PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics: Course Descriptions

  • ENGL 800
    Introduction to Research in Composition and Applied Linguistics

    Interdisciplinary dimensions of the transmission of literacy and its position as a domain for scientific inquiry, including research methodology, the evaluation of research, and the bibliographical resources for the study of rhetoric and linguistics.

    ENGL 803
    Language and Cognition

    Examines areas where language, thought, and cognitive process interact. Studies the essential nature of meaning and mental concepts, the core characteristics of language, and the complex relations between the two domains. Focuses on the brain/mind dichotomy, brain functions relating to language, mental modules and the mental lexicon, the role of memory in language usage, first language acquisition, the cognitive strategies involved in processing, in formation and using language, parsing and speech production, language disabilities, comprehension of spoken and written texts, and rhetorical and practical aspects of both texts and spoken language.

    ENGL 805
    Language and Social Context

    Introduces the study of language as a social phenomenon, including such topics as language varieties, stereotypes and social identity; language planning and language policy; standard and nonstandard usage; censorship; discourse analysis; language attitudes; language, culture and thought; communicative competence; small group communication; and classroom interactions.

    ENGL 808
    Technology and Literacy

    Presents an overview of the interrelationship between literacy and technology. Demonstrates approaches to teaching English using computer technology.

    ENGL 815
    Qualitative Research

    Involves both reading about and training in qualitative research methods such as participant observation, interviewing, coding, and analysis. Topics include: ethics of using human subjects, epistemological foundations, research design, collection, and analysis. The course also covers dissemination of research findings. This course is for second- and third-year students, not first-year students

    ENGL 823
    Second Language Teaching

    Considers trends, issues, research, and exploration in second language teaching, as well as language learner assessment and testing.

    ENGL 824
    Second Language Acquisition

    Introduces current research in second language acquisition, especially in English. Focuses on prominent research trends in the study of the language learner, the process of acquisition, and the interaction of learner, language, and context.

    ENGL 825
    Second Language Literacy

    Studies theory, research, and pedagogy associated with the development of literacy in two languages, either simultaneously or successively. Focuses on how individuals and groups become literate in English as an additional or second language. Includes explorations of political, cultural, social, contextual, as well as cognitive, textual, and educational issues that arise in acquiring and using a second literacy. Open to MA TESOL and PhD students in Composition and Applied Linguistics.

    ENGL 830
    Teaching Writing

    Studies characteristics of the writing process and of the basic writer, methods for the evaluation of writing, and approaches to the teaching of writing in schools and colleges.

    ENGL 831
    Rhetorical Traditions

    Studies how rhetorical traditions influence the teaching of composition. Examines how cultural factors such as history, politics, ideology, gender, race, and ethnicity affect the composing process. Encourages students to think of composition as an open, multicultural event of imagination and social innovation.

    ENGL 833
    Theories of Composition

    Reviews the major theories of composition especially those of the modern and postmodern eras. Examines how cultural factors such as education, history, politics, ideology, gender, race, and ethnicity affect theorizing about composition. Encourages students to construct their own theories of composition by entering into a collaborative cultural and intellectual process.

    ENGL 845
    Theories of Literacy

    Engages students in readings and discussions related to three main areas of inquiry: 1) Conceptualizations of literacy, viewed cross-culturally and historically; 2) Theories of the nature of literacy and its transmission (where, when, why, how, and by whom to whom); and 3) Perspectives on writing systems, traditions of learning, and the implications of technological change.

    ENGL 842
    Cross-Cultural Communication

    Investigates cultural behaviors, assumptions, values, and conflicts surrounding communication across cultures in the context of teaching English as a second or foreign language at all levels.

    ENGL 844
    Reading Theory and the College English Teacher

    Examines the psycholinguistic and ethnographic research on the fluent reading process of native and non-native college readers, relevant to the teaching of writing and reading for academic and literary purposes.

    ENGL 846
    Advanced Seminar in Literacy: Collaborative Learning & Digital Authorship

    This course examines theories of and current research on collaborative learning and digital authorship. Students will engage with conversations about collaborative learning and writing in the fields of composition studies and the learning sciences, and will enact these theories by designing and producing a collaborative project with their classmates.

    ENGL 846
    Advanced Seminar in Literacy: Digital Rhetoric

    This advanced seminar focuses on digital rhetoric - the application of rhetorical theory to digital texts and technologies. As an emerging field of inquiry, digital rhetoric encompasses the study of rhetorical techniques for production and analysis; new media function, design, and capability; digital identity; community formation; ideology, epistemology, and culture in digital interfaces and texts; and technology’s influence on agency and the emergence of posthuman actors in networks and interfaces (Eyman, 2015). This course will explore these issues with/through classical, modern, and postmodern theories of rhetoric. Course readings will include the following book-length texts, as well as scholarly articles and webtexts from academic journals in digital rhetoric and computers and writing.

    ENGL 846
    Advanced Seminar in Literacy: Hybrid & Online Writing Pedagogy

    This course introduces students to the theory and practice of technology-mediated teaching and learning with a focus on teaching college-level writing hybrid and online learning environments. Students will explore multiple modalities for facilitating student-instructor and student-student interaction and for engaging in assessment and evaluation. Students will also design instructional materials and compose a philosophy of technology-mediated teaching and learning.

    ENGL 846
    Advanced Seminar in Literacy: Language Teacher Identities

    This is a graduate seminar course focused on inquiry as a form of meaning making around who we are as language teachers. Specifically, this course is designed to explore, understand, construct (de- and re-construct), and complicate our language teacher identities in the fields of composition, TESOL, applied linguistics, and teacher education. As such, we will approach this course from three inter-related directions:

    1. Explore course readings focused on language teacher identities
    2. Co-construct our knowledge, experiences, and pedagogies throughout the class sessions focused on the course readings
    3. Draft a 25-minute reflective writing piece (at the end of each session) using a variety of arts-based inquiry (genres that you are comfortable with such as free-writing, poems, drawings, etc.)

    Coming to understand our language teacher identities is a complex, fluid, contested, and multiple in nature, and it is this process that we will unfold in our class discussions as well as in our writings.

    ENGL 846
    Advanced Seminar in Literacy: Writing in Transnational Contexts

    This course will take a transdisciplinary perspective to investigate the overarching question: how do we, as teacher-scholars, approach the study of writing in transnational contexts? To that end, we will interrogate and theorize our understandings of writing and language for the 21st century. We will also investigate how we, teacher-scholars, as well as our students, move beyond social constructs related to language and writing, identity, and culture, and how these notions interact among them in and outside of the classroom. Finally, this course will offer you the opportunity to design pedagogical material that accounts for transnational perspectives towards writing and language practices for specific educational contexts.

    ENGL 847
    Identity, Power, and the Multilingual Writer

    Addresses understandings of current theories on identity as they relate to multilingual writers and develops the ways these theories can be used to analyze processes of identity construction in relation to writers and writing. It considers how issues related to notions of power and ownership of language are part of the larger social constructions of multilingual writers’ identities and considers how these identities are often indexed in both research about multilingual writing and in multilingual writing itself.

    ENGL 854
    World Englishes in Composition and Applied Linguistics

    Provides and interdisciplinary approach to understanding issues around World Englishes scholarship where teachers, researchers, teach educators, and administrators from a variety of contexts come together to understand, explore, and critique how English(es) is/are positioned around the globe, and how that positioning impacts learning and teaching.

    ENGL 867
    Research on Writing Centers and Writing Program Administration

    Examines the history, theory, and every day practices that surround writing centers and writing programs, including advances in writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines. Students will read key books and articles and develop a research project suitable for publication and presentation.

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