MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (Distance)
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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)
- Trends and Issues in Language Teaching Methodology (January - March, Year 1)
- Classroom language assessment (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. Courses are either assessed by a 5000-word assignment or a combination of a shorter assignment of 2500 words and a recorded presentation.
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.
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||6th October|
|Unit 2||Linguistic analyses in second language acquisition||13th October|
|Unit 3||The linguistic environment for second language acquisition||20th October|
|Unit 4||Cognitive theories of second language learning||27th October|
|Unit 5||Cognitive factors in language learning||3rd November|
|-||Reading Week||10th November|
|Unit 6||Motivation in language learning||17th November|
|Unit 7||Affective factors in language learning||24th November|
|Unit 8||Social factors in language learning||1st December|
|Unit 9||Language socialisation and agency in language learning||8th 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.
How is the course assessed?
Courses are either assessed by a 5000-word assignment or a combination of a shorter assignment of 2500 words and a recorded presentation.
The dissertation is 15,000 words in length (80 credits) and students are supervised via computer-mediated communication.
Who are the course tutors?
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.
What are the fees?
For confirmation of the current tuition fees please see the individual programme pages in the course list.
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.
Can fees be paid in installments?
Yes, it is possible to pay in 2 equal instalments each year.
What are the language requirements?
IELTS: 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.
PTE Academic: 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 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.
Is there any residential requirement?
How do I apply?
The next course to run will be September 2019. We are happy to receive applications for this cohort, our deadline for applications is 1 September 2019.
If you are interested in applying please go to the postgraduate admissions portal and follow the instructions. If you have any queries please contact our Faculty PG Admissions team:
Postgraduate Admissions Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880
- Fax: +44 (0)1524 510857
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details about how to apply please see our General Application Advice.