The TESOL MSc with a Specialism in Teaching Young Learners gives students with an interest in this field the opportunity to integrate the theory and practice of teaching English to speakers of other languages, with a particular focus on teaching young learners.
The MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) with a Specialism in Teaching Young Learners is designed to be useful to both experienced English language teachers as well as those considering a career in English language teaching. It is aimed at teachers with a particular interest in teaching young learners.
Focus your studies in your particular area of interest, and gain a better theoretical and practical understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to teaching young learners.
Take a specific Teaching Young Learners module, conduct research in this area as part of an Action Research module, and choose a dissertation topic to research further into the field of teaching young learners.
Join experienced practitioners and scholars in our English language teaching community, with opportunities to be involved in ongoing professional development events and the annual English for Academic Purposes (EAP) conference.
Integrate theory and practice – discuss theoretical concepts and frameworks in small groups and apply these through practical assessments and peer teaching sessions.
Engage in, and reflect on, a new language learning experience as part of the programme to gain a 360 degree perspective on language teaching and learning.
The programme has two start dates (January and September), allowing for a flexible part-time study while working. It also provides plenty of opportunities for you to interact with both on campus and other distance learning students.
Focus your studies in your particular area of interest and gain a better theoretical and practical understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to teaching young learners.
You will have the option of completing a two-week residential course in St Andrews to give you the opportunity to be part of the St Andrews community and work on a one-to-one basis with our staff.
Join experienced practitioners and scholars in the English language teaching community, with opportunities to be involved in ongoing professional development events and the annual English for Academic Purposes (EAP) conference.
You will integrate theory and practice – discuss theoretical concepts and frameworks via online forums and webinars and apply these through practical assessments and group work.
You will take a variety of taught modules over the first two semesters of the programme, which are delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials and out-of-class activities.
In these modules, you will integrate theory and practice by discussing and critiquing theoretical concepts and frameworks, and then applying them through a range of practical assessments. Assessments will include written assignments, presentations, the development of teaching plans, and observed teaching sessions.
You will take a variety of taught modules over the length of the programme, which are delivered in a variety of ways such as:
intensive feedback sessions on your work.
In these modules, you will integrate theory and practice by discussing and critiquing theoretical concepts and frameworks, and then applying them through a range of practical assessments. Assessments will include:
the development of teaching plans,
group work with students residing in other parts of the world.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
Teaching Young Learners: explores theories of child development and learning which are fundamental to the understanding of child second language acquisition, namely children aged 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 18. Child psychology has to be taken into account in the development of teaching materials, teaching styles and classroom management.
Action Research for Teachers: provides a learning experience in which you can reflect on concepts and theories you are studying in other modules and connect them with classroom practice. The module explores the combined value of reflection and action research for classroom practitioners, providing a means for language teachers to understand their classroom contexts and to plan responses to challenges in these contexts.
Language Teaching Methodology: explores the theories that inform teaching practice and analyses the implications these have in terms of ways of learning, the material used, the teacher role and the classroom. This is essential for all those seeking to understand their teaching environment more clearly and for those who have a chance to influence teaching environments.
Linguistics for Language Teachers: is designed to equip you with the skills required to describe and analyse written discourse. It does not assume prior knowledge of linguistics and seeks to introduce you to selected fundamental concepts, relevant to English language teaching. You acquire appropriate terminology and techniques in the analysis and description of grammatical terms and structures.
Teaching and Researching: helps you understand the features of a rigorous research question in the field of TESOL, as well as consider how to design, pilot and reflect on the effectiveness of different data collection instruments. The module also includes guidance and discussion on the different ethical considerations when conducting classroom-based research, as well as the important stages in writing up a dissertation.
Second Language Acquisition: focuses on how subsequent languages are learnt after the first language by exploring the development of SLA theory. You will then consider how this theory informs teaching.
You will choose three optional modules from the following list:
Assessment and Evaluation: provides a detailed understanding of the key concepts behind different methods of testing and evaluation in English language teaching and learning.
English Medium Instruction: provides you with an understanding of the controversies of English as an international language for academic study, and the complexity involved in the use of English as a language of instruction from the standpoint of both the academic subject instructors and students who are using English as a second language.
English for Academic Purposes: preparing and supporting students who come to study for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees through the medium of English is one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs in the field of language teaching. To do this well, an EAP teacher needs to understand the higher education context; the key principles underpinning learning in a university; text and discourse in the communities of the different disciplines, theories and practice of assessment; and the most effective methods and materials to motivate students and help them into a discourse community.
Teaching Young Learners: explores theories of child development and learning which are fundamental to the understanding of child second language acquisition, namely children aged 4 to 7, 8 to 11, and 12 to 18. Child psychology has to be taken into account in the development of teaching materials, teaching styles and classroom management.
Technology for Teaching: introduces you to the principal theories, concepts and practices of technology in language education. You will be able to critically consider the role and purpose of various modes of technology in education in a wide range of settings to identify and conceptualise problems within your own professional contexts.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
You will choose a topic of interest to you and to your future career in the field of teaching young learners and will read related literature and conduct independent research on your topic.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching team with expertise in teaching young learners. Supervisors will provide guidance throughout the research process, helping you to formulate a suitable research hypothesis and offering advice on relevant literature and how to plan your time effectively.
The completed dissertation of no more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a specified date in August.
If you choose not to complete the dissertation required for the award of an MSc, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
TESOL graduates are equipped with a range of skills and experiences which allow them to take on a variety of roles. The majority of TESOL students work within education, either as teachers or lecturers, as researchers, or as policymakers. Other graduates work in publishing, journalism and management.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and provides a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or significant professional or other relevant experience If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
Evidence of prior alternative learning such as professional qualifications or certifications.
English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
personal statement (500 words),
two original signed references (at least one of which must be academic),
academic transcripts and degree certificates,
evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Duration & starting dates
On-campus: One year of full-time study. 9 September 2019.
Online: Between two and five years of part-time study. 9 September 2019, for students starting in Semester 1; 20 January 2020, for students starting in Semester 2.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.