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MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Our MA in TESOL is designed for those who would like to obtain a substantial postgraduate qualification in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
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Why choose this course?  

  • Gain an understanding of key principles and theories underlying a variety of approaches to language learning/teaching from both macro and micro perspectives   
  • Opportunity to analyse a range of spoken and written data using key linguistic concepts and models.


Duration: Full-time: 12 months. Part-time: 2-3 years

Start date(s):
October  

Distance learning available:
No

Intake:
Approximately 15 per year

Entry requirements: A good UK Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) in English or a related discipline or an overseas degree recognised by Aston University, plus two references.

International students whose native language is not English and have not completed a full degree programme taught in English, will need to obtain: An overall IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 7.0  in writing and speaking, and minimum 6.0 in listening and reading.

Fees for 2014/2015*: 
UK/ EU: £4,700 
Non-EU: £13,000 
*These figures have not been confirmed, but they are expected to be approximately as stated. Part-time students pay a pro-rata version of full-time fees. 

Application: We recommend that overseas students apply before the end of June due to visa requirements as these can take a few weeks to process.

Apply for this course online

Our MA in TESOL is designed for those who would like to obtain a substantial postgraduate qualification in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). It is suitable both for those early in their professional lives (who may have little or no teaching experience), as well as those who are experienced teachers.

Sample module options

The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change.

Core modules:
Number of credits: 20
 

Module Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students are expected to have knowledge and understanding of: key issues in lesson planning and preparation; principles and implementation of classroom procedures, activities, techniques; evaluation of language learning and language teaching; variety of aspects of classroom practice.

Module Content: This module will enable the students to gain practical skills in teaching. Areas covered will include: Classroom interaction and discourse, Classroom management, Teaching skills, Teaching grammar and lexis, Observing language classrooms, Classroom research, Language awareness.

Method of Learning and Teaching

Microteaching sessions will incorporated into the module during Weeks 5-8

You will get a chance to do two microteaching sessions. You will be required to produce a lesson plan for each lesson that you teach. You will also observe your peers’ lessons and be encouraged to reflect on own as well as peers’ lessons during post-observation feedback sessions led by a tutor.

There will be guided sessions and group work to prepare lessons and lesson material in class. Feedback on teaching practice will be held as a group and individually where appropriate.

Method of Assessment:

50 % of the assessment involves evaluation of microteaching (second session).

50 % of the assessment involves a closed-book written exam.

Essential Reading:

Bailey, K. and Nunan, D. (eds.) 1996.  Voices from the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Brown, H. 2000. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching.3rd. Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall Regents.
Edge, J. and Garton, S. 2009. From Experience to Knowledge in ELT. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gower, R., D. Phillips and S. Walters. 1995. Teaching Practice Handbook. Macmillan ELT
Harmer, J. 2007.The Practice of English Language Teaching.Pearson Longman.
Scrivener, J. 2005.Learning Teaching Heinemann
Thornbury, S. 1997.About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English. Cambridge University Press
Thornbury, S. 2006. Grammar.Oxford University Press.
Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching.Cambridge University Press.
Willis, J. and Willis, D. (eds.) 1996.Challenge and Change in Language Teaching. Oxford: Heinemann.

Number of credits: 10
 

Module Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students are expected to have knowledge and understanding of: key issues in lesson planning and preparation; principles and implementation of classroom procedures, activities, techniques; evaluation of language learning and language teaching; variety of aspects of classroom practice.

Module Content: This module will enable the students to gain practical skills in a peer-peer teaching environment.  Areas covered will include: learning a language, teaching grammar, deductive vs inductive approaches to teaching, classroom skills, teaching listening skills, teaching reading skills, teaching speaking skills, teaching writing skills, teaching vocabulary.

Method of Learning and Teaching

Input sessions in the form of 8 two-hour workshops (Weeks 14 and 15)

Microteaching in Weeks 16-19

Preparation for Research Project presentations Weeks 20-21 (no classes)

Research Project presentations Week 22

For the microteaching element each participant will be required to produce a lesson plan for each lesson that they teach. Each participant will also be required to observe peers’ lessons and be encouraged to reflect on own as well as peers’ lessons during post-observation feedback sessions led by a tutor.

There will be guided sessions and group work to prepare lessons and lesson material. Feedback on teaching practice will be held as a group and individually where appropriate.

Method of Assessment:

75 % of the assessment involves evaluation of microteaching practice (all the four sessions will be used to calculate the average)

25 % of the assessment will involve an oral presentation. This will be in the form of a research project, with the focus to be agreed by the tutor.

Essential Reading:

Bailey, K. and Nunan, D. (eds.) 1996.  Voices from the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Brown, H. 2000. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. 3rd. Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall Regents.
Gower, R., D. Phillips and S. Walters. 1995. Teaching Practice Handbook. Macmillan ELT
Harmer, J. 2007. The Practice of English Language Teaching.Pearson Longman.
Scrivener, J. 2005. Learning Teaching Heinemann
Thornbury, S. 1997. About Language: Tasks for Teachers of English. Cambridge University Press
Thornbury, S. 2006. Grammar. Oxford University Press.
Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.
Willis, J. and Willis, D. (eds.) 1996. Challenge and Change in Language Teaching. Oxford: Heinemann.

Number of credits: 20
 

Module Learning Outcomes: Students will be introduced to key research relating to second language acquisition, and principles relating to classroom procedures, activities, and techniques. They will develop their understanding of teacher talk and the analysis of classroom data.

Module Content: The following topics will be discussed:

Methodology and the Classroom
Communication in the classroom
Teaching and learning grammar and vocabulary
Teaching and learning language skills
Correction and assessment

Method of Learning and Teaching: There will be lectures and seminars for 2 hours a week over one 12-week teaching period. There will also be guided individual and pair/group tasks and presentations, as well as study and discussion of printed and video materials.

Method of Assessment: There are three assessment tasks for this module:

  1. Presentation (25%) (1,000 words equivalent). Presentation on an aspect of classroom pedagogy.

  2. Summary writing (25%) (1,000 words equivalent). Summaries, in candidate’s own words, of 4 relevant research articles/chapters.

  3. Project (50%) (2,000 words equivalent). A critical evaluation of an area of language teaching pedagogy.

Essential Reading

Richards, J. and Renandya, W. 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching. CUP
Scrivener, J. 2005. Learning Teaching.  Macmillan

 

Number of credits: 20

Module content: This module covers two key areas of TESOL: materials evaluation, adaptation and development and syllabus design and evaluation.  

The module covers the following topics:

  • course design;

  • holistic approaches to syllabus design;

  • lexical approaches to syllabus design;

  • needs analysis, objectives and course evaluation;

  • approaches to materials analysis;

  • syllabus and course book materials;

  • authenticity and natural language;

  • electronic materials;

  • the management of change.

Assessment: Assessment is via two written assignments of 2,000 words each.

Assignment 1 (50%) students prepare a set of materials for a particular class and write up the rationale for their materials.  (to be submitted on the Friday of week 20)

Assignment 2 (50%) students evaluate an existing course or a strand of a syllabus with reference to the relevant literature (to be submitted on the Wednesday of week 25).

Essential Reading

Graves, K. 1997 Teachers as Course Developers  CUP.

McGrath, I. 2002. Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Nation, I.S.P. and Macalister, J. 2010. Language Curriculum Design. Abingdon: Routledge

Richards J. 2000. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching Cambridge: CUP.

Tomlinson, B. (ed). 2011. Materials Development in Language Teaching. 2nd edition  Cambridge:  CUP.

Number of credits: 20 

Module content: This module aims to introduce students to context-based understanding of written and spoken discourse. It will provide students with a grounding in the major theories and methodologies of discourse analysis, and provide practical experience of their application. It will enable students to make informed methodological choices when conducting their own analyses.

The module will provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of text analysis, beginning with a consideration of the nature of ‘text’ and ‘discourse’, and of differences between written and spoken text. We will then look at some of the key traditions and approaches to discourse analysis, such as genre and register, systemic functional grammar, pragmatics, conversation analysis and critical discourse analysis. These approaches will be applied to the analysis of spoken and written discourse in a variety of contexts such as classroom interaction, cross-cultural communication and media discourse.

Method of Assessment: Research project of 4000 words, chosen by the student from a selection of set topics. (100%)

Indicative Reading:
Caldas-Coulthard, C. and Coulthard, M. (eds) (1996) Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.

Carter, R., Goddard, A., Reah, D., Sanger. K, & Bowring, M. (2008). Working with Texts: A Core Introduction to Language Analysis. London: Routledge

Coulthard, M. (ed). (1994) Advances in Written Text Analysis. London: Routledge.

Grundy, P. (2008 edn) Doing Pragmatics. London: Hodder Education

The module extends students’ knowledge of English grammar and lexis as applied to speech and writing. In considering written grammar, extensive reference will be made to functional grammar. In considering spoken grammar, extensive reference will be made to Carter and McCarthy’s Cambridge Grammar of English.

Specifically the module introduces grammatical terms and definitions (what is a ‘word’, within and beyond the word - morphology and beyond the level of the segment, through to phrase and clause level and the notion of the ‘sentence’).

The module explores the relationship between lexicosyntax and semantics, (ideology, metaphor, loanwords, lexical variations, variations in lexis variations in grammar, global English, gender, language variety, dialect, ethnicity); explores beyond the sentence (discourse analysis) and explores grammar and applications (lexicography, pedagogy, translation).

Method of Assessment:  

Assessment is in the form of 2 written assignments of 2000 words (excluding appendices).

Assignment one (50%) is due on Friday week 11

Assignment two (50%) is due Friday week 18.

Students will demonstrate their ability to design, conduct and report the results of a research project in the subject domain relevant to their Master programme. They will work independently, under the guidance of a supervisor. Preparing a Masters dissertation is a complex exercise which will strengthen and test various subject-specific and transferable research skills, including research methodology and academic writing.

Method of Assessment: Master Dissertation of 15,000 words to be submitted on completion of the programme (usually 30 September).

» Research Methods

Modules are delivered via a variety of innovative and engaging teaching methods.   You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials.  There are also opportunities for classroom teaching and observation, as well as for individual research.


All assessment is by written assignment, except for Teaching in Practice where assessment involves a series of teaching practice sessions and a short oral presentation on an area of interest within your own classroom practice, experienced during the Teaching in Practice module.
 

The taught element of the course is complemented by a substantial piece of research leading to the completion of a dissertation in a student’s particular area of interest.


Graduates of the TESOL programmes work as teachers in TESOL all over the world.
You will have access to:
  • Our Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – to support your studies, including Blackboard discussion groups
  • The University Library, including over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals.  The library has special provision in place to help part time and distance learning students access their resources: www.aston.ac.uk/lis/studentinfo/parttime
  • University wide facilities such as the Careers Service, Students’ Advice Centre, Students’ Jobshop, Counselling Service, Sports Facilities, and Chaplaincy.


PhD (Applied Linguistics); MSc (Teaching English), both Aston University; RSA DOTE (Diploma for Overseas of English); BA (English Language & Literature), Hacettepe University

''The MA in TESOL Studies is unique as it enables you to put theory into practice through real classroom experience. It provides a multi-cultural learning environment.''

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Natalia Kalenova

MA TESOL Studies

I was attracted to the MA in TESOL Studies at Aston because of the ‘Teaching in Practice’ module, which helped me to gain confidence and to learn new ways of teaching. In order to get a job it is essential that you have experienced teaching at a variety of levels. I'm currently working as a TESOL teacher at an Asylum and Refugee House.

 

Fees & funding

Fees & funding

Find out about tuition fees and funding for Postgraduate Study.

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries

Accommodation

Accommodation

Student support - we're with you all the way

Student support - we're with you all the way

We offer a range of support services to ensure your time here is a success in academic, social and personal terms.

International students

International students

Aston offers a world-class education and is home to students from over 120 countries.

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Staff Profile

Staff Profile

Dr Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton

Programme Director

Nur has been working at Aston since 1994, managing, developing, and teaching on a range of programmes including EAP, communication skills, and teacher education programmes both on-campus and distance learning.

 

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research