Postgraduate Course

MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

(TESOL)

MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Overview

The details
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
October 2018
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

This is a Masters course that can take you into employment anywhere in the world.

If you are enthusiastic about teaching English as a foreign or second language, then our course offers you vocationally-relevant, research-led training of the highest quality, taught by academics known for their teaching excellence.

You explore teaching methods and the description of English used in the investigation of language learning and teaching, and study additional topics according to your needs. These might include:

  • How second language learners acquire vocabulary, and how vocabulary can be taught
  • Computer-assisted language-learning
  • Literature and language-learning
  • Materials design and evaluation
  • Teaching Writing in EFL/ESL

You also gain hands-on teaching experience through our Teaching Practice I and Teaching Practice II modules.

Whether you have no prior teaching experience or are already an English language teacher, this course can be adapted to suit you. If you have little or no previous teaching experience, you receive ‘hands on’ teaching practice throughout the course via TEFL, while if you already have more than two year’s full-time teaching experience, you can undertake specialist study through TESOL instead.

You'll be part of our Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi), a unique research centre specialising in all aspects of language learning and development.

We are a leading UK university for language and linguistics research (REF 2014), a place where talented students become part of an academic community in which the majority of research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014), placing us firmly within the top 10 departments in the UK and ranked among the top 150 Linguistics departments in the world according to the QS World University Rankings (QS, 2018).

If you want a global outlook, are interested in human communication, and want to study for a degree with real-world practical value in a world-class department, welcome to Essex.

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Why we're great.
  • Perfect the skills to take on a ELT/TESOL role anywhere in the world
  • Study in our world-renowned language and linguistics department
  • Enjoy the flexibility of a course which adapts to suit your needs and builds on your experience - if you have little or no teaching experience, TEFL is for you. If you're an experienced teacher, TESOL is for you.

Our expert staff

Our staff are internationally renowned. Florence Myles authored the best-selling Second Language Learning Theories, and Bob Borsley wrote both Syntactic Theory: a Unified Approach and Modern Phrase Structure Grammar.

Other teachers on this course include Christina Gkonou, who has conducted extensive research into the effects of individual factors like anxiety on success in language learning, and Julian Good and Tracey Costley, who have taught English in Europe, the Far East and South America for many years before coming to Essex.

Karen Roehr-Brackin is a leading expert on the relationship between metalinguistic knowledge (conscious awareness of the rules of language) and language learning ability, and Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez is a leading expert on the use of computers and the role that interaction in the classroom plays in language learning.

Specialist facilities

Your future

Takers of our MA TEFL and other courses in English Language Teaching come with the specific intention of entering the ELT/TESOL profession, which they duly go on to do.

Students on these courses often join us after a career in English teaching, to update their expertise and return to the classroom with a career enhancement.

The specialist knowledge you gain enables you to take senior or specialist roles (for example in computer-assisted language-learning, ESP or teaching young learners), not necessarily only in the classroom but also in educational advice and management, programme evaluation, syllabus design and teacher education.

We also work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2.2 degree in the following disciplines: English Language Studies, English Language and Literature, Teaching(English), Linguistics, Modern Languages.

We will accept applicants with a in an unrelated area but which contains a substantial element of education, Linguistics, Language Studies and Teaching.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Teaching Practice I

This module will introduce you to the main principles of language teaching and classroom practice. You will cover aspects such as lesson planning, choosing, designing and using materials, classroom management and dealing with learners' language’. The aim of this module is to help you understand the link between theory and practice, improve your skills and prepare you for the classroom-based practice teaching in the spring term.

View Teaching Practice I on our Module Directory

Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics

How do you respond to learner questions about language? What do you understand about the nature of language? Build the linguistic vocabulary and analytical tools needed to talk about the English language effectively and accurately in second language learner classrooms.

View Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics on our Module Directory

Language Learning and Teaching

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the main approaches and methods used in English Language Teaching (ELT). You will study the different theoretical and historical contexts of language teaching and look at how these different approaches and methods have shaped pedagogy, practice and course design. You will explore key aspects of teacher development such as professional identity, teacher language and teacher psychology and look at the different ways in which these influence and shape teaching practice.

View Language Learning and Teaching on our Module Directory

Research Methods I

What are research methods? What are the differences between quantitative and qualitative research? Learn more about the research tools available for studying applied linguistics and TEFL. Examine each available research method in-depth. Build your understanding, while preparing for your MA dissertation or other future research projects.

View Research Methods I on our Module Directory

Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation

Are you ready to write your dissertation? Build your knowledge of the standard practices for writing assignments and dissertations. Understand the common research methodologies and paradigms used in applied linguistics and TESOL.

View Assignment Writing and Dissertation Preparation on our Module Directory

Research Methods II

Are you ready for your dissertation? What qualitative research methods are suitable for your research? Learn more about the qualitative research methods and statistical techniques that you could use for your MA dissertation or other future research projects.

View Research Methods II on our Module Directory

MA Dissertation

What interests you? Write a 16,000-word dissertation on a research topic of your choosing, with supervision from our expert staff. Gain research planning, organisational and project management skills while increasing your knowledge of the subject. Build your research abilities for future employment or a PhD.

View MA Dissertation on our Module Directory

Advanced Phonology (optional)

Can sounds be analysed in terms of their constituent components of voicing, place and manner of articulation? Which features of sound are relevant for distinguishing word meanings? Is there a set of universal constraints on the way that sounds are related to mental representations? Acquire a solid understanding of phonological analysis, and apply that understanding to new data in a variety of languages.

View Advanced Phonology (optional) on our Module Directory

Second Language Vocabulary: Learning, Teaching and Use (optional)

Want to work as a language teacher? Or conduct second language vocabulary research? Study how second language vocabulary can be taught, assessed and researched. Examine the latest research on how second language learners use vocabulary. Learn how to examine the vocabulary knowledge of EFL learners.

View Second Language Vocabulary: Learning, Teaching and Use (optional) on our Module Directory

Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (optional)

Is learning all about cognitive processes? What is the role of psychological factors in successful language learning and teaching? Why do foreign language teachers need to know about their learners?

View Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (optional) on our Module Directory

Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional)

The purpose of this module is to develop your knowledge of some well-known facts about how second languages are learned. You will look at the role of nature and nurture and critically evaluate the theories that make use of these factors to explain how second languages are learned and evaluated. This will involve looking at some of the topics that have been addressed by researchers who have studied second language learner development, and familiarising yourself with the techniques they have used to collect research data.

View Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics Theory (optional) on our Module Directory

Sentence Processing (optional)

Why do speakers of English initially think that sentences like “The horse raced past the barn fell” are ungrammatical? Why are sentences like “The mouse the cat chased stole the cheese” more difficult to understand than “The mouse stole the cheese and the cat chased the mouse”? Learn about the principles of sentence and discourse processing that guide language understanding. Conduct experiments testing how speakers respond to structurally different types of sentences.

View Sentence Processing (optional) on our Module Directory

Syntactic Theory I (optional)

What are the main phenomena of syntax and how can we describe and explain them? Study the properties of syntactic categories, subjects, complements and adjuncts, raising and control sentences, and long distance dependencies. Learn the importance of precise and explicit descriptions, of dealing with the full range of relevant data, and of accommodating different kinds of languages.

View Syntactic Theory I (optional) on our Module Directory

Approaches to Language in Society (optional)

How does language change over time, vary across communities, and what do social alignments help explain about language variation and change? Explore the relationship between sociolinguistic theories and social groupings. Examine current sociolinguistic debates regarding language variation and change.

View Approaches to Language in Society (optional) on our Module Directory

English in the British Isles (optional)

Explore the history of the English language and how it varies around the British Isles. In this module you learn the historical background of the English language and its development. You build knowledge in the distinctive traits of various dialects, including those spoken in regions such as the former Celtic-speaking areas.

View English in the British Isles (optional) on our Module Directory

Analysing Language in Society: Research Methods (optional)

Learn sociolinguistic research approaches to dialectology, variation, ethnography of speech, and discourse analysis by actually doing them. You’ll sample speaker populations, approach informants ethically, carry out participant observation, design questionnaires and other instruments, use digital recorders in sociolinguistic interviews to elicit natural speech, collect personal narratives, and analyse linguistic variation.

View Analysing Language in Society: Research Methods (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching and Learning Grammar (optional)

In this module you will gain a strong knowledge of teaching and learning grammar when learning a second language. You will explore the issues related with both teaching and learning a second language and current issues in the teaching of grammar.

View Teaching and Learning Grammar (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching Practice II (optional)

During this module you have the opportunity to gain hands on experience teaching real students. You will be able to have individual tutorials for advice on lesson plans and materials prior to teaching your own classes.

View Teaching Practice II (optional) on our Module Directory

Reflective Practitioner (optional)

Reflect on your experiences as a teacher and consider how you could optimise your teaching to meet your learners’ needs and your own. This module will include small-group discussions and input sessions, so you really have the opportunity to reflect on your individual practices and career.

View Reflective Practitioner (optional) on our Module Directory

Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional)

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the theoretical foundations of pragmatics and conversation analysis. You will be introduced to the study of meaning and explore how what is said is not necessarily what is meant, by investigating aspects of utterance interpretation and of language use. By the end of the module, you will be familiar with a range of issues and debates in contemporary pragmatics and be able to apply your knowledge of these to a variety of problems in the investigation of language use in interaction.

View Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening (optional)

The module aims to explore some of the different ways in which theories have shaped and informed the different approaches to the teaching of reading and writing in English Language Teaching (ELT). By studying these ideas you will deepen your understanding of the different ways in which reading and writing is understood and conceptualised, and give you a theoretical platform from which to consider, and reflect upon, your own experiences and approaches to teaching reading and writing.

View Teaching, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations and learning by teaching others
  • We run a weekly departmental seminar, attended by both staff and students

Assessment

  • Your eight one-term modules are assessed by coursework and you are also assessed on your dissertation

Dissertation

  • Your 16,000-word dissertation allows you to focus in-depth on your chosen topic from April onwards
  • Close supervision by a member of staff within our Department

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,560

International fee

£16,225

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

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