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Home > For Current Students > Student Handbook

Student Handbook
Last updated November 18, 2013


Table of Contents

The SLA Student Handbook describes the degree requirements, policies and guidelines of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition.  Students in the SLA Program are also subject to all of the requirements and policies of the UW-Madison Graduate School.

1. SLA Ph.D. Major Requirements

The requirements for the Doctoral Major in Second Language Acquisition consist of coursework for the major and minor, language requirements, preliminary examinations (comprising 4 exams), and the dissertation (comprising the dissertation proposal, the dissertation, and the dissertation defense).

Students must consult with their advisor before registering for courses. Study plans must be approved with the student’s advisor.  At each discussion about registering for courses, students should bring their current study plan.    

1.1 Coursework

Because the doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition is interdisciplinary, courses are taken from different departments to meet requirements for the degree. Students are required to take 36 credits, typically the equivalent of twelve 3-credit courses.

 

Doctoral Major

Introductory Courses

2 courses

Research Design and Methodology

2 courses

SLA Specialization (Strand)

3 courses

 

Elective

1 course

 

Doctoral Minor

Doctoral Minor (Option A or Option B)

4 courses

1.1.1 Introductory Courses

Students must take the following two courses:

  • English 318 Second Language Acquisition (please note the course number change, effective fall 2014; formerly English 333)
  • English 711 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

1.1.2 Research Design and Methodology

Students must take two courses, one in Quantitative Methods and one in Qualitative Methods:

Quantitative Methods:  Educational Psychology 761 Statistical Methods Applied to Education II is required.

We recommend that students take Ed Psych 760, Statistical Methods Applied to Education I, as preparation for Ed Psych 761. If Ed Psych 760 is taken, it may be used as the Elective.

Qualitative Methods:  Choose one of the following courses.  (Additional courses may be approved by the student’s advisor and the SLA Steering Committee.)

Curriculum and Instruction (C&I)

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714 Research and Evaluation Paradigms in Curriculum and Instruction
715 Design of Research in Curriculum and Instruction
719 Introduction to Qualitative Research
916 Special topics in Research & Evaluation in Curriculum and Instruction (with appropriate topic)
917 Seminar: Design of Research & Evaluation - Curriculum and Instruction (with appropriate topic)
975 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)
976 Discourse Analysis in Education (Qualitative Analysis Course)

English

703 Research Methods in Composition Studies

1.1.3. SLA Specialization (Strand)

The following lists classify courses by the three strands of the interdisciplinary SLA Ph.D.

A. Second Language Analysis and Use
B. Second Language Processes and Learning
C. Second Language Pedagogical Theory and Postsecondary Instruction

When a course's content is broad, the course may appear in more than one category. For courses in which the topic changes each time it is offered, the classification of that course depends on the specific topic.

A. Second Language Analysis and Use

Additional courses may be approved by the student’s advisor and the SLA Steering Committee.

African Languages and Literature

501 Structure and Analysis of African Languages

Anthropology

430 Language and Culture (Cross-listed with Linguistics, S Asian 430)
545 Psychological Anthropology

Communication Arts

560 Communication Theory
572 Interpersonal Communication

Curriculum and Instruction (C&I)

975 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)

East Asian Languages and Literature

431 Introduction to Chinese Linguistics
434 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
741 Studies in Chinese Syntax and Morphology
775 Studies in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
932 Seminar in Chinese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
933 Seminar in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

Educational Administration

As advised by faculty in this department and SLA advisor.

Educational Policy

755 Methods of Qualitative Research (cross-listed with Rural Soc, Soc)

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324 Structure of English
325 English Grammar in Use
329 Introduction to the Syntax of English
330 English Phonology
331 English Language Variation in the United States
332 Global Spread of English
336 English in Society
708 Advanced English Syntax
709 Advanced English Phonology
710 Discourse Analysis
713 Seminar: Topics in Contemporary English Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
715 Advanced Second Language Acquisition
905 Seminar: Topics in Applied English Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
906 Seminar: The English Language

French and Italian

340 Structures of Italian
429 Introduction to the Romance Languages
350 Applied French Language Studies (with appropriate topic)
821 Issues in Methods of Teaching French and Italian

German

662 Applied German Philology
727 Topics in German Applied Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
751 Contrastive Grammar of English and German
758 Topics in Contemporary German (with appropriate topic)
769 Introduction to Comparative Germanic Morphology
960 Seminar in German Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
970 Advanced Seminar in German Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

Journalism

620 International Communication
621 Mass Media in Developing Countries

Linguistics

510 Phonological Theories
522 Advanced Morphology
530 Syntactic Theories
540 Advanced Semantics
561 Introduction to Experimental Phonetics

Philosophy

516 Language and Meaning
517 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Language (with appropriate topic)
526 Philosophy and Literature

Portuguese

333 Structure of the Portuguese Language
340 Portuguese Phonology
429 Introduction to the Romance Languages
815 Seminar: Portuguese Language (with appropriate topic)

Psychology

406 Psychology of Perception
414 Cognitive Psychology
421 Psychology of Language
550 Animal Communication and the Origins of Language
720 Speech Perception and Reading
733 Perceptual and Cognitive Sciences (with appropriate topic)

Sociology

535 Language and Social Interaction
544 Introduction to Survey Research
545 Ethnomethodology
960 Current Methodological Issues in Social Psychology: Conversation Analysis (topics course; number may change)
965 Recent Developments in Social Psychology: Ethnomethodology (topics course; number may change)

Spanish

429 Introduction to the Romance Languages
543 Spanish Phonology
544 Applied Spanish Linguistics for Teachers
547 Structure of the Spanish Language I
548 Structure of the Spanish Language II
630 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
815 Seminar in Language: Modern Spanish
830 Seminar: The Spanish Grammatical Tradition (with appropriate topic)

B. Second Language Processes and Learning

Additional courses may be approved by the student’s advisor and the SLA Steering Committee.

Communication Arts

402 Psychology of Communication

Curriculum and Instruction (C&I)

630 Workshop in School Program Development (with appropriate topic)
673 Learning Second Language and Literacies
675 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)
975 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)

East Asian Languages and Literature

775 Studies in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
932 Seminar in Chinese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
933 Seminar in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

Educational Administration

As advised by faculty in this department and SLA advisors (with appropriate topic)

Educational Policy

755 Methods of Qualitative Research (cross-listed with Rural Sociology, Sociology)

English

324 Structure of English
332 Global Spread of English
700 Introduction to Composition Studies
701 Writing and Learning
702 Perspectives on Literacy
704 Intellectual Sources of Contemporary Composition Theory
713 Seminar: Topics in Contemporary English Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
715 Advanced Studies in Second Language Acquisition
900 Seminar: Topics in Composition Study (with appropriate topic)
905 Seminar: Topics in Applied English Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

German

727 Topics in German Applied Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
960 Seminar in German Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
970 Advanced Seminar in German Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

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512 Methods of Logic
516 Language and Meaning
517 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Language (with appropriate topic)
526 Philosophy and Literature

Portuguese

815 Seminar: Portuguese Language (with appropriate topic)

Psychology

406 Psychology of Perception
414 Cognitive Psychology
421 Psychology of Language
550 Animal Communication and the Origins of Language
715 Language and Cognitive Development
720 Speech Perception and Reading
733 Perceptual and Cognitive Sciences (with appropriate topic)

Spanish

544 Applied Spanish Linguistics for Teachers
630 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
815 Seminar in Language: Modern Spanish
830 Seminar: The Spanish Grammatical Tradition (with appropriate topic)

C. Second Language Pedagogical Theory and Postsecondary Instruction

Additional courses may be approved by the student’s advisor and the SLA Steering Committee.

African Languages and Literature

575 Methods of Teaching African Languages - Theory and Practice

Curriculum and Instruction (C&I)

630 Workshop in School Program Development (with appropriate topic)
673 Learning Second Language and Literacies
675 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)
975 General Seminar (with appropriate topic)

East Asian Languages and Literature

775 Studies in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
932 Seminar in Chinese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
933 Seminar in Japanese Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

Educational Administration

As advised by faculty in this department and SLA advisors (with appropriate topic)

English

334 Introduction to TESOL Methods
335 Techniques and Materials for TESOL

French and Italian

350 Applied French Language Studies (with appropriate topic)
821 Issues in Methods of Teaching French and Italian

German

721 Practicum in the Coordination of Undergraduate Language Instruction
722 Theory of Teaching German
727 Topics in German Applied Linguistics (with appropriate topic)

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517 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Language (with appropriate topic)
545 Philosophical Conceptions of Teaching and Learning

Spanish

544 Applied Spanish Linguistics for Teachers
630 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics (with appropriate topic)
815 Seminar in Language: Modern Spanish
830 Seminar: The Spanish Grammatical Tradition (with appropriate topic)

1.1.4 Elective

The Elective should be an SLA or Research Methods course from the lists above.

1.1.5 Doctoral Minor (Option A or Option B)

Students must take four courses taught in the area of concentration for the minor. The courses must be on topics useful to your academic goals, and may or may not be in a language of concentration. Examples of minors for SLA Ph.D. majors include a Foreign Language, Literature, Culture, and/or Linguistics; Nonnative Varieties of English; Bilingualism/Multi-Cultural Education; and Language Contact.

If the student’s minor is a language, it is highly recommended that the student enroll in one language course each semester; any deviation in this schedule must be approved by the student’s advisor.

There are two kinds of minors: Option A and Option B. Option A requires four courses in a single department/major field of study. Option B requires four courses in one or more departments and approval from the SLA Steering Committee. As with major courses, plans for the minor must be approved with the student’s advisor.

More information on minors for Ph.D. students

1.2 Language Requirement

The language requirement for the SLA PhD Major contains two parts: oral proficiency and reading proficiency, which must be in two languages, including English. Students may not be recommended for preliminary exams until they have fulfilled both parts of the language requirement.

Typically, the student must demonstrate an Advanced level of academic oral and reading proficiency in two languages prior to taking preliminary exams. A plan for meeting this requirement will be developed by the student and advisor within the first semester of the student’s program. The plan must be approved by the advisor and the SLA Steering Committee by the end of the first academic year.

1.3 Preliminary Examination

The SLA Steering Committee adopted a new format for the preliminary examination, effective April, 2013.

1.3.1 Previous Preliminary Examination Policies, Reading List, Exam Questions (Before April, 2013)


1.3.2. New Preliminary Examination Policies (adopted April, 2013; amended and clarified November, 2013)

Students must take preliminary exams, as described below, within one semester of completing doctoral coursework. The objectives of these exams are to determine if students have developed a strong overall understanding of the scope of the discipline of SLA (e.g., the theories on which research in the field is based; the type of questions that researchers in SLA address; and the variety of techniques used to answer these questions), as well as more in-depth understanding of the theories and research findings related to questions of specific concern to them. It is expected that students will take and pass the preliminary exam within 3 years after the start of their doctoral studies.

Committee membership

The student identifies a dissertation advisor prior to taking the preliminary examination and obtains the selected faculty member’s commitment to advise.

The preliminary examination committee is chaired by the student’s dissertation advisor and consists of the chair and two additional graduate faculty members. Faculty members who may be invited to join the committee are identified by the advisor, in consultation with the student. At least two members of the committee (including the advisor) must be core faculty affiliated with the SLA doctoral program. Preliminary examination committee members are not assumed to be members of the dissertation committee, but are eligible to serve on the dissertation committee.

Scheduling and registration

Students complete the preliminary examinations over a two-week period. Exact dates are determined by the advisor, in consultation with the other two committee members, and the student.
All committee members and the student need to sign a preliminary examination registration form to indicate their commitment to serve on the committee (faculty) and the dates for the exam (faculty and student). The student is responsible for obtaining signatures of committee members and submitting the form to the SLA program coordinator at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the examination period.

Format and content

The preliminary examination questions are written by the student's dissertation advisor, with input from and the approval of the other two committee members.  The objective is for the student to provide a cogent analysis of issues situated in SLA and to find and include relevant research that supports the student’s analysis.

Exam format

The preliminary examination questions are written by the student's dissertation advisor, with input from and the approval of the other two committee members.   

The questions will fall into the following two categories:

  1. Question 1: analysis of a ‘big’ question in SLA;
  2. Question 2: analysis of an issue that reflects the student’s specific research interests.

The student’s response to each question should be in the form of a paper of approximately 20 pages, double-spaced, not including references. Strategically placed subheadings that facilitate the reader’s comprehension of the paper’s structure are encouraged. Papers are to be prepared in APA style, include a complete list of all works cited, and clearly indicate cited work as such.

The student may consult non-human resources, including those in print, on the internet, and in databases. During the period of the exam, students may not receive help with writing the responses from or discuss responses or exam questions with anyone, including students and faculty in the program, in related fields, or in related programs.

Procedure

The student will receive the two questions from his/her advisor and then has two weeks from the time when s/he receives the questions to write and submit response papers. The precise deadline will be included with the questions.

The papers should be submitted together and in electronic format to the SLA program coordinator, who will forward the papers to the members of the student's prelim committee.

Each committee member reads and rates each paper independently, then submits ratings of either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ for each of the two questions to the student's dissertation advisor. A final assessment of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ on each paper is determined by majority ratings.

The prelim committee members have two weeks from the date on which they receive the papers from the program coordinator to evaluate them and to submit their ratings of either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ to the faculty advisor.  

The advisor will convey the results to the student and to the SLA graduate coordinator.

Exam grades and the remediation process

Preliminary examinations are pass/fail. If a student’s answers to both questions pass, then the student passes the preliminary exam.

If a student’s answer to one of the questions fails (whereas the answer to the other question passes), the committee will decide how to proceed, depending on the extent and nature of the failure; options are (a) an oral exam (whose duration will be determined by the committee) for the purpose of clarifying or enhancing the written response, or (b) the provision of a new question, to be answered over the course of one week, with all previous grading procedures applied.  The timing of either an oral exam or the assignment of a new exam question will be determined by the committee.

If a student's second attempt at answering one question fails, or if a student's answers to both questions fail at the first attempt, the student’s status in the program will be determined by the Steering Committee of the SLA doctoral program.

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1.4.1 Becoming a Dissertator

When a student has fulfilled all of the degree requirements for the SLA Doctoral Program, that is, when s/he has completed all required coursework; passed the preliminary examinations; fulfilled the foreign language requirement, and had his/ her minor courses approved by his/her advisor,. A student who fails the preliminary examination or is denied admission to candidacy is not making satisfactory academic progress and is placed on academic probation. The probation period begins in the semester following the semester in which the examination is taken.

Deadlines for dissertator eligibility generally fall on the first day of each semester. Students must request a preliminary warrant from the SLA Graduate Coordinator at least three weeks before the deadline.  In general, requests for warrants occur approximately one month before the end of the semester, while degree deadlines are near the last day of classes. Check the Graduate School Degree and Dissertator Deadlines for exact dates for the academic year.

Dissertators must maintain continuous enrollment until completion of the doctoral degree. Dissertators must enroll each fall and spring semester for exactly three graduate-level credits. Typically, these are research credits for dissertation work, taken with the dissertation director and under a 990 course number in the dissertation director’s home department. However, under exceptional circumstances, the three credits can be taken in the form of a graduate course that contributes directly to the dissertation topic and has been approved by the dissertation director. Such courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be audited or taken pass/fail.  For more information, see the Graduate School policy on continuous enrollment for dissertators. Note that fall and spring enrollment are required regardless of whether you are residing in Madison.

1.4.2 Dissertation Proposal

Once dissertator status has been reached but before embarking on dissertation research, the student needs to have a dissertation proposal approved by a committee of at least three faculty members of whom at least two, including the dissertation director (advisor), must be SLA core faculty.  Ideally, the three or more faculty members who serve on a student’s dissertation proposal committee would be the same who serve on or constitute a subset of the student’s future dissertation committee, which needs to have at least five members (see below).

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the feasibility and value of the research project and its methodology.

The dissertation proposal must be approved by the student’s dissertation proposal committee no later than one calendar year after the student has become a dissertator. If the proposal is not approved by that date, the candidate, with a support letter from his or her dissertation director (advisor), must petition the SLA Steering Committee for an extension. That petition should include a statement for the reasons for requesting the extension and a description of a plan for making progress, moving forward.

1.4.3. Dissertation Proposal Committee and Procedures

The proposal is prepared under the guidance of the dissertation director and presented to the dissertation proposal committee in an oral dissertation proposal defense that typically lasts between one hour and two hours. An approved dissertation proposal represents an agreement between the dissertation committee and the student about the focus and the methodology of the dissertation.

The student needs to obtain the dissertation director’s consent to schedule the review and defense of the dissertation proposal and to determine which three or more members need to be present at the defense of the dissertation proposal.  It is the student’s responsibility to establish a time and place for the dissertation proposal committee to meet for the formal review and defense of the proposal.

The dissertation director needs to approve the contents and timing of any drafts of the proposal that the student sends to committee members. No less than two weeks in advance of the proposal defense the student needs to send each faculty member the version of the proposal that s/he wishes to defend.  Faculty may request electronic and/or hard copy.

The review and defense of the dissertation proposal ends with recommendations made by members of the dissertation proposal committee, which can range from approval without changes to recommendations for changes to the proposal to the request for a new proposal followed by a new proposal defense. Once the committee has approved the proposal, the dissertation proposal defense form must be signed and dated by all dissertation proposal committee members and be filed, with a copy of the approved proposal, in the SLA Program Office, room 1322 Van Hise Hall. The committee must approve subsequent revisions to the proposal in writing. 

1.4.4. Scope and Content of the Dissertation Proposal

A typical proposal will range from 5,000 to 7,500 words, not including appendices and references and will include the components listed below. Research instruments, data samples (e.g., transcriptions) that exceed 250 words, IRB protocol-related materials, and timeline to dissertation typically appear in appendices. Any changes to the typical scope and structure of the dissertation proposal need to be approved by the dissertation director. The dissertation director also determines the extent to which each component will be developed.

A typical dissertation proposal will contain the following components:

  • a description of the rationale of and need for the study;
  • a review of the literature pertaining to key concepts and key theories used in designing the study and/or in analyzing the results;
  • questions to be addressed by the research;
  • methods;
  • a sample analysis, which can be applied to select qualitative and/or quantitative data;
  • based on the sample analysis, a description of next steps, including a timeline to dissertation completion and of any planned alterations in method, data types, or theoretical approaches from the original intentions described in the proposal to the dissertation study.

1.4.5. Dissertation models and formats

The last step in completing the Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition is the successful defense of a doctoral thesis or dissertation, followed by its deposit with the Graduate School.  The dissertation is an original piece of research and follows a canonical structure, usually very similar to the guidelines published in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (current edition). You may wish to consult models, such as prior dissertations written by students in the program, all of which are inventoried electronically and may be found via a database (e.g., LLBA at the UW Libraries) search that uses ‘author’ names.  Ultimately, the precise format, scope, and content of your dissertation need to be agreed upon between you, your dissertation director/s, and the dissertation committee.

1.4.6. Make-up of the Dissertation Committee

Typically, the dissertation committee is headed by one director (advisor), who guides the research and dissertation writing process and contributes his/her specific expertise to the project’s development. However, under exceptional circumstances and if the nature of dissertation warrants, two faculty members may agree to co-direct a dissertation. In total, the dissertation committee must include at least five members, including the director and at least one other SLA core faculty member. The remaining three or more members of the committee may be affiliate SLA faculty, or faculty in other areas. Of the five dissertation committee members, at least four must be UW-Madison ‘graduate faculty’, that is, UW-Madison faculty who are tenured or on the tenure track. UW-Madison faculty who retire retain their status of ‘graduate faculty’ for one year.The fifth member of a dissertation committee does not have to be ‘graduate faculty’ but should normally hold a Ph.D. In cases in which the proposed fifth member does not hold a Ph.D., the student's dissertation director may petition the SLA Steering Committee for this individual to serve on the committee.

1.4.7. Forming the Dissertation Committee

As the student prepares for preliminary exams, the student must come to an agreement, by mutual consent, with an SLA core faculty member who will direct the dissertation. The student chooses his/her dissertation committee in consultation with the dissertation director. Members are chosen for the expertise that they can contribute to the project. It may be useful for the student, in consultation with the director, to clarify with each committee member the role that the committee member is expected to play in terms of scope and specific areas of expertise. Typically, committee members who are SLA core faculty members will be responsible for methodological issues that pertain to the dissertation’s design. Dissertation committee members who are not also members of the SLA core faculty will typically contribute expertise on specific languages or regions.  At least three dissertation committee members, including the director and at least one other SLA core faculty member, will be present at the defense of the dissertation.

1.4.8. The Oral Dissertation Defense

The oral dissertation defense is an approximately two-hour final conference between the candidate and the dissertation committee, held when the director of the dissertation deems the dissertation complete.  Dissertation defenses are not scheduled during the summer.

Dissertation defenses can only be scheduled with the director’s consent and upon agreement among all participants (committee members and the student).

The candidate must give each member of the committee a printed copy of the dissertation’s defense draft at least four weeks before the scheduled defense date. This dissertation copy must be formatted in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (current edition).

The student must contact the SLA program coordinator as soon as the defense is scheduled to obtain a copy of the PhD Final Oral Committee Form, which needs to be signed by both the advisor and the SLA PhD Program director and submitted  to the Graduate School at least three weeks in advance of the defense.

In the defense meeting, the committee will review the aims, methods, and development of the dissertation. If the dissertation committee is not satisfied, another defense may be scheduled. It is common for defense meetings to end with recommendations for changes to the dissertation, although their scope may vary. The student’s compliance with recommended changes needs to be reviewed by the dissertation director before the deposit of the dissertation although other members of the committee, too, may choose to withhold their signature until specific changes have been made to their satisfaction.  Students are advised to plan the deposit of their dissertation so as to allow a sufficient amount of time for changes after the defense.

1.4.9. Rules for Depositing the Dissertation

The Graduate School has stringent guidelines for preparing and depositing dissertations. Dissertations may be deposited electronically or by paper. For more information, see: Options for dissertation submission for PhD students. Students may also contact the Graduate School directly at: Graduate Degree Coordinator 217 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706, (608) 262-3011 gsacserv@bascom.wisc.edu or etd@grad. wisc.edu.

2. SLA Program Policies and Guidelines

2.1 Graduate School Academic Guidelines

The Graduate School acts as the Dean’s office for graduate students.  It maintains a website, The Graduate School, with comprehensive information about Graduate School policies and procedures.  Included on this website are the Graduate School Academic Guidelines

The following policies and guidelines are for the SLA Program. They are intended to supplement, not to replace, the policies and guidelines of the Graduate School.

2.2 Governance

The SLA Doctoral Program is governed by an Steering Committee consisting of core members of the SLA programs and Co-Directed by primary SLA faculty elected by the Steering Committee to serve rotating terms.  A student representative is invited to attend appropriate portions of each meeting.

2.3 Advising

The advisor is perhaps the most important individual in the student’s doctoral program.  Advisors must be primary SLA faculty members.   Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once each semester to review their progress, select courses, and to discuss any outstanding issues or questions.

Students are assigned an academic advisor when they begin the SLA Program.  The advisor is selected based on the student’s interests and the interests and availability of faculty.  As students progress through the program and formulate a research agenda, they may decide to change their advisor.

Students identify a dissertation advisory prior to taking the preliminary examination (April, 2013 policy). The dissertation advisor may or may not be the same faculty member as the student’s advisor at the pre-dissertation stage.  The choice of a dissertation advisor is a mutual decision between the student and the professor.

2.4 Transfer Credits

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The Graduate School requires that students take a minimum of 32 graduate credits (300 level or above, no audits or pass/fail) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Therefore, only 4 credits of transfer credit are allowed from outside UW-Madison. (This is usually 1 course.) The SLA program holds to this limit of one transfer course from inside UW-Madison as well.  It is expected that courses will be taken for the SLA doctoral program after enrollment in that program begins. Only one transfer course, from any institution, will be approved.  Students must discuss all requests for transfer credits with their advisor and make requests in writing to the SLA program's Steering Committee.

2.5 Request for Exceptions to Course Requirements

In addition to transferring one course into the SLA program, the student may request to waive additional courses if he/she has taken similar course work.  If a student wishes to waive a required course, he/she must submit first to the advisor, and then in writing to the SLA Steering Committee, a description of the course taken and a statement of which course is desired to be waived.  The student should append to that request relevant material documenting the course (e.g., transcript, reading list, syllabus, if available). When a required course is waived, elective courses must be substituted so that student still take a 36 credits of courses in the program (with the exception of one transfer course as described in Section 2.4, above).

2.6 Satisfactory Academic Progress

Continuation in the Graduate School at UW-Madison is at the discretion of the SLA Program, the Graduate School, and your advisor. Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress are placed on academic probation.

Criteria for making satisfactory academic progress are:

  • GPA:  The Graduate School requires students to maintain a minimum of a 3.00 grade point average for graduate courses (numbered 300 and above, excluding research) to receive a degree.
  • Ph.D. Major and Minor coursework:  Students typically complete all of the major and minor coursework requirements within two years of enrolling in the Program.  Students are required to complete all coursework before taking the preliminary examinations.
  • Preliminary Examinations: New policy (adopted April, 2013):Students must take the preliminary examination within one semester of completing coursework. It is expected that students will take and pass the preliminary exam within 3 years after the start of their doctoral studies. Previous policy (before April, 2013): Students must take the preliminary examination within one year of completing the required coursework for the Ph.D. Major and Minor. Students must pass the preliminary examinations within two years of completing the required coursework.
  • Foreign Language Requirement:  Students must meet the oral and reading language requirements before being granted dissertator status.
  • Dissertation Director and Proposal:  Students must come to an agreement with the SLA primary faculty member who will serve as the dissertation director prior to taking the preliminary examination (April, 2013 policy). The dissertation proposal must be approved no later than one calendar year after achieving dissertator status. If the proposal is not approved by that date, the candidat,e with a support letter from his or her advisor, must petition the SLA Steering Committee for an extension.
  • Dissertation Defense: Graduate School regulations require Ph.D. candidates to defend their dissertation five years from the date of passing their preliminary examinations.

2.7 Incompletes

The Graduate School requires that incompletes be resolved by the end of the next fall or spring term in which you are enrolled.  The SLA Program requires that all incompletes be resolved before students may take any portion of the preliminary examination. 

2.8 Leaves of Absence

Students at the pre-dissertator stage who wish to take a leave of absence must apply to the SLA Steering Committee for a leave of absence from the program. Approval of that leave is necessary for the student to continue to make satisfactory academic progress.  Approval is also necessary to defer guaranteed support.  In certain types of guaranteed support, the program may not be able to defer, and thereby maintain, the guarantee of support if a leave of absence is taken. It is to the student’s advantage to request a leave of absence as soon as possible, especially when funding is at issue.  Students at the pre-dissertation stage who take a leave of absence must apply for reentry to the Graduate School within one year of the semester in which they wish to return.

Dissertators may not take a leave of absence.  They must remain enrolled until graduation. See the Graduate School policy on continuous enrollment for dissertators.

2.9 Auditing Courses

Students may not audit a course that is used to fulfill a degree requirement.  In addition, courses that "by their nature require participation (seminars, research, laboratory, or performance courses)” are not appropriate for auditing. Audits do not count toward the minimum/maximum credit load but students need to complete a form if they will go over the total 12 credits with the audited course. Dissertators who audit a course beyond the 3-credit (dissertation) requirement will be removed from dissertator fee status and assessed regular graduate student fees.

2.10 Grievances and Appeals

Students should first approach the person(s) concerned, if possible, then the advisor, then the SLA Co-Directors, then the SLA Steering Committee, and then, only if the problem is not resolved, the Graduate School.

2.11 Academic Honesty

The SLA Program holds its students to high standards of academic integrity.  We expect all students to become familiar with the University’s guidelines for academic honesty and the consequences for academic misconduct.

2.12 SPEAK Test for International (English = L2) Students

Students whose L1 is a language other than English are required to take the SPEAK test (a test of oral proficiency in English, administered by the English as a Second Language [ESL] program) before the end of their first semester in the program. The test is for informational purposes only, specifically to assess whether the student would qualify for a teaching appointment in ESL. Many students will already have to take the SPEAK test as part of a teaching appointment on campus (as per university policies) but those who do not will be required to take the SPEAK test through the SLA program. Students should contact the SLA program administrator to register them for the test, which is offered only on pre-determined dates. In order to be eligible for a teaching appointment in ESL, prospective teaching assistants need to achieve the top score of 60. The test may be taken only once in a three-month period. More information about the test is available at www.english.wisc.edu/esl/itatraining-speak.htm .

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Upcoming Events

2014 SLA Graduate Student Symposium

Friday, April 11 - Saturday, April 12, 2014
Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
Co-sponsored by the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison
Check out the symposium website for more information!

Invited Lecture: Content Based Instruction in Foreign Language Education

Michael Byram, Durham University
4:00 pm, Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wisconsin Idea Room, 159 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Learn more >

Invited Lecture: Changing Discourses in Native Speaker and Learner Talk

Dale Koike, University of Texas at Austin
4:00 pm, Wednesday, April 30, 2014
254 Van Hise Hall

Learn more>

Graduation Reception

2:00-4:00pm, Friday, May 16
1418 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive.

Join the SLA community in recognizing the achievements of its newest graduates. Cake and drinks will be served.

Ongoing Events/Series in 2013-14

Language Institute 2013-14 Lecture Series: Language Matters: Wisconsin and the World

Several SLA faculty will be giving talks for this new faculty lecture series. Most talks are scheduled at 5:00 pm on the first Monday of the month in the Wisconsin Idea Room of the Education Building (exception: talk by SLA faculty member Katrina Daly Thompson, 4:00 pm, February 3). View the schedule >

Spring 2014 Brownbag Series: Language Learning in ConTEXT

A series of brownbag discussions on approaches to teaching and learning language through TEXTS. Sponsored by the SLA PhD Program and the Language Institute. Brownbags scheduled for 12:00-1:00 pm on February 4, 17; March 7, 27; April 8, 28. View the schedule >

Coffee, Cake and Conversation with SLA Director Monika Chavez

All SLA students are warmly invited to drop by for coffee, informal conversation and sometimes even cake!11:30 am - 12:30 pm, Wednesdays (note the new day and time): January 29; February 12, 26; March 5, 26; April 9, 23; May 7. 1322 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive.

SLA Dissertator Writing Group

The SLA dissertator writing group will meet in 294 Van Hise Hall from 8:45-10:45 am on the following dates. SLA faculty will participate on Wednesday mornings: Wednesday, January 29 (Monika Chavez);Monday, February 10; Wednesday, February 26 (Richard Young); Wednesday, March 12; Wednesday, March 26 (Karen Evans-Romaine); Monday, April 7; Wednesday, April 23 (faculty TBD); Monday, May 5


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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