M.A. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Middlesex University

Tuition fee:
  • € 6,030 / Year (EEA)
  • € 12,030 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The MA TESOL is for teachers of English as a foreign - second - additional language who wish to enhance their professional development and further their careers in teaching or associated English Language Teaching industries. The course will build on your previous teaching experience and professional training to develop your systematic understanding and critical awareness of the trends and debates in modern ELT pedagogy and, where appropriate, Applied Linguistics. Throughout the masters course you will be encouraged to consider how insights gained from your own personal experiences as teachers and learners of foreign languages relate to the issues and debates in both ELT pedagogy and Applied Linguistics.

There are four strands to the course, which are studied concurrently throughout the year. These strands are a methodology and second language acquisition strand; a course design and evaluation strand; a language analysis strand; and a research methods strand. The concurrent study of these strands allows for links to be made from the content of one strand to its accompanying strands. The syllabus content and sequencing of each strand has been consciously designed to link in with the other strands to facilitate these connections.You are encouraged to actively pursue these links in order to increase their depth and breadth of understanding in the field.

After successfully completing the taught course, you will progress to the dissertation stage of the MA. This is an extended piece of independent research, which is the culmination of the your academic development on the course. The research topic chosen for the dissertation may draw on any of the topics studied in the taught modules and should be tailored to your own personal and professional research interests.


There are four main strands to the programme. The first strand - Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching Methodology, combines a study of the history of teaching methodology with the study of Second Language Acquisition. The development of ELT as a discipline is examined for its pedagogic, social-cultural and linguistic trends and how these trends are manifested in classroom practices. These classroom practices will then be examined in the light of SLA research findings in order to see how insights from SLA may be used to evaluate the effectiveness of various teaching methodologies and classroom practices.

The second strand- Course Design and Evaluation in ELT, is pedagogic in focus. It encourages students to look beyond the day to day choices they make in terms of classroom practice to consider the wider social and practical implications of course and syllabus design and student assessment-evaluation. The relationship between course and syllabus design and the design of assessment and evaluation procedures is explored within the context of societal and institutional demands and personal goals. Different frameworks for different client groups in different working contexts are examined, for example, adult and child general purpose English (GPE) courses, specialist English courses for specific and academic purposes. Links will be made between this module and ELT 4121 Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching Methodology to encourage students not only to see the relationship between SLA and classroom practices but also to see the relationship between classroom practice and the broader social, educational and institutional implications of course and assessment design.

The third strand of the course is Research Methods -Research Methods in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. This module introduces students to types of research paradigms and the scope of research topics in the field of TESOL and Applied Linguistics. The nature of research data is explored and the role of evidence and the interpretation of evidence in building a coherent argument are examined. A focus on Action Research enables students to see how they can participate in researching their own teaching-learning contexts whilst the evaluation of published research helps students to develop their own critical analysis.

The fourth strand of the course is the language study strand. This focus is very much on the analysis of real language data and its relation to pedagogic grammar. This strand is made up of two 15-credit modules (Empirical Investigation into Language Structure and Use and Grammar Analysis for ELT). The first module looks at empirical investigation of language data and so links with the content of the Research Methods module concerning types of data. The second module looks at how language knowledge is presented as pedagogic grammar. The contrast between idealized pedagogic grammars and the reality of empirical language data are examined. The implications for classroom practice of this contrast are explored. The language strand in the MA TESOL makes strong links with the ELT Methodology aspects of the module - Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching Methodology and the content of - Course Design and Evaluation in ELT. In this way the design of the MA TESOL provides a comprehensive view of common core principles in the field of ELT whilst allowing students to develop their own particular research interests. The focus on research methods and the broader aspects of course design and evaluation allows students to see the day to day methodology and language concerns of teaching in their wider context. As well as providing a good knowledge base, the MA programme facilitates the development of students' critical faculties in the evaluation of data analysis, research design and argument.

Students attending the programme are expected to attend 100% of the classes. They are also expected to contribute to the intellectual vibrancy of the course by giving class presentations, participating in micro-teaching and generally preparing for and participating in the seminar discussions.

The assessment procedures contain varied formative and summative assessments. They include take home tasks, discursive essays, a reflective report, an oral presentation, a 2-hour exam and various research projects. Each module has more than one assessment form associated with it, so allowing students several opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities in the quality of their work. The assessment culminates in a dissertation proposal and a dissertation, an extended piece of individual research in an area of the student's choice. Over the duration of the course, students will write a combined total of approximately 18,000 words (excluding the exam and oral presentation) for their assignment plus 16,000 words (+--10%) for the dissertation.


Normally a good first degree in English language or other language-related study. Previous teaching experience is beneficial but not a pre-requisite. If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 7.

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

75 (Grade B)

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