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MA Applied Linguistic (TEFL) (Testing & Assessment)

Course Description

Course Summary

This course is ideal for you if you wish to develop your career in language testing and assessment – whether or not you already have experience in this area – and is the only full-time, face-to-face course in the UK specialising in this area.

The cutting-edge theory combined with practical experience will give you the expertise you need, and you will enjoy the opportunity to pursue your research interests in our world-leading research centre in language assessment.

Choose Applied Linguistics (Testing and Assessment) MA at Bedfordshire and:

- Study a mix of cutting-edge theory and practical real-world applications, building your knowledge and experience of classroom testing, assessing learning outcomes, course evaluation, and institutional tests and exams
- Explore your research interests with CRELLA, our world-renowned Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment; recognised as a leading UK-based centre for research with 100% rating for research impact in the 2014 REF
- Develop your career prospectus in testing and assessment as you become a well-qualified expert in this specialist area
- Gain from access to the expertise of the English Language and Communication department with an excellent track record of high-quality teaching
- Benefit from a course which opens up opportunities in organisations, universities and ministries worldwide; to work with exam boards like Cambridge Language Assessment, Edexcel, or Pearson; for an education authority as tests and assessments specialist; or for further doctoral study with CRELLA.

Why choose this course?

The MA in Applied Linguistics (Testing and Assessment) is almost unique in its scope and depth in the UK. It offers a highly specialised course which focuses on validity, reliability and design in assessment and language testing. The course is aimed at those who plan to develop their career in testing and assessment or, perhaps already have some experience and see this as a focus for their professional development.

Whether you are interested in classroom testing, assessing learning outcomes, course evaluation, or institutional tests and exams, you will find this course gives you the concepts and practical experience you need. The course develops your awareness of current issues in assessing language knowledge, receptive and productive language skills and the integration of these areas. The relationship between language teaching, learning, and assessment is explored along with research methodology and statistics for language testers. This gives you the necessary confidence and expertise to carry out a major piece of original research in language testing as your dissertation.

You will be studying in a department which has an excellent track record of high-quality teaching and is prominent in subject league tables and National Student Satisfaction Surveys. The course is taught by experts in the field of ELT and language testing. Our prolific and successful Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA) has a world-class reputation for its work in language testing and programme evaluation. Many well-known ELT exams are underpinned by research conducted within the department, here at Bedfordshire.

The MA Applied Linguistics (Language Testing and Assessment) offers

- Up-to-date theoretical and practical perspective in test design and evaluation
- Invaluable opportunities to work with industry specialists in language testing
- A good balance of theory and practical application
- The opportunity to gain a specialist qualification focused on testing-related professions
- A great learning environment with superb facilities.

Career Management Skills

Education around the world is influenced by public exams, tests whose outcomes have social, public and political significance. Policy makers, the publishing industry, private and state education providers and the exam bodies themselves require well-qualified experts in testing and assessment. This MA provides just such a background. The targeted focus of the course is such that it will appeal to those already involved in language teaching or testing but seek continuing professional development (CPD) as a means towards career advancement.

The combination of practical application and the theoretical knowledge provides the confidence to approach all manner of problems. The development of test materials is part of the course and a `real-life exercise from the world of language testing. Further, the value of well-developed communication skills cannot be underestimated and the course provides support in this regard. The clear presentation of ideas, on paper and in person, is an integral part of the course and popular with employers.

Career planning is also built in to the course from induction onward. We work closely with the Employability and Careers Service and deliver joint career development workshops for our students.

The course includes a range of assessment types, such as case studies, group and individual tasks and giving presentations, skills which most employers prize.

Career/Further study opportunities

Given the highly specialised focus of the course, we anticipate that students will progress onto a position that involves language testing or assessment. This may involve working with one of the well-known exam boards like Cambridge Language Assessment, Edexcel, or Pearson, or perhaps for an education authority as the specialist on tests and assessments. Some whose background includes language teaching may secure a position within an educational establishment as the authority on course evaluation and assessment.

Further study

Tutors are happy to advise those who are considering a further academic qualification. There is a strong possibility that MA graduates will want to continue their studies with doctoral research with the industry experts here in CRELLA.

Visit the MA Applied Linguistic (TEFL) (Testing & Assessment) page on the University of Bedfordshire website for more details!

Entry Requirements

For non-native speakers of English IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with no score lower than 6.0.A good first degree, a background in ELT/language education. Teaching/ testing experience desirable.

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