The University of Macau’s (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities will launch a Master of Arts (MA) course in “Second Language Acquisition.” The new course starts in the 2017/18 academic year and will teach Chinese, Portuguese or English as a second language.
According to a statement from UM, the initiative is being launched in response to “local demand for language professionals in a multilingual environment” and to support the government’s plan to establish a training center for bilingual language professionals in the MSAR.
The two-year program will focus on the process of second language acquisition by introducing students to current theories and skills of the subject. The program will have two MA tracks: one including a relevant Teaching Qualification Option and the other without. The course will also be taught bilingually, UM said.
According to the UM statement, graduates of the course will not only be competent to work as instructors of Chinese, Portuguese or English as a second language, but may also work in related fields such as developing teaching materials and instructional management.
The MA in Second Language Acquisition will be the first program of its kind in Macau, claims UM. It will therefore provide a unique opportunity for local educators and practitioners in language education to receive systematic training.
Those with Bachelor degrees in Chinese, Portuguese, English or other related fields are eligible to apply for the course, though all applicants must have a minimum score of 6.5 for IELTS or 80 for TOEFL iBT.
Applicants whose native language is not Chinese but wish to specialize in teaching Chinese must pass the HSK test (Level 6) or an equivalent examination. The same applies for those who are not native in Portuguese but wish to specialize in teaching the Portuguese language; such applicants must pass equivalent language assessments.