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Applied Linguistics: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

MA Applied Linguistics: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


Find out more about the Languages and Identities in InterAction Research Unit (LIdIA)

Find out more about the Department of Languages and Linguistics (DoLL) 


Why should I apply for the Applied Linguistics: TESOL MA?

A 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.


What will I study?

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 or January start.


How is the programme structured?

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: Language Teaching Methodology - This module provides a critical overview of contemporary concerns and developments in TESOL. We explore the diverse cultures of classrooms, student groups and teacher communities in different counties and educational environments, recognising the global context of English and English language teaching. If you already have a DELTA or Diploma in TESOL (or equivalent) you will be awarded the relevant credits for this module and will not be required to attend.
  • Module 4: Research in Applied Linguistics - This module explores the implications of research findings for future professional practice and aims to encourage the participants to exercise an enquiring approach in their future career. The module takes place in the Spring semester, before students start to collect data for the dissertation.
  • Module 5: Dissertation - Your final module will be a dissertation on a topic that you will agree with your supervisor. This module is an opportunity for you to explore in depth an area of interest or particular branch of English language teaching. You will gain experience in formulating ideas and hypotheses, devising sound research methodology, collecting and evaluating data, and presenting your findings in a dissertation of 10,000 -12,000 words.


What resources will I have access to?

Our beautiful campus in the centre of historic York has a range of excellent facilities for students, including a well-stocked library with access to electronic journals, an interactive virtual learning environment, helpful Writing and IT Support services for students, conveniently located student accommodation, a friendly Student Union and International Society and much, much more!

International students whose first language is not English will also have the benefit of additional classes in English for Academic Purposes in their first semester.

We use this Moodle website to share useful resources, news, information about conferences, jobs and PhD studentships with potential applicants and alumni of the MA Applied Linguistics: TESOL. To access our site, please create a guest user login, this is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.


How is the programme taught?

The programme is taught through lectures and seminars, together with independent and group research and study conducted outside formal teaching sessions. You will be encouraged to tailor your study to specific areas of interest within the broader context of the programme, ensuring that your study relates directly to your future career path.


How will I be assessed?

Your assessments will include essays, short reflective assignments, presentations, practical research projects and a dissertation. There are no formal examinations.


Student profile

Having some teaching experience and a linguistics degree, I decided to study for the MA TESOL to get an insight into the theoretical side of language teaching. After just two weeks on the programme I was critically examining my teaching methods, as well as teaching part-time! The interesting module content and class discussions have boosted my motivation and given me a good understanding of current research in TESOL. An added bonus is the good mix of home and international students, for both academic and social activities.

Robert Morris

Before coming to York St John I was an English teacher at a college in Nanchang, China. Two years ago I attended a summer course for teachers at YSJ and was immediately impressed by the friendly environment, and the great mix of people, both staff and students, that I met. This encouraged me to apply for the MA programme and I am enjoying every aspect of the course. The lecturers on the programme are always well-prepared for the lectures, and are very enthusiastic about their subject. I am really enjoying my time here and I am finding the programme both challenging and rewarding. York is also a great place to live with lots of things going on.

Yang Guo


Degree programme information

Programme specifications »