MA modules

The MA is made up of two sections. The first section is the ‘taught’ component from Oct-June. The second section is the independent completion of either a dissertation or a portfolio requiring materials design and teaching of English language classes.

  • Dissertation option students must take ALEM20 (Second Language Acquisition), ALEM19 (Research Methods) and ALEM15 (Dissertation).
  • Portfolio option students must take ALEM22 (Communicative Language Teaching), ENAM00 (Classroom Teaching Practice) and ENAM01 (Professional Reflective Practice Portfolio).

Modules available to all students

ALEM18: Vocabulary: Teaching and Learning

In this module we will explore the nature of vocabulary and the difficulties associated with defining and categorizing the “Word”. We will examine and identify word components, and look at the ways in which larger language chunks or groups of words- sometimes behave like single vocabulary items. We will analyse what is meant by word knowledge and the various facets of this and in the light of this whether it is realistic to measure how many words a person knows. We will look at models of the L2 lexicon and use this as a basis for the investigation of the manner in which to teach the reading, writing, listening and speaking of foreign language lexis.

ALEM25: Describing English

ALEM25, an introduction to the field of English linguistics, is designed to provide a general overview of the study of language from a linguistic perspective. The module responds to the premise that knowing how lanaguage works and how speakers use it is an indispenable step toward deciding what should be taught. Students will be introduced to major sub-fields of linguistics, including phonetcis, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and language variation. The study of linguistics will acquaint students with the basic tools and techniques used by linguistics for linguistic analysis; students will use these tools to discover the organising principles of language. In addition, the course will raise students’ awareness of the relevance of linguistics (and its subfields) for language teaching. Students will be expected to carry out extensive practice in language analysis.

ALEM21: Discourse Analysis for Language Teaching

This course introduces students to discourse analysis, an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and increasingly popular area of language studies. Discourse analysis, broadly understood as the study of language in context and of the interfaces of language, culture, and society, is arguably an essential discipline for prospective language teachers. Accordingly, this course overviews some of the key approaches to discourse analysis with direct applications to language teaching, including text conversation analysis, politeness theory, speech act theory, (cross-cultural) pragmatics, interactional sociolinguistics, systemic functional linguistics, register analysis, and genre analysis. It provides students with hands-on practice in the application of these approaches to discourse analysis, and it systematically draws students’ attention to the implications and applications of these approaches for language teaching and materials design.

ENAM03: Young Language Learners

This is a module about young language learners and the way children acquire a second language in instructional settings. From the study of theories of first and second language acquisition, students will move on to the analysis of the classroom environment and focus on issues such as classroom management, resources and materials for the low level young learner classroom.

ENAM09: Language Testing and Assessment

This module will provide students with the necessary skills and tools to and evaluate and develop language tests in an EFL/ESL classroom setting. We will focus on reading, listening, writing and grammar test. The students will be enabled to assess learners’ proficiency and progress with a wide range of quantitive and qualitative methods, including statistical tools. Key terms in language testing, such as the reliability and validity of language tests, will be explored. The relation between language teaching and language testing, e.g. the wash back effect of different language tests, will be investigated.

Compulsory modules for dissertation option students

ALEM20: Second Language Acquisition

How do you learn a second language? What processes are involved? What is the role of the first language? In this module, students will engage with these questions among others. Students will critically evaluate different theories of second language acquisition including what knowledge we have at the outset of the acquisition process and how we develop. Students will also examine different factors that may influence how successful a language learner becomes, including motivation, aptitude etc. We will read empirical studies that have sought to examine different studies and we will critically evaluate their results. The different methods of assessment will require students to critical evaluate research papers, analyse second language learner data and use this to support their arguments.
This modules may also be optionally available to portfolio track students.

ALEM19: Research Methods

This module teaches students the relevant research methods in order to be able to carry out their own empirical study for the dissertation. Topics include:

  • Theory underlying and practical guidelines for research in ELT contexts. Research ethics.
  • Collecting and analysing data.
  • Case study research.
  • Surveys, questionnaires.
  • Descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Parametric and non-parametric tests of significance
  • Correlations and regression analysis
  • Designing, carrying out and reporting on a limited practical project in ELT, which could stand alone or be built on further for the dissertation.

ALEM15: Dissertation

This is the Directed Independent Learning component (Part 2) of the MA TEFL/TESOL. Students are required to plan, carry out and write up an extended empirical research project. Students are expected to build on knowledge on empirical research in applied linguistics acquired in the pre-requisite research methods module (ALEM19: Research Methods in ELT)/ Specifically, students are expected to plan and carry out an empirical research project on a topic of relevance to English language learning and teachingm and following established approaches and methods in applied linguistics. They will then write up the project following the structure of empirical research reports and established academic writing conventions.

Compulsory modules for portfolio track students

ALEM22: Communicative Language Teaching

The module covers basic principles, philosophy and the historical development of learning and theory of language learning leading to the communicative approach to language teaching. It addresses the current debate about methods and methodologies in the context of English as an international language.
This modules may also be optionally available to dissertation track students.

ENAM00: Classroom Teaching Practice

Practical supervised and assessed English language teaching module open to teachers with qualifications below Cambridge English DELTA or equivalent. Students apply, practise, and critically appraise language teaching methods and principles in ESL classes consisting of volunteer students at two levels of proficiency(CEFR A2/B1 and CEFR B2/C1). The module is prerequisite for ENAM01 Professional Reflective Practice Portfolio.

ENAM01: Professional Reflective Practice Portfolio

Students will produce a portfolio of language teaching products including a detailed profile of a learner, materials for English language teaching and materials for English language testing. This module requires candidates to apply the theoretical aspects of English language teaching to classroom practice.
This module is designed for pre-service or in-service English language teachers with less than two years full-time teaching experience (or equivalent) holding qualifications below Cambridge English DELTA level or equivalents