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PHD Linguistics, Speakers of Arabic, Saudi Arabia

Updated: Jan 5

As a language learner and a language teacher, I always find myself thinking about the process of second language acquisition in a social context. Since my research interests center on both Socio- and Applied Linguistics, I hope very much to be accepted to your especially distinguished PHD program in General Linguistics at XXXX University. Your program is my first choice for because of its sheer excellence and I feel that I am a good fit given my academic and especially research interests. After earning my Master's degree in Linguistics, I accepted an offer to serve as a lecturer in Linguistics at XXXX University and earned a full scholarship to pursue the PHD Degree in linguistics at XXXX University. My central professional goal is to serve as a linguistic professor in my country, Saudi Arabia, and devote myself to a lifetime of investigation into SLA for native speakers of Arabic, Earning the PHD will help me to further improve my language teaching and learning skills. Another reason that makes XXXX my first choice, is that it has an Arabic department and offers Arabic as a second language classes, which will significantly benefit me in collecting data for my investigations. Finally, after having a chance to get to know several PHD. students in your program, I found that the overall environment of the department is very friendly, encouraging, and highly supporting. I share the research interests of several faculty members and I am confident that my passion, curiosity, research experience, and enthusiasm will help me to excel in your program.

I am particularly interested in research done by XXXX in sociolinguistics and it would be a special honor for me to contribute to research in one of her area of expertise, second L2 dialect acquisition. I especially look forward to a full immersion experience in L2 dialect acquisition among adult learners studying abroad, L2 learners who studied English in the UK, for example, and then moved to the USA to seek an advanced degree? To what extent do their L2 accents change? Does L2 dialect acquisition happen primarily inside or outside the classroom? To what extent is it a conscious process? And what is the social meaning attached to accents in L2. I am also most interested in investigating how and to what extent explicit and implicit feedback benefits L2 learners and how the proficiency level of adult learners affects the effectiveness of corrective feedback. I am engaged with how giving phonological instruction affects perception and production among adult L2 learners and what types of cues L2 speakers use to facilitate the verbal comprehension. Also very high on my list of priorities, is an in-depth analysis of the extent to which semantic, morphological, and syntactic cues are helpful for mapping the meaning of phonologically ambiguous words.

During my graduate study at XXXX University, I was provided with rigorous, comprehensive training in linguistics theory and gained extensive research in the areas of SLA learning and teaching and a wide variety of sub-areas related to linguistics. The program was heavily geared towards research, vastly expanding and sharpening my research skills. I analyzed the phonology of Saudi Pidgin, for example, and found that SLA theories helped to explain the phonological processes found in Saudi Pidgin Arabic. I also analyzed the syntax of Saudi Pidgin Arabic in professor XXXX’s class. My research suggests that Saudi Pidgin Arabic emerged as a result of a natural second language acquisition, and does not, therefore, represent a true pidgin. I will be presenting my research this coming January at the Saudi Society of Linguistics Conference.

I have also investigated the New Najdi dialect, a term I use to describe the phonological and syntactic changes that occur in the Najdi dialect, For example, I analyzed The Negative Polarity item omur in Najdi Arabic in professor Sylvia XXXX’s class. I argue that the noun omur, which means 'age', has been used recently as a negation if it is preceded or followed by the negative particle ma, which is ungrammatical in Standard Arabic. Previous studies argue that omur is an adverb, but I argue that it is a negative polarity item, supported by the fact that adverbs cannot be attached with a pronominal suffix in Arabic, while omur should be attached to pronominal suffix in order for the sentence to be grammatical. The paper was presented in ………………………..

During my enrollment in the TESL certificate program, I worked on designing a curriculum under the supervision of professor XXXX, teaching language to mixed-level classes. I found what I learned prior to be quite useful, when I taught English in an orphanages in Saudi Arabia. The lack of financial support from the government resulted in a chronic shortage of ESL teachers at the school and so the mixed classes were a necessity. Since then, I have read widely about the subject of teaching mix-levels classes in undeveloped countries, refugee camps around the world, etc. I also had the opportunity to teach a TESL class at the EFL program at XXXX University under the supervision of professor XXXX. Teaching Arabic for one semester at XXXX University. What I learned from teaching Arabic and English as second language is that using facial expression and hand movements helps in improving students' phonological perception of marked L2 sounds — for example, raising the hand when pronouncing a word with a long vowel. I also aspire to contribute and enrich the existing literature on Arabic as a second language.

I am the first female Among my relatives in a very big family with more than 100 women, who has earned a graduate degree; and the first one among both males and females to study abroad. Earning the PHD Degree will be a profound honor for all of us and a very special honor for me to serve as a role model to others.

I thank you for considering my application to PHD studies at XXXX University.

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