MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)


Program Description

Widen your range of career options in English language teaching and gain practical classroom teaching experience.

  • Gain access to teaching opportunities around the world
  • Study in the UK alongside others from across the globe to become a confident and innovative practitioner
  • Draw on current research to enhance your understanding of English language teaching
  • Develop practical teaching skills through micro-teaching, optional teaching practice, and observing experienced teachers
  • Develop research skills to enable you to conduct an independent research project that can enable a pathway to doctoral studies

Whether you are in the early stages of your language teaching career or an experienced language teacher, this course is designed to meet your needs. The TESOL centre has been running postgraduate TESOL courses for over 25 years so you will be joining an established community of British Council accredited English language teachers, experienced teacher educators, and leading researchers. Our course attracts students from around the world and in the last three years, we have welcomed an international mix of students from the UK, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Our MA TESOL class size is typically small - in the last four years, we have had an average group size of 16 students.

Future careers

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for universities, private language centres, international language schools, colleges, primary and high schools. Recent graduates are working in positions of teachers, managers, researchers and teacher educators. Other graduates are currently enrolled on PhD and EdD programmes.

Course content

Our course is timetabled so that you attend university two days a week. This allows you to work part-time if you choose to.

Typical modules include

English Language Teaching Methodologies (30 credits)

In this module we encourage you to take a critical view of different ELT methodologies (e.g. communicative language teaching, task-based approach, CLIL), emphasizing the importance of selecting approaches and methods to suit particular contexts and learners. This module includes a micro-teaching project in which you teach English for academic purposes (EAP) to peers and then analyse a video of your lesson with a teaching partner and tutor.

Second Language Learning (30 credits)

This module helps you understand and explore current language learning theories and consider how this knowledge can help language teachers and learners. Using teacher-led class discussions, group work and reflection on your own experiences, we bring together recent ideas of educational psychology with issues of concern to many language teachers including learners’ and teachers’ beliefs about how a language should be learned, motivation to start and persist with learning, the role of emotions in learning, and how principles of second language learning research can be applied to lesson and material design.

Developing as an English Language Teacher (30 credits)

This is a practical professionally-focused module which gives you a solid foundation of knowledge and expertise in preparation for teaching and provides skills to continue your professional development. With course tutors, English language teachers and adult learners of English you work on a series of classroom-focused activities including guided classroom observations, lesson planning, materials design, teaching, and reflective writing. Supported by a specialist careers adviser and a major ELT employer, you reflect on your development in different areas of teaching and plan strategies for continuing professional development in your chosen context beyond graduation.

Analyzing Language (30 credits)

This module introduces and gives practice in models of linguistic analysis that have proved to be valuable to TESOL practitioners and researchers. Your understanding and use of corpus linguistics, genre analysis and systemic functional linguistics for language teaching are guided by experts in these models and supported by lectures, set readings, exercises, tutorials and discussion groups, all with a focus on applications to the classroom.

Research Project (60 credits)

In this module, you select and investigate a specific TESOL related research project. The module provides you with the opportunity to creatively pursue your own interests in the field and conduct an independent, small scale piece of research with advice from a supervisor. You learn about research ethics, research methodologies, and data analysis, thus developing your confidence as a researcher whilst also demonstrating the ability to take initiative and work autonomously.

As part of the MA TESOL course, we also provide a weekly bespoke academic literacies class throughout the academic year. An expert EAP tutor provides support and instruction in academic reading, writing and speaking to help develop the academic skills needed to complete the assessed tasks on this course.

As well as the master’s qualification you also have the opportunity to complete the internationally-recognised Trinity Certificate TESOL which includes supervised teaching practice. This is an excellent way to combine the academic knowledge of your master’s qualification with applied teaching experience in a supportive environment.

Applied learning

You will learn through

  • interactive workshops
  • guided observations
  • Collaborative activities such as lesson planning, microteaching, and group work
  • one-to-one tutorials with module leaders
  • guided reading
  • participation in lectures
  • collaboration with a research supervisor

Entry requirements

An honours degree or equivalent. You can find out more about the country-specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page. Students whose first language is not English typically need an IELTS 6.5 score with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing.

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate ... Read More

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree level. With more than 31,000 students, we are among the largest universities in the UK. Read less