Applied Linguistics and TESOL
Professional development in TESOL
Why take this course?
The course is ideal for practicing ELT/EFL/TESOL teachers who wish to continue their professional development and improve their career prospects. As well as thoroughly reviewing developments in the field, this flexible course allows students to develop their expertise in areas of personal interest.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Extend your knowledge and understanding of learning and teaching as you upgrade your qualifications
- Reflect on your teaching practice from theoretical and research-based perspectives
- Improve your career prospects
What opportunities might it lead to?
Completion of the course will support further career options, including diversification into educational management or teacher education, among other paths. Many of our graduates have gone on to obtain jobs in universities in the UK and abroad, or have taken on greater responsibility in their existing institutions. Others have also taken advantage of the secure footing for doctoral-level study provided by the programme.
Deadlines for the DL course are 31 July for September entry and 1 December for January entry.
Learning the theories behind teaching methods and applying this knowledge in class would be beneficial for me and, most importantly, for the students I hope to teach in the future.
Sarah Crielesi, MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL student 2013
- 1 year full time, 2 years part time, start Sept. 3 years part time distance learning, start Sept or Jan.
- A good honours degree or equivalent, plus initial teacher training and a minimum of three months full-time, relevant, teaching experience. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.5.
Campus based fees:
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £4,700, part time: £2,350 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000, part time: £6,000 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
Distance learning fees:
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: £1,570 p/a*
2016/17 entry: £1,570 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Languages and Area Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
The course is structured on the basis of core units and optional units. You will study:
- Second Language Acquisition: This unit reviews relevant research on the topic of SLA and builds on students’ previous experience of language learning, applying this to areas such as individual differences and types of learning, as well as to more formal approaches to SLA.
- Theory and Practice of TESOL: Students consider the theory and practice that informs communicative language teaching and how individual and contextual factors impact on classroom practices and decision making. In so doing, they reflect on their own teaching and learning experiences. The unit also considers issues in curriculum and syllabus design, assessment and teacher education.
- Dissertation: Students undertake a piece of significant research, reported and analysed in an appropriate manner in an area of professional relevance. A research proposal will be produced in the first instance and supervision from a tutor will be available throughout the process.
plus two options from:
- Using Technology and Corpora in Learning, Teaching and Research: Students are introduced to the ways in which they can make use of technology as both language teachers and language researchers. In particular, the unit focuses on the technological affordances of the internet and language corpora.
- World Englishes: The English language has always been characterised by dynamic change. This unit considers the political, ideological and pedagogical aspects of English being used as a global lingua franca.
- Analysing, Evaluating and Writing Material: This unit develops students’ abilities to analyse teaching materials, with particular emphasis on the perspectives of discourse, pragmatics and theories of second language acquisition. Students will focus on evaluating and writing material with particular teaching contexts in mind.
- Analysing Discourse: This unit introduces various analytical tools (e.g. appraisal, speech acts, modality, metaphors, transitivity, cohesion, theme-rheme) which are valuable in the analysis of authentic discourses and texts (e.g. courtroom discourse, social media, educational science texts, newspaper texts, political speeches, advertisements, etc.). The importance of context in any analysis is emphasised.
- Professional Portfolio: This unit offers students the opportunity to profile their degree to their own professional and/or personal interests, allowing students the chance to study areas not covered elsewhere in the curriculum. Students negotiate an area for study and then pursue this with the support of a supervisor.
Please note. All optional units are subject to staff availability and student demand.
The credit system creates a flexible framework in which you can graduate with one of the following awards, depending on the number of credits gained:
- MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL: 180 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics and TESOL: 120 credits
- Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics and TESOL: 60 credits
Teaching and Assessment
Our campus programme combines the opportunity for traditional classroom-based teaching, with the flexibility of distance learning. A student can complete the programme (excluding the dissertation) entirely through classroom delivery. Alternatively, they can widen their option choices by selecting one or more units from the distance learning and supervised unit ranges.
A full time student will do one core unit and one option in each teaching block (plus their dissertation). A part time student will do a core unit in each teaching block of year one and an option unit in each teaching block of year two (plus their dissertation).
Typically each taught unit runs for twelve weeks and has four hours of teaching per week. Teaching takes place in small seminar groups, allowing students to analyse arguments, contribute ideas and ask questions. Tutors are also available to offer guidance to students on an individual basis.
How are you assessed?
Most units are assessed through at least two pieces of coursework (typically essays), amounting to 6,000 words in total for the unit.
Dr Peter Watkins
Languages and Area Studies
We put a great deal of emphasis on combining practice and theory. We want teachers to think through and analyse what they already do, to consider new and different ways of doing things and to understand the theories underpinning their practice so that they can make informed decisions to help and support their own learners.
Facilities & Features
On your Master's, you will be studying with members of CEISR, one of the UK's largest research centres of its kind. These active researchers in the field of linguistics and the teaching of English as a foreign language will ensure that your study is connected to the latest developments in the area.
We aim to provide the best possible support for our students. We have a dedicated postgraduate EAP class, a team of Learning Support Tutors, as well as providing a wide range of pastoral care.
Distance learning in SLAS brings a cohort of students together with their tutors through our virtual learning environment, Moodle, supported by email and telephone contact for a disciplined, flexible student experience.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
There may be travel costs for internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.
Careers & Opportunities
Graduates will be able to progress to jobs in higher education in their own country or elsewhere, or continue on to undertake doctoral research in teaching and related fields. Possession of a Master's qualification is often viewed as a requirement for promotion to a more responsible position in either the private or public sectors or to diversify a career into areas such as educational management, materials evaluation and production, teacher education or external assessment.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2016 entry have now finished.
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If you are unable to visit us, why not contact the admissions team for your course of interest via our course pages.
If you have any further enquiries about postgraduate study at Portsmouth, including advice on the Postgraduate Loan for 2016 entry plus scholarships and bursaries available visit our postgraduate pages.
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Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.