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The programme is designed for both qualified and intending teachers of English to speakers of other languages. It attracts students from different parts of the world, who bring with them a diverse mix of educational backgrounds and experiences. This gives us a chance to increase our cross-cultural understanding and knowledge of teaching and learning contexts globally. Furthermore, using online forums, we aim to provide practical opportunities for you to interact with language professionals around the world.

We critically reflect on theories of, and research into, the problem of how best to learn and teach an additional language. We aim to help you improve your own research skills and encourage you to present and publish your findings to the English language teaching and applied linguistics community.

You will be taught by an experienced team of staff, including the authors of a ground-breaking new introduction to applied linguistics aimed at advanced students of the discipline (Hall, Smith & Wicaksono, 2011).

Our students tell us that the York St John University MA Applied Linguistics: TESOL is a challenging and useful experience. I look forward to welcoming you onto our programme in the near future.

Course structure

 The Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics: TESOL qualifies you to teach English as a foreign or second language anywhere in the world (specific requirements will vary between schools and countries). So, if you want a career that is varied and exciting, or if you are already teaching English and want to prepare yourself for more responsibility, this programme could be for you.

Experienced teachers of English may be awarded credits on the basis of their qualifications and experience. Whatever experience you bring to the programme, our aim is to assist you in the development of your professional practice and further your career in English language teaching at home or overseas. We aim to give you the opportunity to develop your individual interests within the context of your current and future classroom practice.

The programme is designed to be studied either full-time over 12 months or part-time (through evening classes or day release) over a maximum of 5 years. If you are unable to complete the Masters degree, you may work for the intermediate award of Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in TESOL. The programme offers a September start.


The programme comprises four taught modules and a dissertation.

  • Module 1: Themes in Applied Linguistics –This module aims to introduce you to the full scope of applied linguistics, exploring the commonalities between language professionals working in different parts of the discipline. Incorporating both socio-cultural and cognitive perspectives, the module considers the diverse and constantly expanding range of theories, methods and issues faced by both students and practitioners of applied linguistics.
  • Module 2: Second Language Acquisition -This module aims to give you a critical appreciation of the theoretical background of, and issues in, second language acquisition, providing you with the necessary academic knowledge to underpin good practice.
  • Module 3: Theory and Practice in Language Teaching - This module offers both a contextual background to English Language Teaching and a practical introduction to ELT methods and materials. The methodology of English Language Teaching has been developed mainly in English-dominant countries and is not always appropriate and/or applicable to other educational contexts. This module therefore explores the diverse cultures of classrooms, student groups and teacher communities in different countries and educational environments, recognising the global context of ELT. Furthermore, students on this module will have opportunities to gain experience of effective lesson planning and develop their confidence to deliver and then evaluate their lessons through micro-teaching.
  • Module 4: Research in Language and Linguistics - This module explores the implications of research findings in language and applied linguistics for future professional practice and aims to encourage the participants to exercise an enquiring approach in their future career.
  • Module 5: Dissertation - This module provides participants with an opportunity to research in depth, through supported individual study, one aspect of TESOL or of a specialisation within the field. The module aims to enable participants to extend their studies in an area or areas of the programme previously completed, or into a new area of study, through negotiating a research topic with their supervisor. 

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Visit the Applied Linguistics: TESOL (MA) page on the York St John University website for more details!




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