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








Second Cycle

Level 7

6 Semesters

Part-time Evening


This programme of study is also offered on a full-time basis. Please consult the Registrar’s website for more information pertaining to courses offered by the University.

The taught MA in TESOL provides an opportunity for closely mentored postgraduate learning and research in the theoretical and practical aspects of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The programme helps to develop students’ knowledge of the English language and of the issues surrounding the learning of English by speakers of other languages. It enables students to engage with current theory and practice in such areas as second language acquisition, corpus linguistics, grammar in context, the learning of productive and receptive skills, the evaluation of English proficiency, professional development, and academic management. The MA in TESOL equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to occupy a variety of academic and managerial roles in the international English Language Teaching industry.
LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of the course, students will be able to:

• identify the key interdisciplinary elements of the different foci (grammar; stylistics; language change; corpus-based research for EFL; usage; SLA; language development and assessment; etc) offered by the programme;

• evaluate the importance of learner motivation in language learning;

• develop a keen sense of self-evaluation in their knowledge and use of the English language;

• communicate flexibly and incisively in English in professional settings;

• reflect on and analyse the use of English as a second/foreign language;

• develop metalinguistic and metadisciplinary awareness in relation to English;

• develop metadisciplinary awareness in relation to TESOL and the diverse approaches represented therein;

• integrate the different theories and practices of the disciplines introduced by the programme;

• create and redesign approaches to describing/analysing/teaching English in different contexts;

• delineate and mediate the convergence between disciplines;

• identify criteria for establishing terminologies and methodologies in TESOL;

• describe essential concepts and categories of English grammar;

• demonstrate sensitiveness to different perceptions about English language use in different contexts;

• assess and account for different aspects of change in English language use across different contexts;

• evaluate the different approaches to developing and evaluating learners' English proficiency;

• have an eclectic appreciation of complementary and contrasting approaches in TESOL.

In terms of Subject Knowledge and Understanding, the programme provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the ability to:

• identify the methodologies necessary for producing and interpreting sets of language data; design different research questions and refine their terminologies for conceptualising and testing specific aspects of language;

• identify the methodologies necessary for interpreting events in language learning contexts; design different research questions and refine their terminologies for conceptualising and testing specific aspects of TESOL methodology;

• describe how the language of texts is processed at the levels of reception/cognition;

• identify the major learning problems learners have with grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and the productive and receptive skills;

• identify the major methods and approaches to the development and evaluation of English proficiency;

• identify the key issues involved in course design and delivery, TESOL management, and professional development;

• identify the key issues involved in developing and evaluating learner's English proficiency;

• identify the research methods that need to be adopted when conducting TESOL practicum;

• identify tools and resources used for corpus analysis;

• describe the issues that specifically concern the development and evaluation of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, receptive and productive skills;

• describe measures that facilitate the valid and reliable assessment of English proficiency;

• identify the key theories and approaches in second language acquisition and how these have shaped current research;

• relate SLA theory to a variety of teaching and learning contexts.

In terms of Intellectual Development, students will be helped to:

• use grammar as a system of resources for creating meaning in context;

• analyse the grammatical patterns of various texts and how they are organized;

• assimilate and adapt theoretical models within practical analysis;

• critically examine a range of significant research studies and findings across TESOL;

• generate interdisciplinary dialogue across the different components of the programme;

• apply a range of methodologies, sub-disciplines and theoretical approaches in TESOL research;

• apply theoretical principles to TESOL contexts by means of a practicum;

• apply their knowledge of how English proficiency is developed and evaluated to a variety of TESOL contexts, materials and learners;

• adapt methodologies to new contexts;

• analyse methods in relation to spoken and written discourse stored in electronic and non-electronic formats;

• analyse the structure and content of various TESOL materials and adapt them to different groups of learners.

Key Transferable Skills imparted during the programme include:

• development of independent learning, self-evaluation, and critical and analytical thought;

• enhanced and effective communication in spoken and written English;

• generation of tenable hypotheses for research purposes; use of computer-mediated research skills;

• write critically and engagingly about theoretical and practical issues;

• summarise and critique theory and practice in oral and written forms;

• evaluation of language resources (language corpora and TESOL materials).

Skills relevant to Employability and Personal Development nurtured during the programme include:

• development of professional writing skills in the discipline;

• development of oral presentation skills;

• development of metalinguistic abilities;

• development of independent research skills and critical thinking;

• development of TESOL training and academic management skills;

• appraisal of the relationship between academic, professional, public and user conceptions of language;

• undertaking of practice-oriented research in language and TESOL;

• development of new theoretical directions in emerging fields of study.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY The MA in TESOL enables students to fill such positions as those of Director of Studies, trainer, course designer, examiner, consultant etc. It also makes students eligible for doctoral study in TESOL.
COURSE INTENDED FOR Past undergraduates, teachers in schools, trainers and academic managers in language schools, representatives of NGOs and professional bodies.
Applicants must satisfy the General Entry Requirements for admission, namely, the Matriculation Certificate and Secondary Education Certificate passes at Grade 5 or better in Maltese, English Language and Mathematics.

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:
(a) the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the same or in a closely related area of study as the area of study applied for, provided that applicants in possession of the Degree with Third Class Honours shall satisfy the Board that they are in possession of other qualifications, including relevant experience, obtained following the first cycle degree or

(b) the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the same or in a closely related area of study as that applied for, with an average mark of not less than 65% in that area or

(c) a degree from this or from another university which the Board considers as comparable to any of the degrees indicated in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) above.

Applicants for the Course in English Language or for the Course in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) who are not in possession of an undergraduate degree in English or in a closely related area, but who hold a DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) or Dip.TESOL (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualification, may be eligible to follow this Course. All applicants would be expected to demonstrate, through appropriate certification and references, that they have undertaken at least 2000 hours of teaching English as a Foreign Language. Admission to these areas of studies would be subject to satisfactory performance at interview.

Preparatory Programme

Applicants admitted under sub-paragraph (b) and if necessary (c) shall be required to complete a preparatory programme, comprising not less than 30 and not more than 60 credits as directed by the Board, depending on the number of credits already obtained in that area of study, with an overall average mark of 55% or better, prior to their registration as regular students on the Course.

The Board may grant applicants full or partial exemption from the requirement of the preparatory programme if it is satisfied that the applicant possesses post first cycle degree work experience that is relevant to the area of study applied for.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2014.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.


Last Updated: 3 September 2015
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

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