African Cultural Studies

College of Letters & Science
HomeDegree ProgramsM.A. in African Languages and Literature (pedagogy focus)

M.A. in African Languages and Literature (pedagogy focus)

Prospective graduate students should note that we are not currently accepting applications to the MA with pedagogy focus.

The M.A. in Languages and Literature with pedagogy focus is designed to prepare future college-level instructors of African languages and directors of African language programs. This focus is meant to prepare future professionals to think critically and knowledgeably about the teaching of African languages and to train and supervise teachers of African languages. It aims to address the goals identified above by allowing students to focus on teaching and interpreting research, and drawing on the strengths of our Director of the African Languages Program to work closely with these students to prepare them for the language teaching job market.

The M.A. with pedagogy focus involves continuous language study; 30 credits of graduate coursework; and a Master's Exam.

Please also note that beginning in Fall 2017 until further notice, we will not be accepting applications for the MA with pedagogy focus.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

All M.A. students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress and the African Languages and Literature program requirements published in the Graduate Catalog at the time of matriculation. However, the most basic M.A. program requirements are outlined below. Note that these requirements are different from the M.A. with research focus.

Degree Requirements

1. Two years' study of an African language. Students may petition for an exemption if they have an equivalent level of proficiency in an African language.

2. 30 credits with no grade below B in coursework, including:

  • English 318: Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • African 703: Topics in Teaching African Languages (1 credit)
  • African 705: Teaching Portfolio (2 credits)
  • One graduate-level culture-focused course in the Department with emphasis in final paper on culture in language pedagogy (3 credits)
  • A graduate-level linguistics-focused course in the department, chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor (3 credits)
  • Four additional courses related to African languages and cultures and/or second language acquisition, of which at least two must be Dept. of African Cultural Studies courses. Two of these may be additional language courses. *Courses taken outside of the department should be chosen from the approved list; other courses may be counted with consent of advisor.

3. Master's Exam

  • Teaching Portfolio
  • Take-home Exam
  • Oral Defense

*Approved list of external elective courses:

  • Anthropology 430: Language & Culture
  • Communication Arts 560: Communication Theory
  • Curriculum & Instruction 673: Learning Second Language and Literacies
  • English 332: Global Spread of English
  • English 336: English in Society
  • French & Italian 821: Issues in Methods of Teaching French & Italian
  • German 727: Topics in German Applied Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
  • Sociology 535: Talk and Social Interaction


Required Assessments and Examinations

The M.A. candidate will enroll in a teaching portfolio preparation course with the Director of the African Languages Program no later than the fourth semester after the candidate first enrolls in the program.

During the fourth semester in the program, the M.A. candidate must establish a portfolio review committee, in consultation with the Director of the the African Languages Program and all potential committee members, consisting of no fewer than two faculty members of the Department of African Cultural Studies and one additional faculty member. The committee will write exam questions to which the candidate will respond in writing.  The candidate must provide his or her initial teaching portfolio at least two weeks prior to an Oral Defense scheduled with the Teaching Portfolio Committee, which will review both the written exam and the Teaching Portfolio.

Committee members shall sign the Teaching Portfolio when they deem it acceptable.

Advisor and Committee Requirements

M.A. students with a pedagogy focus are required to meet with the Director of the African Languages Program every semester prior to enrolling for the next semester. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a hold on the student's enrollment.


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