Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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How to Apply

Develop your TESOL career prospects with our MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

  • One of the few TESOL programmes in the UK which incorporates a placement component
  • Designed for both experienced teachers and those with little or no teaching experience
  • Blends the theory of language and linguistics teaching with practical skills development

“Since completing the course in 2011 I have taught EFL with Young Learners and adults on short courses in the UK, Austria, Italy, Poland, Switzerland as well as a year abroad in China.”
– Rachel Grove, MA TESOL, graduated 2011

Why study Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)?

We aim to develop confident, well informed, resourceful language teaching practitioners who are capable of designing and teaching comprehensive language programmes. You’ll extend your knowledge base by engaging in independent research into your own practice and setting.

We recognise and value professional, cultural and life experiences; you’ll develop and explore these experiences during the programme. This will enhance your professional knowledge and understanding through reflection, aided by theoretical input and practical application.

Context specific professional development is an important element in the programme. We prepare you to return to your previous work context, or even move to a new one, with an adaptable knowledge base for your particular setting.

Course structure

We’ll aid your understanding of the key theories and principles in TESOL, providing a balance of academic and professional content and experience. You’ll develop your ability in language analysis and understanding, as well as furthering your knowledge on how to incorporate this appropriately in class materials.

We have a flexible and supportive learning programme that develops your current understanding and knowledge in TESOL, while providing you with the necessary research and reflection skills to continue on your academic or professional career path.

Throughout the programme the amount of independent study gradually increases, both within and across modules, in order to build your confidence and self-reliance. As your future continuing professional development is also important to us, reflection, as a key skill, is interwoven into all modules to nurture your ability to continue learning beyond the MA TESOL.

Modules

The MA TESOL is available both full and part-time, and for international students there is a low residency option. There are two entry points in the year, September and February, with just one entry point in September for the low residency route.

  • Trimester 1 :
    In this first trimester your studies will include a mix of a practical and theoretical elements. You’ll have your first placement opportunity which you will be encouraged to reflect on in class. The development of your independent study skills begins in this trimester also.
  • Trimester 2 :
    We’ll continue developing your practical teaching skills through detailed discussion of relevant theories alongside your second placement. Your independence as a learner develops through being involved in leadership roles in weekly discussions on related theoretical topics. You’ll begin to prepare for your dissertation by strengthening your knowledge on research methodology and developing a dissertation proposal.
  • Trimester 3 :
    This trimester sees the culmination of the skills you’ve developed as you gather and analyse data, and write up this research in your dissertation.

Part time students follow the same sequence of modules, but do so over two years.

Course assessment

Assessment is built into each core module. There are no written exams. You’ll submit a portfolio of tasks which may include: oral presentations; reflection on module learning and teaching practice; essays; and analysis tasks. Assessment is supported by: discussions with tutors and colleagues; feedback on presentations and assignment drafts; journal reflections; and class activities.

Low-residency

We offer a low-residency option for international students. You will attend Bath Spa University twice a year for one or two intensive weeks of teaching input (usually September and January). This is followed by a period of study in which assignments are completed and submitted before the next face-to- face teaching block. There is no placement opportunity for this programme route. Completion of the MA TESOL will take one or two years depending on the number of modules taken during the face-to-face blocks.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) can be offered if you have successfully completed previous Level 6 or 7 modules at another university. We will require a full transcript from the awarding university. Applicants with a Cambridge ESOL Delta or a Trinity College London Diploma in TESOL (DipTESOL) gained within the last 6 years can receive 60 credits, equivalent to the credits from the first trimester, so can therefore join the programme in the second trimester.

It is also possible to gain accreditation for other kinds of professional development by compiling an independent study portfolio of professional development (APEL - Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning).

Teaching methods

You’ll be taught through lectures; seminars; workshops; directed classroom-based activities; and discussion. Peer-teaching opportunities, presentations and student led workshops are also employed throughout the programme. You’ll be given a dedicated tutor to support your development.

We encourage you to keep a journal during your placements, this enhances and supports reflection on your experiences. This aids continuation of discussions linking theory to practice which begin in class and continue throughout the programme on an individual self-reflection and peer reflection basis. Your fellow course participants are an important resource to draw on through shared experience and stories as you build a community of practice.

Staff / Tutors

Róisín Ní Mhocháin: Senior Lecturer in TESOL

Róisín is an experienced English language teacher and TESOL trainer. She has lived and worked in Ireland, UK, Libya, Japan, Slovakia, Portugal, UAE, Vietnam and Mexico.

She has worked in secondary level education as an English language teacher and also taught in private and higher education language centres. She has designed and taught on both initial and continuing teacher education courses for undergraduate, postgraduate and non-credit bearing awards. Her research interests are teacher and teacher trainer education, classroom language and interactional competence, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and the application of research to teacher training and the language classroom. She is pursuing a doctorate in Applied Linguistics.

The programme will also be supported by other tutors from the School of Education.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For all enquiries and details of how to apply please contact the CPD Administrator:

T: +44 (0)1225 875593

E: cpdadmin@bathspa.ac.uk

The Award Leader is Róisín Ní Mhocháin

Entry requirements

Students will typically have a good undergraduate degree (at least a 2:1) in an appropriate specialism from a recognised higher education institution. Teaching experience is welcome but not essential.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) can be offered if you have successfully completed previous Level 6 or 7 modules at another university. We will require a full transcript from the awarding university. Applicants with a Cambridge ESOL Delta or a Trinity College London Diploma in TESOL (DipTESOL) gained within the last 6 years can receive 60 credits, equivalent to the credits from the first trimester, so can therefore join the programme in the second trimester.  

It is also possible to gain accreditation for other kinds of professional development by compiling an independent study portfolio of professional development (APEL - Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning).

Students wishing to take the Independent Study module in the first trimester must supply evidence of teaching experience in the form of a letter from a past/current employer. The decision to allow a student to follow the independent study option will be taken by the Award Leader after discussion with the student and considering the evidence provided.

International students, whose first language is not English, are required to have a minimum language level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components.

In the UK a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to work with children and vulnerable adults. All course participants will need to complete the necessary paperwork before starting their placement for the programme. There is an additional fee required for this process.

Career opportunities

List of current alumni careers

Students who complete the MA TESOL will have many career opportunities including: English language teaching (general or specialised), language teacher trainer, materials writing, curriculum development, language textbook editor, Director of Studies/Assistant Director of Studies, PhD studies.

What students say...

Laura Jimenez Guaman, MA TESOL 2014-2015

Read her views on being a language teacher here.

Rachel Grove, MA TESOL, 2009-2011

Since completing the course in 2011 I have taught EFL with Young Learners and adults on short courses in the UK, Austria, Italy, Poland, Switzerland as well as a year abroad in China. I am now teaching EAL in Birmingham. The MA TESOL qualification has helped me tremendously and gives me credibility when talking about linguistics with my colleagues. I also have a strong work ethic which I developed whilst completing the Master’s course.

 

Stephen Cooke, MA TESOL, 2009-2011

Bath Spa University is in a convenient location on a lovely campus, it’s not too big and impersonal. The best part of the MA TESOL for me was having the opportunity to practise the teaching theories by teaching overseas undergraduates.Every door has been opened in my career since I completed the programme and I have been busy teaching English to speakers of other languages. My advice to others considering this programme is, ‘Do it!’