Communication and Information Studies: Language learning and language teaching

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.” – Geoffrey Willans

WHAT IS LANGUAGE LEARNING AND LANGUAGE TEACHING?

This programme bridges the gap between what linguists know about the learnability of languages and what language teachers experience in daily life. We aim to explain why certain aspects of languages are extremely difficult to learn while others are not, and how this varies for different learner groups. We use this information to critically analyze teaching and assessment materials and to develop and investigate new teaching methods and language interventions.

FOCUS ON LEARNER GROUPS

In this programme, we primarily study the process of language learning in both young children and foreign language learners. The first group not only consists of typically developing children, but also children with an atypical language development pattern, such as children with dyslexia and children with a hearing impairment or a communicative disability. The second group consists of children and adults learning a second or foreign language. We cannot use the same teaching methods and models and language tests for these two groups. What works for one group does not necessarily work for the other. In this programme, we study why this is the case and how we can help improve group-specific teaching and testing materials.

WHO ARE YOU?

Are you thinking about joining our LL&LT programme? In that case, you’ve always been passionate about language in general and about language learning processes in particular. You have always wondered why four-year-olds speak their mother tongue fluently while they cannot even tie their own shoelaces or draw a decent picture of a car. You are also intrigued by the fact that different groups of individuals follow their own specific learning path and sometimes even stagnate in their development. As an LL&LT graduate, you want to play a part in improving second or foreign language teaching and language teaching for groups with special needs.

Introducing Communication and Information Studies at VU Amsterdam

Students with a degree in LL&LT are typically involved in developing language learning methods and teacher training programmes, in designing language proficiency assessments, and in teaching language to groups of learners with special needs. They may also provide language consultancy services for companies, the government or non-profit organizations.

Many bachelor students choose to pursue an English Master's in Linguistics or a Dutch master's in Applied Linguistics, which is also offered by VU Amsterdam.

If you have obtained or will obtain a Dutch diploma, please check the criteria on our Dutch webpage.

Applicants holding a non-Dutch pre-university diploma must meet a number of requirements. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply. We will evaluate your application and inform you of our admission decision. All outstanding requirements need to be met in full by the time you enrol for the programme.

Admission to the programme will remain conditional until your certified diploma copy is received and the conditions in your admission decision letter have been met.

Requirements that apply:

  1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
    See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

    Applicants who do not meet this criterion may be asked to sit (an) entry exam(s) to prove they are eligible for admission.

  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
    Although complete applications are preferred, you can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted. You can find all accepted tests and scores on our Admission Requirements webpage.

Application Steps

  1. Check if you match the entry requirements.
  2. Register for the Bachelor’s programme before the application deadline via Studielink.
    In Studielink you select the Bachelor’s programme 'Communication and Information Studies’. If you have your Studielink set to Dutch you can find the programme under ‘Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen’.
  3. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
    In VUnet you select the English-taught study specialization 'Language Learning and Language Teaching'.
  4. Then upload the following documents:
    • Transcript of records; a transcript in English of the grades obtained over the final two years of your high school and any further education up to the moment of your application. IB and A-level applicants are asked to upload their predicted grades.
    • A scan of your diploma (if you have already graduated).
    • Curriculum Vitae; the curriculum vitae should include your personal details and list your previous education and relevant work experience (± 1-2 pages).
    • English language test results (if already obtained).
    • Copy of valid passport or ID (ID for EEA students only).
  5. Pay the application fee and submit your application.
  6. Wait for the decision on your admission request.

For more details on all steps please consult our step-by-step application guide.

Application deadline
The final application deadline for non-EU/EEA students is April 1st and for Dutch and EU students the final deadline is May 1st. For students wishing to use our Accommodation Services an early application is recommended.

Ready to apply?
Great! Click here to start your application.

Please note: the Studielink notification “The educational institution has yet to determine whether your previous education level is sufficient“ will only be ticked after you accept your place and have sent us a certified copy of your diploma.

As a prospective student at VU Amsterdam you will take part in the VU Matching programme. VU Matching consists of two parts: you must fill out a digital questionnaire on VUnet and participate in a matching activity organized by the study programme. The matching activity aims to give you a realistic idea of the content of the study, so you can determine if it matches your expectations and whether you have chosen the right programme.

More specific information about VU Matching for the academic year 2020-2021 will be published soon. For general information about VU Matching check the website VU Matching.

If you have questions about the matching activity, please contact the matching coordinator of the Faculty of Humanities: matching.fgw@vu.nl.

General Questions?
For students with a Dutch degree:
• You can call us on +31 20 59 85 000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00 hours).
• Or email us at contact@vu.nl.
• You can also send us a text message via Whatsapp on +31 6 825 48 367.

Got an international degree?
You can contact the International Student Advisor of the Faculty of Humanities:

Rosa Vijftigschild - ContactRosa Vijftigschild

E: bachelors.hum@vu.nl
T: +31 20 59 85 641

Contact a Student Ambassador
Would you like to hear from an international student about what it is like to study at VU Amsterdam, the programme or the student life in Amsterdam? Contact our Student Ambassadors!

Open Day
Come join our Bachelor’s Day and see for yourself what it is like to study Communication and Information Studies at VU Amsterdam! Register here.

Taster Day
Experience what it is like to be a Communication and Information Studies student for a day. Register here.

Campus tour
You are welcome to contact bachelors.hum@vu.nl to enquire about the option of a campus tour with a Student Ambassador and to discuss the admission process with the International Student Advisor during your visit to our university.

This is what you will be doing

Detailed information on the programme is available in the online study guide.

First of all, the first year gives you a broad theoretical base reflecting the current state of the art regarding the structure of language, how language interacts with cognition and what kind of factors are driving language acquisition. Second, you will learn the basics of adjacent research fields, such as communication studies and discourse analysis. Last but not least, you will work on some indispensable general academic skills, such as research methodologies and academic writing.


In the second year, your knowledge of language learning will be further developed as we dive deeper into a number of linguistic domains, such as phonetics, morphology, semantics. This will help you become more proficient in recognizing typical and atypical language patterns in both monolingual and bilingual children. You will also be introduced to the field of language teaching and you will learn and experience how language teaching may influence second and foreign language learning, for instance in the module ‘second language learning’. We also help you to further develop your academic skills, in the courses ‘statistics’ and ‘philosophy’.


In the first semester of the third year of this Bachelor’s programme, you will choose a minor programme. You are completely free in your choice, depending predominantly on your future plans and your personal interests. You can choose from minor programmes such as Brain and Mind, European History and Culture, Digital Humanities, and many others. In the second semester of this year, you will dot the i’s and cross the t’s by focusing on language teaching, dyslexia and on assessing language proficiency. You will round off your programme by writing a Bachelor’s thesis.

First of all, the first year gives you a broad theoretical base reflecting the current state of the art regarding the structure of language, how language interacts with cognition and what kind of factors are driving language acquisition. Second, you will learn the basics of adjacent research fields, such as communication studies and discourse analysis. Last but not least, you will work on some indispensable general academic skills, such as research methodologies and academic writing.


In the second year, your knowledge of language learning will be further developed as we dive deeper into a number of linguistic domains, such as phonetics, morphology, semantics. This will help you become more proficient in recognizing typical and atypical language patterns in both monolingual and bilingual children. You will also be introduced to the field of language teaching and you will learn and experience how language teaching may influence second and foreign language learning, for instance in the module ‘second language learning’. We also help you to further develop your academic skills, in the courses ‘statistics’ and ‘philosophy’.


In the first semester of the third year of this Bachelor’s programme, you will choose a minor programme. You are completely free in your choice, depending predominantly on your future plans and your personal interests. You can choose from minor programmes such as Brain and Mind, European History and Culture, Digital Humanities, and many others. In the second semester of this year, you will dot the i’s and cross the t’s by focusing on language teaching, dyslexia and on assessing language proficiency. You will round off your programme by writing a Bachelor’s thesis.

Overview Communication and Information Studies: Language Learning and Language Teaching

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (fulltime)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

April 1st (non-EEA students requiring visa and/or housing) / May 1st (all others)

START DATE

September 1st

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

BINDING STUDY ADVICE

You need to obtain 42 ECTS plus academic skills.

FIELD OF INTEREST

Language and Communication

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