MA TESOL - Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Advance your teaching career with Warwick
Our TESOL degree is adaptable, innovative, and ready to help you progress in your career. We welcome new graduates and experienced teachers alike. We have trained students for over 30 years, with expert teaching and world-class facilities.
In this course, we will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to teach English as a global language. You will develop a critical understanding of the evolving nature of English as a global language and consider the effectiveness and appropriateness of different methodological approaches. You will become empowered to examine the connections between research, theory and professional practice, and think about TESOL in new ways. With our wide selection of option modules, you will tailor your syllabus to your interests and career goals.
Students with limited or no English language teaching experience can develop their professional practice skills through in-class microteaching and action research. Experienced teachers may have the opportunity to undertake formal teaching practice with ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners.
Our welcoming postgraduate teaching and research community will support you throughout your studies. By the end of this course, you will be confident and ready to take on your new career. Our graduates occupy senior positions throughout the world.
- Foundations of TESOL Methodology OR Innovations in TESOL Methodology (core module, 15 credits)
- SLA Insights for TESOL Practice (core module, 10 credits)
- Approaches to Written Discourse (core module, 15 credits)
- Sociolinguistics of English as a Global Language (core module, 10 credits)
- Spoken Interaction (core module, 10 credits)
- Research Methods in TESOL (core module, 10 credits)
- Foundations of TESOL Professional Practice OR Professional Practice in TESOL (core module, 20 credits)
- You will choose 30 credits in total from Optional modules. Previously, a selection of the following options have been offered:
- Specialism in Teacher Education and Development (20 credits)
- Specialism in Classroom Motivation (20 credits)
- Specialism in Intercultural Language Teaching and Learning (20 credits)
- Literature and Drama in TESOL (10 credits)
- Assessment in TESOL (10 credits)
- Management in Leadership in TESOL (10 credits)
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in TESOL (10 credits)
- Teaching and Researching Young Language Learners (10 credits)
Rest of the year
- Dissertation of 15,000 words (core module, 60 credits)
The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
Pathway 1 (Typically students with less than 2 years of teaching experience)
- Foundations of TESOL Methodology: This module is designed to enable students with little or no English language teaching experience to strengthen their understanding of key TESOL approaches and methods that will inform their own professional teaching practice after graduation. The module aims to: deepen students’ systematic understanding and critical awareness of key trends and debates in modern TESOL pedagogy by building on students’ previous learning, teaching and life experience; facilitate students’ awareness and critical evaluation of current practice and research concerning TESOL methodology; apply the insights gained above to areas of concern in their own teaching / learning contexts and their own future professional practice. By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate comprehensive understanding of principal methodological approaches relevant to TESOL practice, develop principled approaches to managing classroom interaction and activities, critically evaluate and choose methodologies that are appropriate to the needs of learners and stakeholders in the students’ own teaching and learning contexts.
- Foundations of TESOL Professional Practice: This module is designed to complement the ‘Foundations of TESOL Methodology’ module which principally focusses on developing critical awareness of English language teaching approaches and methods. Approaches and methods will be further explored in this module, particularly through actual classroom teaching practice. For this, students will plan and design their own lessons in a collaborative environment with input from peers and tutors. The module aims to introduce students to a range of practical classroom management and teaching techniques for the English language classroom. This will include, for example, an applied focus on classroom management, lesson planning, and methods and approaches to teaching all four skills. Central to the module is the opportunity for students to engage in a carefully structured action research project in which they will design and teach a short lesson to their peers, identify research areas for teaching improvement, teach a second lesson incorporating insights from the research they have done, and evaluate improvement based on the changes they have made. By engaging with such an action research project, students will be introduced to research techniques and methodology as well as develop research presentation skills. By the end of the module, students should be able to critically evaluate and appropriately select a range of techniques and practices appropriate for a specific group of learners and be able to: demonstrate the practical application of these in their own teaching and lesson planning; draw on methodological principles and theories of language learning to develop their own and others’ teaching practice; develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the approaches, instruments and methodologies used in classroom research.
Pathway 2 (Typically students with more than two years of teaching experience)
- Innovations in TESOL Methodology: TESOL is a forward-looking field, and new ideas and practices are constantly promoted. But what is really new, what kinds of change have most value, and how can innovation be brought about most appropriately? This module will help you consider innovations in TESOL in relation to your own teaching contexts. We introduce you to recent innovations, such as: technology; values; language; learning and assessment/resource-based ideas and practices. You will critically evaluate new ideas, according to provided frameworks and ones you will develop yourself. You're introduced to ideas on how to navigate and bring about change successfully, with reference to reflective practice, practitioner research, occupational psychology and innovation management.
- Professional Practice in TESOL: This core module is designed to provide a solid theoretical and practical knowledge of materials design for TESOL. It will help to develop your understanding of how materials are theoretically underpinned and to critically evaluate commercially produced course-books. There will be input on aspects of needs analysis, syllabus and curriculum design, educational theory and effective ways to structure skills and language work in traditional and online formats. You will work collaboratively with others to design materials which are cohesive and appropriate for context in a classroom, online or in a blended learning situation. The assessment is based on the materials that you develop and on a written assignment outlining your rationale for them. The purpose of these materials will depend on your interests. It may include developing classroom activities for English language learners in schools or private institutions, EAP learners, teachers in development sessions or testing materials.
PLUS both Pathway 1 and Pathway 2 take the following core modules:
- Approaches to Written Discourse: In this module you will learn various ways to analyse written texts; these could be individual texts written in a specific context, or large collections of texts held in databases. The focus of the module is on how text producers attempt to achieve communicative purposes via the choices they make. We look at how texts represent ‘reality’, how they manage interpersonal relationships, and how they organise ideas for the reader. You will choose a text and investigate it using the approaches learned on the module. The skills and knowledge gained in this module form an excellent basis for a dissertation project. This means that you have the option, in term 3, of conducting a deeper investigation of a discourse which particularly interests you.
- Sociolinguistics of English as a Global Language: Where has English come from? Where and how has it spread? What World Englishes have emerged? Why is English called a ‘global’ language? What ‘standards’ of English are there? What English(es) should be taught in TESOL? How do people interact in multilingual contexts using English as a lingua franca and other languages in their repertoires? And to what extent is being a ‘native speaker’ of English of any relevance as a badge of TESOL identity? These are controversial but important questions you will explore in this module. It aims to connect the sociolinguistics of English as a global language with the ‘politics’ of TESOL today.
- SLA Insights into TESOL Practice: This module provides a theoretical knowledge base in SLA (second language acquisition), a core field of study underpinning TESOL. The module focuses on learner factors and social-interactive factors that are particularly relevant to SLA in classroom settings. It aims to develop your critical understanding of how insights from SLA theory and research are used to inform language teaching and also evaluate classroom practices in a professional context. In particular, it focuses on understanding the complexity of learner characteristics and social-interactive processes shaping SLA, and on developing principled pedagogical approaches based on this understanding. You will study via lectures and reading, as well as discussion and experiential learning through seminar activities. Assessment will be via written assignment focusing on a relevant topic of your choice.
- Spoken Interaction: This module aims to develop skills in the collection, transcription and analysis of spoken interaction. You will focus on capturing samples of speech for analysis and teaching purposes; exploring the relationship between context and the construction of talk; understanding different approaches to the analysis of spoken interaction; applying conversation analysis to spoken interaction; and identifying the main features of classroom interaction. As well as learning how to capture spoken data and transcribe it, you will choose an area of analysis for your assignment. Students report that spoken interaction analysis tools are often helpful with dissertation research.
- Research Methods in TESOL: Designing and undertaking a small scale research project independently is a core part of the programme. This module will take you through the process of writing a well-structured MA dissertation. It will encourage you to engage with and critically evaluate research in the broad field of TESOL, and familiarise you with different approaches to ethical research. The module will cover a range of data collection methods and analytical options relevant to TESOL contexts. You will be encouraged to undertake research relevant to your own interests after formulating focused, answerable research questions. The module will also address questions about how to present an appropriately structured, clearly articulated proposal.
- Dissertation: The dissertation will give students the opportunity to put theory into practice and design a small-scale study that is meaningful and relevant in their professional contexts. More specifically, it will encourage students to reflect critically on issues and debates within TESOL and identify a topic for further research. It will provide students with an opportunity to explore this topic in depth, to develop a critical literature review, a suitable methodology and an appropriate approach to data analysis.
- Examples of previous option modules offered by the department are listed under the course structure tab. You can find out more about our option modules by searching for them by name in the module catalogue: https://courses.warwick.ac.uk
The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
Our staff involved in this course are listed below; note that this may occasionally be subject to change.
- Dr Jason AndersonLink opens in a new window
- Mr Andy DavidsonLink opens in a new window
- Ms Tilly HarrisonLink opens in a new window
- Professor Tony LiddicoatLink opens in a new window
- Professor Steve MannLink opens in a new window
- Dr Troy McConachyLink opens in a new window
- Professor Neil MurrayLink opens in a new window
- Dr Annamaria PinterLink opens in a new window
- Ms Lynnette RichardsLink opens in a new window
- Ms Miriam SchwieningLink opens in a new window
- Professor Richard SmithLink opens in a new window
- Professor Ema UshiodaLink opens in a new window
- Dr Sue Wharton Link opens in a new window
- Develop a strong understanding of how language works: you will have the opportunity to expand your understanding of how language is used to create meaning in different contexts and modalities. This provides a firm knowledge base for thinking about the language curriculum and the historical, sociopolitical, and sociolinguistic dimensions of TESOL research and practice.
- Access a wide range of exciting option modules: Our diverse option modules -- including our unique Specialism modules -- reflect the latest trends in TESOL.
- Build an international network: our students come from all over the world - we've trained people from the UK, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South, South East, East and Central Asia, North, and South and Central America.
- Create a professional network: you'll be studying alongside fellow teachers and heads of departments in primary, secondary and higher education institutions; and curriculum developers, inspectors and administrators in Ministries of Education.
- Live and study in the West Midlands: you'll live in a beautiful area of the UK, with a distinctive history. We have a great transport network with convenient access to London and the rest of the UK and Europe.
By the end of this course, you will be confident and ready to further your career. Some of our graduates go on to occupy senior positions in educational institutions around the world. Many work in the field of English Language Teaching both in the state and in the private sectors. Others teach in university English departments, work in publishing or set up their own language education businesses. Graduates from these courses go on to successful careers in areas such as:
- English language teaching
- Academic research
- Recruitment consultancy
- Business development
- University lecturer in TESOL/Applied Linguistics
- Teacher trainer
Interested to know more about what life is like as an MA TESOL student at Warwick? Take a look at our student blogs:
Hi there! I’m Suyog from Maharashtra, India. As a current MA TESOL student in the applied linguistics department, I’m excited to share my experiences with you. Join me on this journey of discovery!
Visit Suyog Dixit's blogLink opens in a new window
Jia Lih Lim
Hi, I am Lim Jia Lih. I am from Malaysia. I am currently a postgraduate student reading MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I was an English teacher for 5 years serving at a rural primary school in Sarawak, Malaysia.
Visit Jia Lih's blogLink opens in a new window
Former MA TESOL Bloggers
Hi I’m Khoa. I’m from Vietnam and I’m currently a postgraduate studying MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I’ve taught English for around 6 years in Vietnam. (Khoa studied during 2022/23 Academic year, graduating in January 2023.)
Visit Khoa's blogLink opens in a new window
Hi, I’m Irene.
I’m a postgraduate student majoring in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) this year. I had been an English teacher for 4 years before deciding to come to Warwick for my masters. (Irene studied during 2022/23 Academic year, graduating in January 2023.)
Visit Irene's blogLink opens in a new window
What do our students say?
"What attracted me most was the curricula scheme of the MA programme. It contains a reasonable combination of learning and practicing. During the period of studying at Warwick, I gained practical knowledge of language teaching strategies such as task-based teaching and giving feedback. I learned how to design course materials, how to be a good teacher with commitment.
Currently I am working as a trainer in an online English teaching company. My daily work includes doing research on student needs and expectations for teachers, developing training materials, and training teachers. What I learned from the MA programme helps me a lot in various ways at work. I have become more proficient in terms of conducting research. I can use the knowledge I learned from the programme to help teachers adopt efficient teaching methods and questioning skills. Honestly speaking, without studying this programme, I wouldn't be this confident and comfortable at work."
"Studying the MA ELT at Warwick has been quite an exciting experience. First, from among a wide range of courses, I think the program design allowed me to make a successful combination for my career. Besides my Testing and Assessment specialty, I chose a Teacher Development course for my elective, which will help me a lot because I will be involved in offering teacher training courses on testing when I go back to my country. Secondly, I really valued the team teaching professionally planned and led by a team of high-calibre professors. Last, but most interesting, is the qualitative research orientation I got here.
Besides promoting my academic knowledge I feel that I have also developed my research skills. Now I’m confident I will be qualified for excellent career prospects."
Yasir El Hag
"Warwick has honed my research skills and satisfied my desire for acquiring knowledge along with the ability for critical thinking and in-depth analysis. Its academics have nurtured my sense of purpose and achievement and become consummate professionals, colleagues and friends. Along with improving my academic skills, I have gained extracurricular skills such as negotiation, respecting diversity, discovering my weaknesses and strengths and respecting intellectual rights. In the future, I intend to put the experience I gained in ELT, ICT, assessment and developing course materials into practice to develop education and learning programmes in Syria and the Middle East."
Samer Al Sati
"My coming back to Juba was very timely. Immediately in October, I started a part time teaching job at the Collage of Law, University of Juba, supporting students of Arabic background to improve their English language skills. The application of teaching English language is working very well. Yet fresh with skills and techniques from the University of Warwick, I have acquired new ways to teach the English language that make students fully engaged during lessons. Some senior lecturers who have observed my teaching have expressed satisfactory feedback to the Dean and my Director. The credit goes back to the leadership and tutors of Warwick University.
Secondly, I am spearheading formation of a South Sudan English Language Teachers' Association. We still have hard work to spread good news about forming an association. This is important to other teachers of English language, and Ministry of Education at state and national level. I still recall the great support I received towards my better professional development."
"Studying the MA ELT at the University of Warwick facilitated my insertion as a teachers' trainer in Chile. The programme offers well-designed modules that promote the reflection and the critical analysis of current issues in ELT. Moreover, such courses were taught by a highly qualified and absolutely supportive academic staff. The lecturers used scaffolding strategies that led us to succeed and reach our full potential as teachers and researchers. My experience in Warwick was undoubtedly enriching; each lecture and meeting with the academic team motivated me and encouraged me to find out and provide possible solutions to the issues I identified during my research process. Besides promoting my academic knowledge, I feel that I have also developed my research skills. Now I’m confident I will be qualified for excellent career prospects."
Nicolle V. Suazo
2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline
English Language Requirements
IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with 6.5 in writing)
You will need to include a transcript of studies you have already completed at university level, references from one person who knows your academic and/or your professional background and experience, a detailed CV and a statement about the purpose of your study.
Recognition of Prior Learning.
If you have either of the following:
- The DELTA ( Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Cambridge Assessment, University of Cambridge (formerly UCLES)
- Diploma TESOL (Trinity College, London LTCL)
You will be exempt from the following core modules on the MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL):
- Innovations in TESOL Methodology (15 credits)
- SLA Insights into TESOL contexts (10 credits)
- Professional Practice in TESOL (20 credits)
This is a total of 45 credits at FHEQ level 7. Find out more with our Teaching Quality Team or contact our Course leader Troy McConachy: T.McConachy@warwick.ac.uk
Course Fees and Funding
See postgraduate fees and fundingLink opens in a new window
We are offering three competitive bursaries to outstanding students and professionals who wish to study full-time on our MA TESOL for entry in Autumn 2023:
Two worldwide bursaries worth 50% of the current tuition fee: you must be from outside the UK, with an excellent academic record, with at least 2 years of full-time professional/ teaching experience (or equivalent), and have accepted an offer on the programme from Warwick. Deadline for Applications: Wednesday 31st May 2023
- One UK bursary worth £3,000: you must be a UK candidate with an excellent academic record who has accepted an offer on the programme from Warwick. Deadline for Applications: Friday 30th June 2023
Bursary application instructions
You can only apply after you have accepted your place as a full-time student. Please complete the following using no more than 1000 words:
- Explain how your academic background and professional experiences have prepared you for study on the MA TESOL degree;
- Explain how you would like to use the knowledge and skills acquired on the MA TESOL degree to contribute to the improvement of English language teaching in your own institutional, regional, or national context.
Please apply by sending this to PGTCAL@warwick.ac.uk marked ‘MA TESOL Bursary’ by the relevant deadline (Wednesday 31st May 2023 for the worldwide bursary; Friday 30th June 2023 for the UK bursary).
For more information or questions, please contact Dr Troy McConachy at T.McConachy@warwick.ac.uk
Additional funding opportunities
Information can be found hereLink opens in a new window on a variety of international scholarship opportunities for international students.
Scholarship & Funding OpportunitiesLink opens in a new window
Warwick Taught Masters ScholarshipsLink opens in a new window
Ready to apply?
Please make sure you have seen our entry requirements and have prepared all the relevant documents.
The deadline for overseas applications is 31 July. We also recommend that UK applicants apply by 31 July to guarantee a place in the coming academic year.
Our online prospectus talks you through the whole application process, but if you have any questions, please get in touch with us:
Qualification: Master of Arts (MA)
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2-4 years part-time
Next intake: End September 2023
Contact: Course leader Troy McConachy via PGTCAL at warwick dot ac dot uk