Teaching Languages (English) - MA

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Why study this course?

The course offers a global approach to the field of teaching languages. With our diverse and multilingual cohort, we adopt a strong intercultural approach that provides you with a challenging and valuable learning experience. The MA in Teaching Languages (English) is designed for teachers and language professionals as well as those with no teaching experience. The course ensures that you develop new ways of thinking and talking about language, language teaching, and language learning across different social and educational contexts.

More about this course

The Teaching Languages (English) MA course will deepen your understanding of the fundamental disciplinary areas of language pedagogy, linguistics and sociolinguistics, while also focusing on more specific theoretical and practical themes. These include key areas such as language awareness and the psychology of the classroom as well as specialist areas such as language testing.

The unique structure of the course will help develop your professional and academic interests through wide reading, guided discussion and supported research, encouraging you to develop the abilities necessary to become highly skilled and globally employable teachers, policy makers, educators and researchers.

In the Understanding the Language Classroom module, you’ll also have the opportunity to go on school observations to gain critical knowledge of English language teaching and the learning processes involved.

The lecturers teaching on the course have long-term experiences in teaching in different contexts, are research active and have publications in the subject area. Research topics have included the processes of second language learning and teaching and English as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language in higher education.

With its international orientation, the degree explores the sociocultural, political, economic, cultural, linguistic and other contexts in which the English language is learned, taught and used worldwide. It will enable you to become both more reflexive and reflective in your practice and encourages you to think of yourself as a global language professional with a strong contribution to make in the field.

Assessment

There are no exams. You’ll be assessed through a variety of methods including coursework, essays, presentations, research and a final dissertation.

Fees and key information

Course type Postgraduate
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a second class honours degree or above (in any subject)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

You can start from the PGDip phase or the MA phase if you have enough M-level credits accumulated in other institutions.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon
    • autumn semester

    This module focusses on key issues in language learning and teaching that are relevant to contemporary global classroom practice. It explores how pedagogical thinking has developed in different cultural contexts and how this influences teaching, and language teaching in particular.
    The module will extend students’ knowledge of cultural differences in the creation of methodologies, and approaches; of the different cultural status of teachers, and the role of the learner globally and the more specific considerations of curriculum, syllabus and teaching materials in world ELT classrooms. It introduces key concepts such as ‘culture’, ‘knowledge’, ‘learning’ and students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences as learners or teachers to evaluate their own knowledge and expertise and develop the analytical, critical and global perspective that is essential for their professional development.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon
    • spring semester

    This module examines the core concepts and common theoretical approaches to language testing and assessment. The module encourages students to evaluate their own language testing and assessment practices more reflectively and to consider the tests that are commonly used more critically. Students will discuss the common debates in the field of language testing and assessment and will explore English language tests in terms of their practicality, reliability, validity and authenticity. Evaluating and examining local and international language tests will allow the students to become familiar with the different types, purposes and objectives of language tests. By engaging students, the module provides opportunities to begin to design and develop English language tests that are useful in teachers’ everyday practice.
    The modules aims to:
    1) Introduce, analyse and evaluate the main theoretical issues and current debates on matters of testing English as a second/foreign language, including the differences between testing and assessment, formative and summative assessment
    2) Relate current theories and debates to students own national/professional language testing situation and every-day practices
    3) Provide students with opportunities to critically analyse language tests and their application in their own contexts
    4) Provide them with opportunities to begin to develop language tests that are appropriate, applicable and suitable for their teaching and assessment. 

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Students are encouraged to develop a general understanding of a range of different areas of linguistics, and to develop critical awareness and in-depth knowledge and understanding of at least two areas of linguistics. By examining the core concepts and theoretical principles of language and linguistics, students will be able to relate these to language teaching and learning.
    This module aims to

    • Introduce the technical terminology of linguistics and demonstrate how language awareness and knowledge of linguistics can help teachers in their language teaching

    • Develop students’ critical language awareness, deepen their knowledge of different areas of linguistics, and expand their disciplinary understanding so as to enhance their practice

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • autumn semester

    This module is designed to equip students with a critical and informed understanding of the complex ways in which language and languages are configured in societies around the world. The scope of the module is global. Students are encouraged to think critically about the sociolinguistic patterns of their own country and speech community, and to reflect upon how these have come about. Students are encouraged throughout to become active sociolinguistic observers and researchers as they go about their daily lives. Students will become aware of the patterns and principles which underlie language use, language choice, language planning, language attitudes and language policy. They will identify the core terminology and theoretical frameworks of sociolinguistics. They take a critical, informed view of issues surrounding the use and teaching of English worldwide and read about matters of language and language education in societies in order to develop responses to the problems.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module explores the range of approaches, methods and traditions in research in Applied Linguistics used. Both quantitative research design with associated issues of validity, reliability and sampling, and a wide range of qualitative approaches to research in language and language teaching are introduced. Students examine the issues surrounding the use of questionnaires as research tools and the uses of interviewing in qualitative socio-linguistic research. Students investigate current approaches, issues and debates in classroom research, with a particular focus on classroom observations. They explore issues and current approaches to collecting and analysing spoken language data as well as, more broadly, communication research.
    The main aim of this module is to prepare students for the Dissertation module that follows by giving them a solid grounding in both current research methodology in ELT and Applied Linguistics and the theoretical paradigms from which they arise and to understand, identify and evaluate different research methodologies.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester

    This module is a supervised but independent research study leading to a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation. It offers students the chance to explore a disciplinary topic that is of particular interest or relevance to themselves. Students can conduct Classroom Research on aspects of English language teaching and learning, or they can choose other relevant themes such as sociolinguistics, linguistics, literacy and oracy, educational cultures, or intercultural communication. Students draw on different data collection methodologies and use relevant paradigms in analysing their data.
    The module enables students to explore areas of interest and personal and/or professional relevance within a supported and supportive framework. It aims at stretching students’ own expectations of what they can achieve and develops their disciplinary knowledge and understanding as well as their confidence in working with disciplinary theory.
    Specifically it aims to:
    enable students to pursue an area of personal disciplinary interest in a way that demands rigorous analytical and critical thinking and which encourages them to push their own personal and professional boundaries
    challenge students to formulate fresh and original questions, undertake research that addresses them and provide persuasive and academically sustainable arguments to support them
    consolidate and develop students’ ability to critically review and make use of an extensive and appropriate bibliography in their own work
    develop students’ own understanding of the relationship between research, theory, practice and ‘real world’ problems
    develop students’ independence as self-directed and self-motivated professionals in problem posing and problem solving through the design, the undertaking and the writing about their research.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module is an investigation into the language classroom and into learner and teacher roles and interactions. It develops themes relating to how languages are learned, what motivates people to learn other languages and how best to support and develop learning in the classroom. It draws on students' own experiences of language learning or teaching and encourages them to reflect on the implications in developing their own practice as language teachers.
    Through language classroom observations students can become familiar with common practices in language teaching and learning and have the opportunity to develop a teacher-researcher’s perspective. The module introduces the participants to a range of theoretical consideration and practical implications of the recent developments in language teaching: theoretical debates that stretch their critical analysis of language learning and teaching processes; investigate what practical implications these debates have on classroom teaching and learning; provide them with an opportunity to evaluate and analyse learners' needs and find classroom solutions.

    Students are required to find an institution where they can observe 4 hours of English language tuition at any level.

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Modules:

  • Issues in language learning: an intercultural approach
  • Research methods
  • Language testing and assessment
  • MA dissertation
  • Patterns in global sociolinguistics
  • Linguistics and language teaching
  • Understanding the language classroom

What our students say

"The MA course in London was a life changing experience for me."

Katarzyna Turska

After the course

The MA offers opportunities for career advancement both in the UK and abroad. Most graduates find employment after completion of the MA, some returning to more senior positions in their previous employment, while others move into new areas such as school management or language advisory work. Some of our students continue with us to study at doctoral level.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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