MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (web-based learning)

Lancaster has a world-wide reputation for excellence in research on language teaching and second language acquisition. Staff members Luke Harding, Judit Kormos, and Diane Potts have led and contributed to numerous national and international projects in the field of foreign and second language teaching and learning. They have also authored a number of well-known and popular books and articles on language teaching methodology and the study of second language acquisition. The director of studies of this program, Dr. Judit Kormos, received the university’s prestigious Pilkington Award for setting up this program and was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship for the major innovations she carried out in distance teaching and learning.

The Lancaster ELT 'brand' is widely recognised by employers throughout the world as a mark of quality. Many former Lancaster MA TESOL students are now in leading language teaching positions in their home institutions in many parts of the world, as well as in Ministries of Education, curriculum development centres, research posts, and so on. See what our former students say.

Our web-based MA TESOL programme is designed to build on our many years of experience of offering our very successful face-to-face on-campus MA TESOL programme, and mirrors it closely in terms of structure, content and methods of study, incorporating a new assessed research methods module which acts as link between the taught modules and the dissertation phase. The difference is that you do not have to leave your workplace to pursue your studies in Lancaster. It offers you the opportunity for part-time distance learning and for basing your coursework and dissertation on issues and problems in your own educational context.

See the video below for an overview of the MA TESOL web based learning program, including a tour of our virtual learning environment.

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Aims

  • To provide a thorough introduction to academic research and thinking of relevance to TESOL.
  • To identify issues of contemporary interest in the field of TESOL, and develop enlightened attitudes towards them.
  • To develop expertise in handling applied linguistic procedures for conducting evidence-based enquiry within the field of TESOL.

Structure

The programme is entirely web-based. The course begins in late September, with an orientation session conducted on the Internet. This familiarises you with the requirements of the programme and of web-based learning, and also introduces you to your tutors and fellow students.

There are five taught modules, taken in this order:

  • Second Language Acquisition (October-December, Year 1)
  • Communicative Pedagogical Grammar (January - March, Year 1)
  • Trends and Issues in Language Teaching Methodology (April - June, Year 1)
  • Curriculum Design and Teacher Development in Language Education (October - December, Year 2)
  • Second Language Classroom Research (January - March, Year 2)

Each module is completed within a 10-week period and assessed by a 5,000 word assignment. The final component of the course (from April, Year 2 - September, Year 2) involves a dissertation of 15,000 words, on an area of research relevant to your own teaching context. Study throughout all of the modules and the dissertation component is comprehensively supported by members of the Lancaster teaching staff, through supervised web-based group discussions and individual academic supervision.

Mode of Study

The program is based on the latest pedagogical principles in distance education and web-based learning and teaching and employs a wide variety of technological tools to enhance students’ learning experience.

The modules in the course are built upon each other and aim to equip teachers with up-to-date knowledge and skills to work in a variety of language teaching contexts. Each module consists of 9 units and students work on one module per academic term over the course of 10 weeks with a reading week in the middle of the module. 

The modules provide ample opportunities for interaction between students, tutors and the learning materials and encourage students to become reflective practitioners of their profession. Accordingly, each unit within a module follows the pattern of the reflective cycle, in which first students draw on their existing experiences, reflect on their current practices, attitudes, preconceptions and the context they work in. This is followed by an input-phase during which new ideas and relevant background information are presented in online lectures and reading materials easily accessible through the university’s online library tools. In each unit students also perform a series of tasks in which they apply the knowledge they gained either in the form of individual work or in collaboration with other students. Tutors provide both detailed individual and group feedback on students’ contributions and are available for consultation in online office hours.

Key Facts

Director of Studies: Dr. Judit Kormos

Programme length: part-time (24 months, October start)

Audience: TESOL professionals and others wishing to gain an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of the field.

Assessment: Coursework and dissertation

Enquiries: Elaine Heron

Application Deadline: The next course to run will be cohort 4, September 2014. We are happy to receive applications for this cohort, our deadline for applications is 30th of June 2014.  

Funding: see department funding opportunities.

Entry requirements:

Academic: upper-second class degree or higher or equivalent, in a relevant specialism (language studies or linguistics-oriented ones preferred)

Experience: Foreign language teaching experience of two or more years

English language level: (for applicants whose native language is not English)

Our official requirement for IELTS is a score of at least 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in the reading and writing elements and 6.0 in the listening and speaking elements.

The University also accepts internet-based (iBT) TOEFL scores of at least 93 overall (with at least 24 in the reading and writing elements and 22 in the listening and speaking elements), and Pearson Test of English Academic scores of at least 62 overall (with at least 62 in the reading and writing elements and 55 in the listening and speaking elements). Please see the TOEFL.org and Pearson PTE Academic pages for more information.

If applicants have taken any of these exams in the last two years we can accept their test scores; otherwise we ask that they take the exam again. If, however, they have done their undergraduate studies in Britain, the US or another English-medium educational system and have successfully completed their degree within the past two years they may not need to submit a test score.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What are the aims of the course?

This MA course is for experienced TESOL professionals such as teachers, teacher trainers, language school directors, curriculum developers, lecturers and materials writers. The program is entirely web-based and provides a thorough introduction to academic research and thinking of relevance to language learning and teaching.

 

2. What is the content of the course?

The programme consists of 5 modules and a dissertation. The modules are:

  • Second Language Acquisition (October-December, Year 1)
  • Communicative Pedagogical Grammar (January - March, Year 1)
  • Trends and Issues in Language Teaching Methodology (April - June, Year 1)
  • Curriculum Design and Teacher Development in Language Education (October - December, Year 2)
  • Second Language Classroom Research (January - March, Year 2)

Each module is completed within a 10-week period and assessed by a 5,000 word assignment.

The final component of the course (from April, Year 2 - September, Year 2) involves a dissertation of 15,000 words, on an area of research relevant to your own teaching context.

Study throughout all of the modules and the dissertation component is comprehensively supported by members of the Lancaster teaching staff, through supervised web-based group discussions and individual academic supervision.

 

3. How is the course taught?

The taught modules consist of a number of units (generally 8 to 10) that simulate the lecture + seminar/workshop format that is found in face-to-face teaching in our department. The participants work on one module per academic term, over the course of six terms. The modules are designed for postgraduate, post-experience participants, and include content which is of relevance to their own professional sphere of operation. Input material introduces appropriate themes, approaches and theories and these are supplemented by tasks representing authentic challenges in language teaching and seeking to develop particular aspects of the participants' competence.

Each unit of a module occupies one week and a typical timetable for a module is as follows:

Unit Unit Title Start Date
Unit 1 Overview of language learning processes, comparison of first and second language acquisition 10th October
Unit 2 Linguistic analyses in second language acquisition 17th October
Unit 3 The linguistic environment for second language acquisition 24th October
Unit 4 Cognitive theories of second language learning 31st October
Unit 5 Motivation in language learning
7th November
- Reading Week 14th November
Unit 6 The role of age in language learning 21st November
Unit 7 Social aspects of language learning
28th November
Unit 8 Individual differences in language learning: Affective factors 5th December
Unit 9 Individual differences in language learning: Cognitive factors 12th December

Students need to be prepared to spend between 5 to 8 hours per week on course readings and tasks. Where possible, they should also plan to be available online during our regular ten week term times.

Participants carry out tasks individually or in small groups, communicating with one another and their tutor by means of module-specific discussion sites. There is a balance between independent learning opportunities and group endeavours, as participants need to develop both self-sufficiency and the ability to learn from their peers.

These activities are complemented by guided dissertation work, where participants design and carry out their own project whilst benefiting from regular opportunities to receive input and feedback. They begin their dissertation work during the sixth module, which is dedicated to research issues and techniques, and they continue for eight months after the completion of their sixth module. It is during this process that applicants can test their own aptitude and disposition for doctoral research, if this is of interest.

 

4. How is the course assessed?

Each module is assessed via a 5000-word assignment (20 credits each), which is tailored to complement participants' job demands.

The dissertation is 15,000 words in length (80 credits) and students are supervised via computer-mediated communication.

 

5. Who are the course tutors?

The tutors on the course are Luke Harding, Judit Kormos, and Diane Potts.

 

6. When does the course begin and how long does it last?

The programme starts in September of Year 1 and runs over 2 years, ending in October of Year 2.

 

7. What are the fees?

For confirmation of the current tuition fees please see Postgraduate Fees & Funding.

The MA in TESOL by Distance is a two-year part-time programme. Please note that the fee for the second year might be slightly higher, since fees are increased on an annual basis.

 

8. When are fees payable?

The university normally send an invoice for the first half of the programme once it has started, in October, and an invoice for the second half of the course at the beginning of the second year.  However, if it is more convenient for funders, they can send out invoices as soon as the student has confirmed that they are accepting the offer to study on the MA and have completed the registration process. Invoices are usually sent out by post but they can be faxed as well if this is preferred. You will need to provide the address to which the invoice should be sent, the fax number, and the reference number.

 

9. Can fees be paid in installments?

Yes, it is possible to pay in 2 equal instalments each year.

 

10. What are the language requirements?

Our official requirement for IELTS is a score of at least 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in the reading and writing elements and 6.0 in the listening and speaking elements.

The University also accepts internet-based (iBT) TOEFL scores of at least 93 overall (with at least 24 in the reading and writing elements and 22 in the listening and speaking elements), and Pearson Test of English Academic scores of at least 62 overall (with at least 62 in the reading and writing elements and 55 in the listening and speaking elements). Please see the TOEFL.org and Pearson PTE Academic pages for more information.

If applicants have taken any of these exams in the last two years we can accept their test scores; otherwise we ask that they take the exam again. If, however, they have done their undergraduate studies in Britain, the US or another English-medium educational system and have successfully completed their degree within the past two years they may not need to submit a test score.

 

11. Is there any residential requirement?

No.

 

12. How do I apply?

The next course to run will be cohort 4, September 2014. We are happy to receive applications for this cohort, our deadline for applications is 30th of June 2014.  

If you are interested in applying please go to the following website www.postgraduate.lancs.ac.uk and follow the instructions. If you have any queries please contact our Faculty PG Admissions team:

Postgraduate Admissions
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
LANCASTER
LA1 4YL

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880
Fax: +44 (0)1524 510857
Email:  fass-pg-admissions@lancaster.ac.uk

For more details about how to apply please see our General Application Advice.

 

 

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