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

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

Course information

Course title Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Course code PMAESLPET5
Postnominal M.A. TESOL(Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 6 Semesters
Mode of attendance Part-time Evening
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Odette Vassallo
Delivered by Centre for English Language Proficiency
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. This programme aims to assist in the development of a better informed cadre of English language professionals who are well equipped to research and contribute to language policy, course design and delivery, training and professional development, and TESOL management. It enhances awareness of issues surrounding the learning of English by speakers of other languages in different contexts around the world and it leads to a range of career paths in the international TESOL industry. It offers focused and scholarly engagement with current theory and practice in second language acquisition, the learning of language skills and systems, the evaluation of English language proficiency, the use of digital technology in TESOL, and English for Specific Purposes. It also provides the opportunity to conduct corpus-based research in English as a second and foreign language. This programme benefits from the expertise of specialist tutors of international repute with knowledge and experience of the global TESOL sector. The M.A. in TESOL furnishes students with the knowledge and skills needed to occupy a variety of academic and managerial roles worldwide.

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The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:

(a) a Bachelor’s degree in English from this University or from a higher education institution recognised by Senate, provided that they demonstrate, through appropriate certification and references, that they have undertaken at least 500 hours of teaching English or are in possession of a Malta Qualifications Framework Level 4 qualification in TESOL or higher or

(b) a Bachelor’s degree from this University or from a higher education institution recognised by Senate, in an area of study deemed relevant by the Board, provided that they are either in possession of a Malta Qualifications Framework Level 4 qualification in English or an IELTS 7 or equivalent and have undertaken at least 1000 hours of teaching English or, if they have no teaching experience, they will be required to follow and successfully complete the University of Malta Certificate in ELT or

(c) a DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) or Dip.TESOL (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualification or equivalent, including relevant teaching experience.

Applicants for the Course may be required to demonstrate through an interview that they have sufficient proficiency and background to be able to follow the Course with profit. In certain such instances the Board may recommend that applicants follow a preparatory programme as specified below.

The interviewing board appointed by the Board shall be composed of at least three members.

Preparatory Programme

Applicants may be required to complete a preparatory programme, comprising not less than 30 and not more than 60 ECTS credits as directed by the Board, with an overall average mark of 55% or better, prior to their admission to 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 Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2020.

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

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 4,800
Fee per semester: Eur 800

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 4,800
Fee per semester: Eur 800
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 ELT; language usage; SLA; language proficiency development and assessment; digital technology; ESP; 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 language proficiency;

• apply the findings of research on digital technology to classroom practice;

• describe a range of methods and approaches that have been devised in order to facilitate the process of mastering a broad range of ESPs;

• 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 language proficiency;

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

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

• identify the key theoretical and practical issues related to the learning of English for Specific Purposes (ESP);

• the key theoretical and practical issues related to the use of digital technology in TESOL..


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 language 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;

• a range of methods and approaches that have been devised in order to facilitate the process of mastering a broad range of ESPs;

• apply their knowledge of the use of digital technology in TESOL to a variety of learning contexts, professional development and action research projects;


• 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 course design training, consultancy 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.
Past undergraduates, teachers in schools, trainers and academic managers in language schools, representatives of NGOs and professional bodies.
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.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2020/1.

Last Updated: 30 September 2020

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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