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

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2 Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) Overview Teaching English to non-native English speakers requires skills beyond just knowing the language. Teachers must have specialised skills. They must be conversant in the methodologies for language teaching and possess the understandings, attitudes and values needed to support learners from non-english speaking backgrounds. The MA TESOL, offered by the University of Sunderland, UK in conjunction with the Hong Kong Management Association in Hong Kong via distance learning, aims to provide qualified, experienced teachers of English with the opportunity to update and broaden their theoretical knowledge of English and how language is learnt. It also allows people with little or no prior teaching experience to participate. The course simultaneously allows them to explore the many ways in which this language is taught to speakers of other languages internationally. It thus enhances the students academic knowledge and understanding and increases their repertoire of teaching methods enabling them to be more effective teachers, Heads of Department, Advisers or Inspectors. Is an MA in TESOL Right for You? The MA TESOL has been designed to enhance your practical skills through a knowledge of the theoretical aspects of the English Language classroom. The programme is ideal for teachers at any level of education: primary, secondary, university/college. It also includes a practical teaching module designed to cater for applicants with no prior teaching experience. You will be able to use the advanced qualification and specialised skills to enhance your professional and career development. Furthermore, the programme could equip you to take up a role in managing change in education or leading a department/school. Is the Distance Learning Mode Right for You? Nowadays teachers and educators in Hong Kong are faced with heavy teaching, administrative and extracurricular duties and find it difficult to spare the time to travel to and attend scheduled classes. The distance learning mode of this MA TESOL course has been specially designed to provide you with the flexibility and yet the academic rigor to make your learning experience attainable and rewarding. Learning Outcomes to be Expected Upon successful completion of the MA TESOL programme students will have: 1. demonstrated an in-depth knowledge and understanding of key concepts and theoretical frameworks in TESOL. 2. demonstrated a critical knowledge and understanding of issues relevant to TESOL internationally. 1

3 3. demonstrated abilities in a range of writing skills in various genres including reports and essays. 4. acquired the knowledge and critical understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods as relevant to TESOL research contexts. 5. acquired the knowledge and critical understanding of recent researched debates and issues relevant to TESOL. 6. acquired a wide-ranging knowledge and critical awareness of the theories of second/foreign language learning. 7. acquired the knowledge and awareness of a range of approaches to TESOL and related classroom techniques as used internationally. 8. acquired the knowledge and systematic understanding of linguistics as relevant for TESOL classrooms. 9. acquired an application of theoretical understandings to specific issues arising in English Language Learning and Teaching contexts they know well. 10. demonstrated their ability to synthesise the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the course to produce a sustained piece of independent practical and/or theoretical work in the form of a critically argued dissertation. Programme Structure The programme is divided into three successive stages and consists of six modules plus a dissertation: Postgraduate Certificate Stage: 3 Modules ELTM 08 LFTM 04 The Principles and Practice of English Language Teaching Linguistics for TESOL 20 credits 20 credits ELTM-07 L2 Practical Teaching 20 credits Postgraduate Diploma Stage: 3 Modules (1 core and 2 options) ELTM 03 Research Methods in Language Learning and Teaching (core module) 20 credits ELTM 06 Theories of Second/Foreign Language Learning (option module) 20 credits LFTM 03 Language, Culture and Power (option module) 20 credits LFTM-05 Corpus Linguistics and Leanguage Teaching (option module) 20 credits Masters Stage: Dissertation ELTM 05 TESOL Dissertation 60 credits (maximum 15,000 words) Students can exit the Programme with a Postgraduate Certificate if they have passed 60 credits successfully or with a Postgraduate Diploma if they have passed 120 credit. Students will receive their interim awards upon the approval of the Programme Assessment Board. Students cannot go on to the dissertation phase until they have passed both the certificate and diploma modules successfully. The successful completion of the above units (180 credits) leads to the award of the MA TESOL degree. 2

4 Admission Requirements The MA TESOL requires the completion of 6 modules and a dissertation To be eligible for admissions, you should have: * A recognized bachelor degree in any field, * An IELTS Level 6.5/TOEFL 575 or equivalent, * Under exceptional circumstances, applicants with other acceptable and comparable qualifications will also be considered * No prior teaching experience is required Postgraduate Certificate Stage 3 modules Postgraduate Diploma Stage 3 modules Masters Stage Dissertation (15,000 words) Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) Teaching and Learning in Distance Learning Mode The MA TESOL course is conducted via distance learning and there will be no faceto-face teaching. The MA TESOL team has developed a wide range of methods and strategies for teaching and assessing students on the programme. A key development has been the extensive use of WebCT in delivering the course content, supplementing the materials provided (e.g. with animated diagrams), and as a discussion forum for staff and students. During the first and second stages of the programme, this includes regular studentcentred discussions via a WebCT asynchronous discussion facility, overseen by a Sunderland tutor who provides feedback. Assessment strategies include essays, project work and the presentation of a poster. 3

5 Student Support The MA TESOL teaching team provides a strong support system to meet the needs of independent distance learning students. First of all, these students are required to have access to a PC and to the Internet as the content of the modules are made available via WebCT. Distance learning students have access to electronic journals and articles online. Students are also entitled to be registered for the library distance learning services. A student support network is organised to encourage students to communicate with each other by and through WebCT. In addition, online discussion groups are used not only as a teaching and learning method, but also as an additional student support mechanism. WebCT therefore functions to some extent as a substitute for face-to-face tutorials. Students are given the opportunity to ask their tutors questions about their modules or about the programme in general, and their fellow students can benefit from the responses given online. Tutors are accessible via and WebCT on a daily basis but students are advised that they can normally expect a response to their queries within 5 working days, or 2 days in the case of a more urgent query. During the period of time when the students are writing their dissertations, they have regular consultations with their tutors by letter, , fax and phone. Assessment Students will be assessed via their written assignments, project work and the Dissertation. There will not be any written examination. All assessments are set and marked by University of Sunderland academic staff. Duration The normal duration of the programme is 18 months but special permission may be granted to extend the completion date. Degree Award The degree award will be Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL). The degree awarded for the Hong Kong programme is the same as that for the home programme. Please also refer to Programme Structure for exit awards of Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma. 4

6 Organising Institutions in Hong Kong The programme is offered in Hong Kong by the Faculty of Education and Society of the University of Sunderland, UK in association with the Hong Kong Management Association. About the University of Sunderland and Faculty of Education and Society The University is an active learning community of over 12,000 students engaged on a range of high quality degrees, masters and doctoral award programmes. The University is committed to a continuous process of development, making it one of the most progressive seats of learning in the United Kingdom. According to the Guardian newspaper, the University of Sunderland is the Best New University in England (Guardian University Guide, May 2001 and the Best New University in the North East (Guardian University Guide, 2012). It was also the Student Experience Winner in 2010 (Times Higher Education Awards). The University of Sunderland s success in preparing its graduates for employment has been confirmed by official performance indicators. The Faculty of Education and Society is one of five faculties in the University. The faculty s programmes include a very wide range of subjects at levels up to Masters and PhD, including Foreign Languages, Early Childhood Studies, Foundation degrees in several subjects, and Initial Teacher Education programmes leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and Further and Higher Education Qualifications. About The Hong Kong Management Association The Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) is a non-profit-making incorporated body established in Over the past 50 years, the Association, with a mission to train and develop human resources, has been actively taking part in training tens of thousands of management personnel and professionals, thereby raising the standard of management and improving its quality in Hong Kong. As part of HKMA s deep commitment to providing opportunities to local executives and professionals for continuing development, the Association, in partnership with a number of prestigious overseas tertiary institutions, offers a series of programmes leading to Bachelor s, Master s and Doctoral Degrees in various areas of studies. The Programme Local Secretariat at the HKMA will take care of overall organisation of the programme, and will work with students to answer their questions as well as help solve their problems, throughout the learning process. The Faculty s courses and programmes have been judged by the QAA and OFSTED as being of very high quality. The academic staff also undertake a wide range of national and international research and consultancy. Nearly all students who wish to, gain posts on successful completion of their full time programmes, and the University is proud of this contribution to the education of the North-East. 5

7 Subject Synopsis ELTM08 LFTM04 ELTM07 ELTM03 ELTM06 LFTM03 LFTM05 ELTM05 The Principles and Practice of English Language Teaching (20 credits) In this module, students will examine how and why English is learnt/ taught internationally, reviewing a wide range of Language teaching methodologies and the theories of learning in which they are embedded. They will use this knowledge and understanding to critically review English Language Teaching methods internationally and in a context with which they are familiar. Linguistics for TESOL (20 credits) Beginning with an examination of the processes of language acquisition, and the relevance of psycholinguistics, this module explores linguistics theory and findings in the fields of grammar, phonetics and phonology, semantics and pragmatics. The module asks students to evaluate, compare and contrast the theories and findings, and analyse their applicability to a variety of social contexts. The module places special emphasis on the applications of the theory to the practice of the classroom. Students are expected to extract features of the theory that are relevant to their teaching context and discuss the aspects that might enhance their teaching of English to speakers of other languages. L2 Practical Teaching (20 credits) The module begins with analysing the techniques and procedures of various L2 teaching methods such as the Direct Method, the Audio-Lingual Method, Total Physical Response, Communicative Language Teaching, Task-based Approach, and Cooperative Learning. In the sessions which follow, different techniques for observing and analysing L2 classes will be discussed. The issues discussed on observation include different types of observation (structured and unstructured), the focus of observation, and ways of recording and analysing observation. Then techniques and procedures for teaching grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation will be explored and practised. These include applying inductive and deductive approaches, realia, word games, and the phonemic chart. There will also be a discussion on how to prepare lesson plans and what to include in them. Students are required to find an institution in their own context to teach there, to video-tape their teaching and to observe some English language classes in that institution. Research Methods in Language Learning and Teaching (20 credits) This module covers the methodology and design of a research project comparing qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. It analyses data collection methods (observation, interviews, surveys, questionnaires and action research) and data analysis methods (using databases and spreadsheets). It reviews classroom research traditions and practice, class and programme evaluation, and linguistics approaches to describing discourse (theory based and data-based, formal and functionalist). It can be considered as training for any TESOL/linguistics project and/or preparation for the MA dissertation. Theories of Second / Foreign Language Learning (20 credits) The module begins with an overview of the evaluative parameters for assessing theories in the field of second/foreign language learning. In the sessions which follow, each theory is elaborated on and critically evaluated against the concepts covered in the first session. In addition, the impact of these theories on the development of certain language teaching methods is also examined. Finally, the applications of the theories to TESOL classes and to the students contexts are discussed. This module can be considered as the theoretical underpinning of the teachers experience and practice. Language, Culture and Power (20 credits) An examination of the relationships between language, culture and power, identifying hegemonic forces as they are manifested in language in use - with a concentration upon the examination of the theoretical basis for the more focused work which follows, and a consideration of sociolinguistic approaches to issues of language and culture. Topics selected for closer examination include: language and gender; the discourses of politics; English as a world language; language, race and identity. Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching (20 credits) The module offers an introduction to the exciting and rapidly developing field of corpus linguistics, designed for teachers of English as a second or foreign language. The first part of the module provides an overview of the field together with an introduction to a range of corpus-analytical techniques and approaches: students will become familiar with different types of corpora, and learn the fundamentals of corpus-based and corpus-driven research (core concepts include collocation, colligation, semantic prosody and lexical keyness). The second part considers the pedagogical applications of corpus linguistics from the perspective of the teacher (e.g. in syllabus design and providing support for teachers explanations) and the learner (in relation to data/discovery driven learning). This is very much a practical module, with great emphasis placed on the acquisition of the skills needed for corpus construction and analysis. TESOL Dissertation (60 credits) Based on project titles negotiated during the second stage of the programme, students will work independently but with support and directive guidance from an agreed tutor and will apply knowledge, skills and experience developed earlier in the MA programme by undertaking a substantial piece of research based on primary sources. Topics may include those related to classroom practice and language in use but must have a theoretical as well as a practical basis. The length of the Dissertation should be no more than 15,000 words.

8 How to Apply To apply for a place on the MA TESOL programme, an application must be completed and lodged with The Hong Kong Management Association. Applications are assessed by, and admission decisions are made at the discretion of, the University of Sunderland. Enquiries For application details, please call the Programme Local Secretariat on For further information about the programme, please call Ms Karen Chan on or Mr Michael Kwok on For information on The University of Sunderland: For information on HKMA: Admission is on a competitive and individual basis entirely at the discretion of the respective universities. Admission criteria and procedures are set by them and are subject to change without prior notice. The Association does not give any warranty and will not accept any liability regarding the above. MATE-B

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