The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) pathway through the MA in Education involves six taught modules and a dissertation on a research topic of your choice. The programme accommodates both early career teachers seeking a grounding in the core disciplines of TESOL, and those with considerable experience hoping to consolidate or progress into specialist areas of expertise.
In addition, for students who are 'early career' or who have not studied beyond degree level for some years, Developing MA Literacies has been designed to support transition towards MA level teacher-researcher. It can be taken either as a fully assessed option, or as a support module to run alongside MA studies.
The TESOL pathway includes six taught modules, which combine one compulsory research module, three core TESOL modules, one TESOL professional option, and one option selected from any option within the wider MA in Education pool.
In addition, the MA includes a dissertation which is equivalent to three taught modules.
Compulsory Research modules:
Researching Education, Childhood and Language enables you to develop knowledge of a range of research approaches, methods and techniques in education more broadly, and language more specifically. You will also have an opportunity to prepare a small-scale research project of your own, and trial research instruments, in preparation for the dissertation.
The dissertation gives you the opportunity to specialise in a topic of your choice. It is supported by dissertation workshops and individual supervision, and leads to an extended piece of work which includes primary research on a focus of your choice, and critical engagement with the research literature. An assessed research proposal forms part of the 'gateway' to the dissertation process, and leads to the allocation of a research supervisor to support you in the study process.
Three Compulsory TESOL modules:
Language Acquisition and Development – Principles and Practice aims to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theoretical models of both first and second/foreign language acquisition and with psycholinguistic theories of learning and skills acquisition. By the end of this module, you will have reflected on the relevance of different kinds of theoretical knowledge of language learning to your own perceptions of teaching and learning in the classroom, and explored how these theories might have practical impact on learner focused classroom practice.
Descriptions of English explores the linguistic description of English with a focus on ‘language in use’. The module will go on to look at how our understanding of the English language relates to how we apply this knowledge in the classroom: what the teacher should ‘know’ about language, what the learner should ‘know’, and how classroom materials such as pedagogic grammars and course books approach this.
In addition TESOL students should choose one of the following:
Language Teaching: Learning and Creativity is designed to give the early career TESOL practitioner a foundation in core principles for the language learning classroom, such as the teaching of grammar, vocabulary, social and cultural pragmatics, and the four language skills.
ELT Changing Methodologies is designed to give the experienced practitioner an engagement with some of the key debates current in the profession, such as World Englishes, the impact of corpus on language teaching, and current understandings of the learning process.
Optional TESOL modules (students can select one). A selection of the modules listed below will be offered each year:
Developing MA Literacies supports your development from teacher to teacher-researcher. It invites you to review your own practice as a learner and teacher; and also prepares you to be a researcher, developing critical reading, writing and analytical skills. This module can also be audited as a support resource alongside your MA studies.
Teaching English for Specific Purposes (academic and occupational) This module builds on your knowledge of ELT, with a more specific focus on accommodating the needs of learners working in specific contexts (English for Specific Purposes - ESP), such as learning for academic or occupational purposes. The module will cover the techniques commonly used in ESP for analysing and matching learner needs to the requirements of their target language context. A variety of ESP approaches to syllabus design, materials development and teaching skills will be discussed, with reflection on how such approaches would best inform the needs of learners in specific contexts.
English as an Additional Language (EAL). The module focuses on children in English-speaking schools whose first language and culture is not English. It draws on current practice, research and case studies of schools and learners, and examples of current EAL policy and practice. The module is designed for the teacher aiming to enhance the learning experience and environment of the EAL child, and make a difference to policy and practice.
ELT Materials Development. This is a new module offered for the first time in 2015. It explores different modes in which materials are generated for learners, and engages with professional dialogue about the value and effectiveness of teaching resources. You will engage in small-scale market research and materials design projects and will connect with real-world projects in the ELT publishing industry.
Comparative and International Education (on campus only). This module provides a framework in which you make a comparative analysis of key themes in education policy debates in national education systems, and consider the increasingly internationalised nature of these discourses. Thematic and country-based case studies will be examined in this light. It will explore both the possibilities and limits of cross-national comparisons, and debate issues comparatively such as national language policies, curriculum and approaches to assessment.
As our courses are reviewed regularly, the list of modules you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.
International students whose mother tongue is not English are required to pass IELTS with an overall grade of 6.5, and each of the four skills should have a minimum grade of 6.0.