The Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) is offering a program leading to the Master of Arts (MA) in Bilingualism Studies.

The program is offered in English and French. Students are required to take one of their two compulsory courses in English and the other in French. The electives can be taken in either language.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have the right to produce their work, their research paper, their thesis, and to answer examination questions in French or in English. The program is offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis. Two options are available for the program, the MA with thesis and the MA with research paper.

The program is governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

To be admitted to the MA program in Bilingualism Studies, candidates must have one (1) of the following:

  • An honours bachelor's degree or equivalent in Second Language Teaching / Didactique des langues secondes, in Applied Linguistics or in a related discipline.
  • A three-year bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics or a related discipline in addition to a university-level, university-administered advanced certificate in TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages), representing a minimum of 30 units.

The minimum admission average is 70% (B), calculated in accordance with graduate studies guidelines.

Language Requirements

All applicants must be able to understand, speak and write either English or French proficiently. Applicants whose first language is neither English nor French must provide proof of proficiency in one or the other. The list of acceptable tests is indicated in the specific requirements of the program.

Additional Coursework

The Admissions Committee may, depending on the students’ academic background, require them to complete one or two additional courses beyond the basic MA degree requirements.

MA with Thesis (12 units)

Compulsory Courses: 1
BIL 5101/5501Issues in Bilingualism Studies3 Units
BIL 5102/5502Research Methodology in Bilingualism Studies3 Units
6 elective course units in bilingualism studies (BIL) at the graduate level6 Units
Thesis Proposal:
BIL 7990Thesis Proposal
THM 7999Master's Thesis


Candidates must begin the process of selecting a thesis topic and supervisor during their first term in the program. The choice of thesis topic and supervisor must be registered officially no later than the end of the second term.

Thesis Proposal
The thesis proposal is prepared under the direction of the thesis supervisor and must be defended orally. The proposal must normally be successfully completed by the end of the third term. In the event of failure, the proposal can be resubmitted and defended the following term at the latest. A second failure leads to withdrawal from the program. The proposal must be successfully completed before submitting it to the Research Ethics Board (if required) and before undertaking any independent data collection.

MA with Research Paper (24 units)

Compulsory Courses: 1
BIL 5101/5501Issues in Bilingualism Studies3 Units
BIL 5102/5502Research Methodology in Bilingualism Studies3 Units
12 elective course units in bilingualism studies (BIL) at the graduate level 212 Units
Research Paper:
BIL 7998Research Paper6 Units


Duration of the Program

Full-time students are expected to fulfill all requirements of the thesis option within two years and of the research paper option within sixteen months. The maximum time permitted is four years from the date of initial enrollment in the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), or the thesis proposal or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory must withdraw from the program.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is proud of the state of the art research conducted by its professors. In the spirit of showcasing its research to the university community as well as to the general public, the Faculty has created three activities: Dean's Lecture Series, Treasures of the Library, and Excellence Lectures.

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Arts

Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and Morisset Library.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

BIL 5101 Issues in Bilingualism Studies (3 units)

Theories of language and language learning. Social factors, processes, conditions, and learner factors in second language learning. Bilingualism, multilingualism, and cross-cultural communication. Political, social, and cultural factors in planning and implementing language policy. Language planning and policy evaluation. Research applications in these areas.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5102 Research Methodology in Bilingualism Studies (3 units)

Approaches to the design of studies, data collection instruments and procedures and analysis of data in second language learning and use. The role of statistics. Experimental and quasi-experimental methods. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5103 Assessment of Second Language Competence (3 units)

Theoretical issues related to the assessment of second language skills. Descriptive frameworks and standards for testing receptive and productive language skills. Assessing knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Construction of language tests. Development of rating scales. Review and critique of commercial language tests.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5104 Trends and Issues in Research on Technology-Assisted Learning (3 units)

Critical analysis of trends and issues in research on the design, integration, use and evaluation of multimedia and information and communication technologies in adult second language learning. Overview of innovative research and development methods, and tools and unique techniques used in Computer-assisted language learning (CALL).

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5105 Electronic Corpora in Second Language Learning (3 units)

The use of electronic corpora in second language learning. Corpus linguistics. Techniques and tools (taggers, concordancers, etc.) enabling the gathering, annotation and analysis of electronic corpora in second language acquisition research. Computer-aided analysis of language learners written and oral production errors. Impact of learner corpora on the design of language learning resources. Use of online French, English and bilingual corpus resources for language learning.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5106 Adult Second/Foreign Language Skills Development (3 units)

Critical examination of the theoretical principles underlying learning of the major language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and component skills (grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation). Survey of research and practice related to learning language skills.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5107 Language Planning and Policy in Canada (3 units)

History and current concerns of official bilingualism in Canada. Multilingualism within an official bilingualism framework. Marginalisation, linguicism, and social class. Federal-provincial relationships and language issues. Language and social development.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5108 The Politics of Language, Power and Identity: Canada and the World (3 units)

Exploration of the politics of language, language policy, planning and practice of global languages in a second, minority or foreign language teaching contexts. Critical evaluation of social control of language use and through language. Macro (national) to micro (classroom) contexts of teaching. Reproduction, resistance and transformation of sociopolitical and linguistic ideologies and practices.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5120 Special Topics in Bilingualism Studies (3 units)

In-depth study of a selected topic in bilingualism studies.

Course Component: Seminar

BIL 5501 Questions en études du bilinguisme (3 crédits)

Théorie du langage et de l'apprentissage des langues. Facteurs sociaux, processus, environnement et caractéristiques individuelles en apprentissage des langues secondes. Bilinguisme, plurilinguisme et communication interculturelle. Facteurs politiques, sociaux et culturels en planification et politique linguistiques. Évaluation de la planification et des politiques linguistiques. Mobilisation des résultats de recherche dans ces domaines.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5502 Méthodologies de recherche en études du bilinguisme (3 crédits)

Approches méthodologiques à la planification d'études pour les études sur l'apprentissage et l'usage des langues secondes. Application des méthodes statistiques. Approches expérimentales et quasi-expérimentales. Méthodes quantitatives et qualitatives.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5503 Évaluation de la compétence en langue seconde (3 crédits)

Questions théoriques se rapportant à l'évaluation des habiletés en langue seconde. Cadres descriptifs et standards d'évaluation des habiletés langagières réceptives et productive. Évaluation de la connaissance lexicale et grammaticale. Construction de tests de langue. Développement d'échelles de mesure. Revue et critique des tests commerciaux.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5504 Tendances et enjeux de la recherche en apprentissage des langues assisté par ordinateur (3 crédits)

Analyse critique des tendances et enjeux de la recherche portant sur la conception, l'intégration, l'utilisation et l'évaluation du multimédia et des technologies de l'information et de la communication en apprentissage des langues assisté par ordinateur (ALAO). Vue d'ensemble des méthodes innovantes de recherche et développement sur les outils ainsi que techniques utilisées en ALAO.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5505 Corpus électroniques en apprentissage des langues secondes (3 crédits)

Utilisation de corpus électroniques en apprentissage des langues secondes. Linguistique de corpus. Techniques et outils (étiqueteurs, concordanciers, etc.) permettant la collecte, l'annotation et l'analyse de corpus électroniques pour la recherche en acquisition de la langue seconde. Analyse assistée par ordinateur d'erreurs dans les corpus écrits et oraux d'apprenants de langue. Impact des corpus d'apprenants sur la conception de ressources pour l'apprentissage des langues. Utilisation de ressources en ligne: corpus français, anglais et bilingues, pour l'apprentissage des langues.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5506 Développement des compétences en langue seconde étrangère chez les adultes (3 crédits)

Exploration critique des principes théoriques sous-jacents à l'apprentissage des compétences langagières (écouter, lire, parler, écrire) et linguistiques (grammaire, vocabulaire et prononciation). Examen des recherches et des pratiques liées au développement des compétences en langue seconde.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5507 Planification et politique linguistiques au Canada (3 crédits)

Historique du bilinguisme officiel au Canada et questions de l'heure. Plurilinguisme individuel et sociétal dans le cadre d'un bilinguisme officiel. Marginalisation, minorisation, glottophagie et classes sociales. Relations fédérales-provinciales et les questions linguistiques. Développement sociétal et langues.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5508 Langue, pouvoir et politiques identitaires: Le Canada et le monde (3 crédits)

Exploration des politiques liées à la langue, politique linguistique, planification et pratique des langues mondiales en contextes d'enseignement de langue seconde, minoritaire ou étrangère. Évaluation critique du contrôle social de l'usage de la langue et par la langue. Contextes macro (national) à micro (la salle de classe) de l'enseignement. Reproduction, résistance et transformation de diverses idéologies et identités sociopolitiques et linguistiques.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5520 Thèmes choisis en études du bilinguisme (3 crédits)

Étude approfondie d'un thème choisi en études du bilinguisme.

Volet : Séminaire

BIL 5920 Thèmes choisis en études du bilinguisme / Special Topics In Bilingualism Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude approfondie d'un thème choisi en études du bilinguisme. / In-depth study of a selected topic in bilingualism studies.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

BIL 7990 Projet de thèse / Thesis Proposal

Projet individuel. Examen critique approfondi de documents dont la liste est établie conjointement par l'étudiant et le directeur ou la directrice de thèse. Rédaction d'un projet de thèse soumis à l'évaluation de deux autres membres du corps professoral. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). / Individual Project. Critical review of a set of readings selected jointly by student and advisor. Drafting of a thesis proposal. Submission of the thesis proposal for evaluation by two other professors. Graded S (Satisfactory)/ NS (Not Satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalables : BIL 5501 et BIL 5502. / Prerequisites: BIL 5101 and BIL 5102.

BIL 7998 Mémoire / Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Mémoire d'une longueur de 12,500 mots (sans compter la bibliographie) préparé sous la direction d'un ou deux membres du corps professoral choisis en accord avec la personne responsable des études supérieures. Le mémoire est évalué par le ou les personnes qui l'ont dirigé et un autre membre du corps professoral. Noté S (satisfaisant) / NS (non satisfaisant). / Research paper (about 12,500 words, excluding the bibliography) prepared under the direction of one or two professors chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies. The paper is evaluated by the (co-)advisor(s) and another professor. Graded S (Satisfactory)/NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalables : BIL 5501, BIL 55 02 et 12 crédits de cours au choix / Prerequisites: BIL 5101, BIL 5102 and 12 elective course units.