’s it like to study for a master’s in applied linguistics at the University of Melbourne?

By: | Post date: June 18, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Australia, Language, Personal

Been A2A’d, but alas, I went through the general linguistics programme 20 years ago, and I haven’t stayed in touch.

Some generalities:

  • Melbourne Uni has the Language Testing Research Centre, which means that Language Testing is one of the core strengths of the department.
  • The department also has three ESL specialists.
  • The department includes Tim Macnamara, who is a reasonably big name, and Paul Gruba and Carsten Roever, who I have found affable and clever.
  • The applied linguists and the theoretical linguists got yoked together 20 years ago, while I was there. The two halves didn’t have much to talk to each other about back then, and I doubt they do now either.
    • Alastair Pennycook was in the applied program during my time. Alastair is a huge name in the politics of World Englishes. As far as I was concerned though, he was this odd Scotsman who would debate with me whether my teal jacket was blue or green.
  • Melbourne Uni in general is a great place to study…
    • … but it can be complacent on its laurels; do talk to people from other universities if you can.
  • The MA in Applied Linguistics is coursework and minor thesis, and always has been. From the perspective of a PhD student in general linguistics, there were gajillions of you, you did a lot of coursework, and you weren’t as hippy and eccentric as we liked to think we were. Large overseas student representation among them.
    • I’m saying that to indicate that I’m not really the right person to A2A. 🙂

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