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MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Develop a strong conceptual understanding of the fundamental theories and key principles of language education as well as a critical awareness of key national and international issues at the forefront of TESOL.

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    Covid-19 - TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Essential Information

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    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time, 2 Years Part-Time
    Start Dates: September 2021
    Subjects: Education and Teaching
    Location: Edge Hill University

    TESOL is an acronym for both the study and practice of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. TESOL embraces many different aspects of language teaching and learning to include EAL (English as an Additional Language), ESL (English as a Second Language), EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

    The MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a UK-based academic Masters degree that is designed to develop existing professional skills. It is suitable for home, EU and international participants who have classroom experience of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The programme will engage you in the critical analysis of contemporary discussion and debate surrounding the teaching of English in a variety of global contexts. It is not an English language or teacher training course.

    If you are passionate about teaching English to speakers of other languages and want to deepen your knowledge, understanding and practical skills in language learning and education, then this is the programme for you.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    The MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) will expand your understanding of contemporary theory in English language teaching as well as enhancing your professional, practical and reflective skills. The modules are designed to advance your research skills and help you strengthen the links between theoretical perspectives and effective TESOL practice.

    You will be able to choose your own focus of study through the combination of compulsory and optional modules. The core modules focus on educational theories in the context of second language learning, important recent research and developments in language teaching, and the needs of the learner within the ESL classroom.

    Whilst studying on the programme you may develop a particular interest in areas such as the educational management of TESOL, the key issues faced by both international students and educators of international students, or teaching English as a second/foreign/additional language to young learners or those with specific learning difficulties. You will have the opportunity to specialise in one of these areas by selecting an optional module.

    How will I study?

    Our teaching methods follow a variety of formats from traditional-style lectures to tutorials, seminars and workshops. Teaching materials are accessible via our virtual learning environment and will include regular formative tasks for you to work through with the help of an assigned academic tutor. You will also engage in individually-directed activities, tailored to your personal and professional interests and needs, in preparation for module assessment.

    How will I be assessed?

    Summative assessment is based mainly on a portfolio-building approach. You will also be engaged in writing reflective accounts, projects, essays and an extended research study based on your personal professional interests. You will be given clear assessment criteria and constructive feedback for each piece of work.

    Formative assessment opportunities are also embedded in each module, where you will receive individual feedback on in-session tasks and selected drafts of your work.

    Who will be teaching me?

    The programme is delivered by experienced and well-qualified staff, the majority of whom will have worked in TESOL-related environments. Other tutors will bring TESOL-relevant experience from other education institutions. Many tutors are currently studying for, or have already gained, a PhD and possess strong research profiles, with experience presenting at many conferences nationally and internationally.

    A Great Study Environment

    Four students watch footage on a mobile phone while studying in the Catalyst building.The Language Centre is located on the ground floor of the new £6m Law and Psychology building. The three-storey building includes a 265-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning.

    The facilities include a dedicated language laboratory with 16 computer stations, a reading corner and work space. The language laboratory is used for teaching and also as a self-study facility, enabling you to participate in language learning activities in 15 different languages.

    You can also access the EAP Toolkit, an online learning resource which provides practice opportunities in academic writing, reading, critical thinking, listening, note-taking, communication, vocabulary and grammar.


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    MTE4000Theories of Second Language Education (30 credits)

    Theories of Second Language Education is focused on the issues of educational theories in the context of second language learning. You will have the opportunity to critically evaluate and review general theories of language education, to consider the implications of these theories for second or additional language learning and teaching, and to appreciate the development and relationship of different theoretical accounts of the second language acquisition process.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4001Practical Knowledge of TESOL (30 credits)

    Practical Knowledge of TESOL examines the relationship between theoretical perspectives of TESOL and a range of TESOL teaching practices. You will have an opportunity to develop a thorough understanding and critical awareness of important recent research and developments in language teaching approaches and methods, consider the core elements associated with successful practice in TESOL classrooms from both a theoretical and practical perspective, and reflect critically on your own teaching experiences.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4002TESOL Syllabus and Material Development (30 credits)

    TESOL Syllabus and Material Development is focused on the relationship between theory, practice and the needs of the learner within the ESL classroom. You will have an opportunity to compare the different variations of the most common English language teaching goals, namely, English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP), English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP). You will explore each of these areas and critically evaluate a number of different teaching methods, such as discourse-based, lexicogrammar-based, function-notional-based, skills-based and content-based learning. Furthermore, you will critically evaluate recognised language learning teaching materials (e.g. Language Leader and Headway) and identify the purpose behind each activity in preparation for designing your own syllabus and developing TESOL materials.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4007Researching TESOL (60 credits)

    Researching TESOL provides you with a thorough and rigorous theoretical and practical insight into an area of TESOL theory or practice through your engagement with a research project based on your individual interests and experience in the field. This module will enhance your research skills and enable you to utilise your previous academic learning and practical experiences in TESOL to culminate in the presentation of your findings.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    You will select one of the following modules:

    MTE4003Educational Management of TESOL (30 credits)

    Educational Management of TESOL involves a thorough and rigorous theoretical and practical insight into an area of TESOL management through the extensive exploration of practical educational management problems that exist within your own organisation. Your critical engagement with issues related to a specific organisational TESOL environment and infrastructure will help you to further develop an understanding of capacity building, resource management, financial management and general management skills. You will gain an appreciation of the steps needed to become compliant with external governing bodies (e.g. UKVI, BALEAP and British Council accreditation). Issues such as conducting effective observations, peer observations, and understanding the principles behind setting up in-service training will also be explored.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4004TESOL and International Education (30 credits)

    TESOL and International Education allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of the key issues faced by both international students and educators of international students through the exploration of curriculum settings, teaching materials and the relationship between language and culture. The module focuses specifically on intercultural communication, barriers to communication, globalisation and English as a world language. Topics such as social and political issues in English language education will be investigated as well as the, often conflicting, views of researchers and TESOL educators. The balance of power within the classroom will be critically examined, international student adjustment issues will be identified, and an evaluation of successful support interventions with regards to ensuring cultural continuity will be discussed.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4005TESOL and Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (30 credits)

    TESOL and Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties is focused on TESOL learners with SpLD, exploring not only difficulties in literacy but also the wider spectrum of potentially associated conditions, such as dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder and autistic spectrum disorders that affect the normal acquisition of language systems, including phonology, grammar (syntax and morphology), semantics and pragmatics. The module considers theoretical approaches to understanding and assessment of SpLD in TESOL learners, as well as approaches to intervention to remediate their effects on the second language learning. The themes of diversity and inclusion will run throughout the module and key theories. Policy developments and practices relating to equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to TESOL learners with SpLD will be also explored, from both national and international perspectives.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    MTE4006TESOL and Young Learners (30 credits)

    TESOL and Young Learners is concentrated on the relationship between theory and practice within the ESL classroom. You will have an opportunity to compare different theories, question assumptions and investigate the positive contributions to the young learners (YL) classroom as well as critically examine any negative implications that these theories pose upon the YL ESL classroom for children aged 3-16 years. You will also gain a basic overview of first and second language acquisition and development in children, further explore how learning can be maximised through games, songs and authentic materials, and critically examine each of these resources with the aim of deciding the criteria for selecting age and level-appropriate materials. A comparison between teacher-centred and child-centred learning methods will take place, allowing you to make fully informed decisions surrounding the development of age appropriate language learning activities.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.


    You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a field related to Language, English or Education. You should also have two years or more of relevant TESOL experience. If you have less than two years teaching experience, you will be considered if you have an outstanding academic record in a relevant field and can demonstrate insight into language learning and teaching.

    In addition to an academic reference, the University also requires a statement from a referee who oversaw your teaching duties at the institution or organisation where your TESOL experience has taken place. This reference should be submitted directly by the referee (i.e. the statement should not be forwarded to us on their behalf).

    English Language Requirements

    International students require IELTS 7.0, with a score no lower than 6.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

    If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    You will graduate ready to contribute academically and professionally to the rapidly changing world of international English language education.

    The range of professional skills developed through the programme will ensure you are well placed to find employment all over the world, as a teacher, trainer, lecturer, instructor, administrator or director of study within language schools, colleges of further education, universities or organisations such as the British Council. Alternatively, you may wish to consider embarking on MPhil or doctoral research.


    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees for full-time study on this MA are £5,580 for UK students and £13,500 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22. Exemptions apply for EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, who may be eligible for the UK full-time tuition fee rate.

    Tuition fees for part-time study on this MA are £31 per credit for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22, i.e. £620 per 20 credit module. 180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree. EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK part-time tuition fee rate.

    The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

    Financial Support

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2021/22, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2021/22 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradfinance2021.

    EU students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

    Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


    How to Apply

    There is an online application process for this programme.

    Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

    Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect for more information about the application process.

    Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applydirect to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

    Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

    Visit Us

    If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

    Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

    Request a Prospectus

    If you would like to explore our full range of taught Masters degrees, Masters by Research degrees and MBA awards before you apply, you can order a postgraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/postgradprospectus.

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

    International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    15th January 2019 - Change to Entry Requirements

    IELTS entry requirements revised to 7.0 with no element less than 6.5.

    Covid-19 - TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Essential Information

    TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Course Statement

    Weekly delivery to consist of six hours of on-site teaching per week for full-time or three hours of on-site teaching per week for part-time students, supported by two hours of online learning per week comprising synchronous (seminar, tutorial) and asynchronous (discussion board, review of resources) learning activities and academic support.

    Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

    Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.