Areas of Specialization

Major Areas of Specialization

The SLAT program is increasingly interdisciplinary, designed to provide rigorous advanced training for researchers, teachers, and administrators concerned with second language acquisition, learning, and teaching. The SLAT program has four significant research areas that draw on the strengths of its faculty across 19 departmental units on the University of Arizona campus. Each of the research areas include various clustered emphases.  To view a list of faculty in each area of specialization, click on the links below.  

  1. Cognitive dimensions of L2 learning

In this research area students focus on the cognitive, linguistic and social processes involved in second language learning and second language processing.

  1. Instructional dimensions of L2 learning

In this research area students focus on current theoretical approaches to second/foreign language teaching and learning and second/foreign language program administration.

  1. Linguistic dimensions of L2 learning

In this research area, students focus on the formal analysis of linguistic and textual aspects of second language acquisition.

  1. Socio-cultural dimensions of L2 Learning

In this research area, students focus on the analyses of discursive, sociolinguistic, socio-political and socio-cultural factors in the use and acquisition of a second language.

Minor Areas of Specialization

Doctoral students in SLAT or any Ph.D. program at the University of Arizona may select to minor in SLAT.  Students minoring in SLAT may select a minor from one off the four areas of specialization above.  In addition to the four major areas of specialization, SLAT offers Ph.D. minor specializations in two additional areas:

    1. Technology in Second Language Teaching — In this minor area of Specialization, students focus on theoretical and practical applications of technology in second language pedagogy and acquisition.
    2. Second Language Program AdministrationIn this minor area of specialization, students focus on theoretical and practical aspects of administering a variety of types of programs dedicated to second language teaching and acquisition.

What kind of research do SLAT doctoral students do with these specializations?

To see how SLAT students have used these areas of specialization to craft interdisciplinary research projects, please visit our list of doctoral dissertations completed by SLAT alumni.