Education 435

Research Seminar in Applied Linguistics

Spring 2004

Friday, 9:00 to 11:50 PM, Room E 130

John Baugh


This course is intended for graduate students who are actively engaged in research or literature reviews that pertain to one or more branches of Applied Linguistics. Although we shall consider issues that are relevant to the entire field of Applied Linguistics, this course is devoted strategically to the pressing research foci of students who are enrolled in the course. As such, the syllabi, readings, and assignments are tailored around specific research projects. What follows, then, are descriptions of the uniform procedures that will be followed to help you identify topics of primary interest.

This seminar has also been created in support of the Ph.D. minor in applied linguistics, described below or through the prior link. Many scholars at Stanford University are acknowledged leaders in the field of applied linguistics, and we anticipate broad faculty support for students who participate in this seminar. The Applied Linguistics Ph.D. minor takes strategic advantage of faculty and courses in the School of Education and the School of Humanities and Sciences. Faculty associated with this enterprise are identified within the applied linguistics program, and they offer an extraordinary array of contributions to applied linguistic research.

Students may therefore share diverse backgrounds and interests, with the exception that all students recognize the applicational relevance of their language related studies. Projects devoted to teacher education, deaf education, bilingualism, bidialectailism, language and gender, language and the economy, literacy, and more, are all welcome. So too are studies of language education, computer applications of linguistic science, and how translation, or discourse analyses and conversation analyses may inform policies, education, and other programs devoted to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

This seminar may also be of considerable interest to graduate students who recognize the need for linguistic inclusion in studies that might otherwise overlook the potential relevance of language diversity and development as related to other human endeavors (e.g., standardized testing). Language matters pertaining to "welfare-to-work" initiatives represent another example of a highly visible topic that rarely include linguistic considerations. On the other side of the coin, many issues -- such as the controversies over bilingual education -- demand greater linguistic awareness than has been evident from the vast majority of proponents and detractors of bilingual educational programs.

Students who complete this seminar will be well informed about several branches of applied linguistics, and how best to serve populations that employ various languages in educational and social settings.


Because the class is devoted to the advancement of student research or related studies, each of the following assignments must ultimately be determined in consultation with students individually.

1) Research Abstract - Due April 16 by email to = 10%

The research abstract should include a one-to-two page description of the project that you plan to study. It should include a statement of the research problem, and its relevance to applied linguistics, or some other branch of language studies. Relevant methodology should be described, along with any findings -- preliminary, anticipated, or otherwise -- that you consider to be most salient.

Abstracts should, whenever possible, provide a preview of the in-class lecture (see #3). This can be done by introducing topics that will be discussed during the in-class presentation and/or included in the final written assignment.

2) Proposed readings for the class - Due no later than April 23 = 15%

Since each student is likely to have different research needs and interests, this seminar will seek to incorporate readings that are directly related to your research in-progress. Priority for reading selections will be given on a first-come-first-served basis. Students will typically commend two or three articles for the entire class to read for discussion. Although those who assign particular articles are not formally designated to lead class discussions of those articles, a one-to-two page justification should accompany proposals for suggested readings. These proposals should be submitted by email to Again, the sooner proposals are made the sooner the group can include these readings within the context of the course. The justifications will be discussed more fully in class, but we propose that students describe the anticipated value they perceive from a discussion of these readings. In some cases classical applied linguistic studies may be read, while others may represent newer studies, or studies that call for greater clarification. In all cases it is assumed that the proposed readings shall be of direct benefit to the written assignments (see #4 below)

3) In-Class presentation: 30 minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of discussion - 5/21 to 5/28. These exact dates and times may vary depending upon class size and student interests.

Value: = 30%

The in-class presentation employs a format that is quite similar to those used during most professional conferences. Your abstract should identify the topics that will be discussed during the course of your lecture. Since each presentation will be limited to 30 minutes, you will need to concentrate on the most robust and significant findings during your remarks. Please rehearse your presentation in order to ensure that you can cover the relevant material within the allotted time.

15 additional minutes will be devoted to discussion, questions, and answers. Each student will need to evaluate the potential utility of various suggestions, and this can be done in consultation with John Baugh and other faculty who supervise your study.

4) Written Report: Due electronically to "," or by hard copy to my mail box in Cubberley Hall (room 101) no later than June 6. Value = 40%

We presume that students who enroll in this course will be actively engaged in research under the supervision of one or more faculty advisors. This applies equally to masters students and doctoral students, albeit with different "final products" in mind. Students will provide a draft of the next iteration of their own research projects. Again, this will vary from student-to-student, and from one research project to another. The final written assignment culminates in a draft of a paper that advances your required reports, theses, or dissertations that are already in progress.

Supervisors and advisors to your projects should be fully informed of this work, and they should also feel free to offer suggestions or advice on how your effort in this seminar would be of greatest benefit to your immediate professional goals and development.

5) Class participation and support of colleagues = 5%

Regular attendance and class participation are expected. A seminar of this kind is best when participants offer positive suggestions to fellow classmates on how they might improve upon their work. These suggestions are often most useful in written form, and students should feel free to share copies of comments that are exchanged in support of others' research. In this way I will not only be informed about dialogue between students, I can also be formally aware of the "support of colleagues" that such exchanges confirm. This evidence will also be available when I seek to verify the extent to which you were able to provide assistance to others, as well as providing evidence of the extent to which you will be able to incorporate the most useful suggestions that pertain to your specific project.

Assigned Reading:

Preliminary readings will be provided for the first three weeks. In several instances these readings represent classical studies in applied linguistics, educational linguistics, and sociolinguistics, with primary emphasis on their relevance to studies of second language acquisition, bilingualism, ESL, literacy development, and discourse analyses. In addition to #2 above, students are encouraged to discuss relevant reading options with John Baugh. This can be done in person or via emial (

Additional readings will be determined by class participants themselves, as outlined in #3 above.


1. April 2, 2001. Introduction

The first class meeting will survey course requirements and the syllabus will be discussed along with a brief survey of student interests. This survey will include brief written statements pertaining to individual goals for this course.

2. April 9. A survey of Applied Linguistics Research. This discussion will include a brief history of applied linguistics during the last 40 years, along with a survey of relevant research that provides an empirical and theoretical foundation for a substantial body of research that falls under the broad umbrella of applied lingusitics. Additional surveys of students' interests will also continue.

3. April 16. Research abstracts are due by email. Independent Study: Please devote this time to preparation of your research projects.

4. April 23. Dates for student presentations should be requested by email and will be assigned by May 2 duirng class. A one-to-two page rationale for your choice of readings should be sent to all class members by email. Students will briefly discuss their suggested readings in class and describe the themes that bind the readings together. In an effort to enhance distribution please provide one hard copy, (or a PDF file, or a URL) for each reading you suggest. We will then make arrangements to have these copies distributed to other members of the class.

5. April 30. Literacy and Reading from Applied Linguistic perspectives.

What can applied linguistic research teach us about literacy, and the acquisition of reading in primary and secondary languages? During this week we will consider some of the controversial proposals that are central to debates about reading, literacy, and educational bias against language minority students. If possible, we may also include readings suggested by members of the class, or distribute readings prior to the May 9 class meeting.

6. May 7. Begin survey of student recommended readings

We will select among readings that have been suggested prior to April 25 for this survey, which cannot be predicted in advance. The goal will be to read between 3-to-6 articles and discuss their relevance to applied linguistics and students' research interests. At the end of this discussion we will select additional articles, or choose to explore some of the chosen articles more deeply.

7. May 14 -- Continue survey of student suggested readings

Having previously selected among readings that have been suggested prior to April 25, we are likely to survey an additional 3-to-6 articles and discuss their relevance to applied linguistics and students' research interests.

8. May 21 -- Student Presentations


9. May 28 -- Student Presentations


10. June 4 -- Student Presentations (if necessary) and Synthesis of major findings. Final papers are due by email or by hard copy delivered to Cubberley Hall 101 in my faculty mailbox by 3PM.

This meeting will be devoted to reconsideration and consolidation of the findings and procedures that have been either common or unique within the various projects that, by now, will be familiar to all participants in the class. This synthesis will also attempt to provide specific suggestions on how best to enhance the final written assignment, which we hope may be advanced by the informed contribution of advisors and others who have an opportunity to become more familiar with your collective studies.

Office Hours and meetings:

Please request an appointment at a mutually convenient time by email ( or by phone (650) 725-1249.


"Students with documented disabilities: Students who have a disabilitywhich may necessitate an academic accommodation or the use of auxiliaryaids and services in a class must initiate the request with the DisabilityResource Center (DRC). The DRC will evaluate the request with requireddocumentation, recommend appropriate accommodations, and prepare averification letter dated in the current academic term in which the requestis being made. Please contact the DRC as soon as possible; timely noticeis needed to arrange for appropriate accommodations. The DRC is located at123 Meyer Library (phone 723-1066; TDD 725-1067)."

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Link to a description of the Ph.D. Minor in Applied Linguistics