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MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Course Description

Want to further your career in language teaching? Learn the latest linguistics theories and apply them to your classroom practice. Gain critical and analytical skills that will boost your career prospects.

If you’re involved with any aspect of foreign language teaching, this course will further your theoretical understanding of language learning and give you a chance to develop your teaching skills.


Second Language Acquisition

You’ll focus on the major themes that have emerged from literature on second language learning over the last three decades. You’ll examine some of the research on the second-language acquisition process, look critically at reports of second-language research, and examine some of the theories which endeavour to interpret research evidence. You will be encouraged to use your own language learning and teaching experience to assess the relative merits of such materials.

Discourse in Society

You’ll examine the relationship between language and society, and the construction of discourse in various domains. In the first part of the module you’ll explore sociological and sociolinguistic models and theories, such as speech communities, communities of practice and ethnolinguistic vitality, with a particular focus on social variation and stratification across various linguistic levels (phonology, lexicon, syntax). The second part of the module expands the discussion, and you’ll explore the notion (or notions) of discourse in both its linguistic and wider meaning, and its construction in and through society and language use. Throughout the module, you'll study methods for the collection and transcription of data, and discover various approaches to linguistic and discourse analysis. These methods and approaches will then be put into context and used in the analysis of the relevant social spheres and domains, such as educational or institutional discourse. By the end of the course, you’ll become more familiar with some of the theoretical foundations on which the study of language use is built, and you’ll be able to apply the practical techniques of sociolinguistic and discourse analysis.

Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

This module will provide you with an introduction to research methods in preparation for the MA dissertation. Fortnightly sessions will familiarise you with the basic processes of conducting research, including general methodological approaches as well as research ethics. You’ll analyse and discuss both qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop your critical-evaluative skills

Major Project

This module will support you in the preparation and submission of a Masters dissertation, allowing you to explore in-depth a particular topic that reflects your academic interest.


Materials and Course Design

You will explore the factors involved in the design of language courses and teaching materials, reflecting on one possible process of course design. You will start with an analysis of the context in which the course will take place, the needs of the learners, and current theories of language and language learning. You will move on to consider how course content can be selected and ordered in a principled way, how assessment relates to course design, and how and when courses should be evaluated. Finally, you will consider the evaluation, adaptation and creation of course materials.

Classroom Theory and Practice

You will examine current research on modern classroom operations, exploring key concepts and issues through relevant professional and academic literature. A more practical element will be realised through live and filmed observation of teachers in practice. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your teaching and learning experience, and analyse and discuss your beliefs and attitudes towards learning and teaching.

Impacts of Migration

You will explore the push and pull factors which stimulate migration to Europe, and investigate the impact of cultural difference and interconnectedness at national, regional and local level, including the workplace. While taking account of global trends in migration and diaspora, you will focus on the situation in key European countries, in particular Britain, France, Germany and Spain. Local case studies from various organisations will allow you to conduct an in-depth analysis of the processes of integration and alienation, including patterns of mutual – cultural, racial and/or gender – discrimination, as well as linguistic adaptation. You will give special attention to the dynamics of cultural interaction, which consider the role of religion, male and female codes of honour, patriarchal mentality and potential clashes in expectations from and by contemporary leadership. You will further consider the subjectivity of this experience by exploring selected stories of migration as reflected in migrant film and literature.

Language, Identity and Policy

You will explore the psychological and social intricacies of language and interaction both in general and within the EU. You will examine the question of language within the EU, identifying the points of tension for a community of nations who seek to work together increasingly closely and to achieve intercultural understanding while at the same time making a strong commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity. You will assess how far EU policy confronts the language issues identifiable within its current frontiers and the likely way forward as more countries and more languages join, comparing the situation in Europe with those experienced in other countries. Finally, you will explore how developing language technologies might facilitate future intercultural communication and help to resolve some of the current difficulties.

Visit the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (or equivalent) or extensive relevant professional experience. IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

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