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MA English Language Teaching (campus-based)

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  • Objectives
    By the end of the course we expect students to have developed the following general academic skills: -analysing and categorising – and hence evaluating – language at different levels -designing curricula and syllabi on the basis of data provided -synthesising, analysing and evaluating information and theoretical claims in specialist literature -giving well-organised, clear oral presentations to a specialist or semi-specialist audience -producing well-structured and clearly-written academic and professional papers -collaborating with others in research, problem-solving and/or the development of plans and recommendations -(for Dissertation-Track students) designing and conducting a research project, including a clear statement of research aims, identifying and searching relevant bibliographical sources, conducting an empirical or library-based investigation, and analysing and interpreting results in relation to established theory and professional concerns -(for Portfolio-Track students) observing critically and analysing classroom events, designing lesson plans and materials for language learners, delivering and evaluating micro-teaching practice sessions.
  • Entry requirements
    The MA in English Language Teaching (MAELT) course is designed especially for those currently working or intending to work in the field of English as a second / foreign language, and has courses in language description, and in pedagogy-and administration-related fields with this audience in mind. Students are given an up-to-date knowledge of principles and issues in areas of importance to language learning and assessment, and investigate their practical implications. In addition, for those who opt for the Dissertation Track, the dissertation (with its Research methods module) provides them with the opportunity to pursue a particular topic of interest at a greater depth, and to gain research skills which will benefit them if they go on to doctoral studies or in professional investigations.Thus students receive a thorough grounding that will help them to develop their career as a teacher, trainer, researcher or manager.
  • Academic Title
    MA English Language Teaching (campus-based)
  • Course description
    Course content

    The MAELT course allows students some freedom to suit their own needs, but with a shared foundation of compulsory core modules. The latter combine with option modules which may be selected from a range of available subjects within the School. A special feature of the course is that it has three tracks: one with dissertation (referred to as the 'Dissertation Track'), another with modules in place of the dissertation (the 'Taught Track'), and a third by way of language teaching portfolio (the 'Portfolio Track'). In addition, there is a distance study version of the Taught Track and Dissertation Track permitting study entirely away from Reading, or a combination of distance and campus-based study. A separate course specification is available for distance study.

    The compulsory modules are divided into three areas: English language description, language teaching/learning, and (for Dissertation Track) research, or (for Portfolio Track) teaching observation and practice. The English language description modules run in the Autumn term, and language learning and teaching modules in the Autumn and Spring terms. The research area comprises a research design and basic statistical methods module (taught in the Spring Term) and the dissertation, of 15,000 words, on a topic in the field of English Language Teaching, broadly defined.Research for, and the writing of, the dissertation take place in the Summer term and the Summer vacation. The teaching portfolio comprises a number of assessments related to the observation of classroom practice, design and development of language teaching material, and reflective accounts of experiences delivering materials in classroom contexts.

    The optional modules cover a wide range of pure and applied areas (with an emphasis on the latter) and, together with the dissertation, provide flexibility and the opportunity for specialisation in the greater part of the course.

    Students must choose 3 option modules (each of 20 credits) if following the dissertation or Portfolio Tracks, and 6 option modules (each of 20 credits) if following the Taught Track, to make a total of 180 credits when combined with the other course modules and the dissertation or teaching portfolio (where relevant).

    Compulsory modules
    -Foundation phonetics & phonology
    -Descriptive English grammar
    -Discourse analysis for language teachers
    -Second language learning principles (Dissertation and Taught Tracks only)
    -Core issues in English language teaching (Portfolio Track only)
    -Language curriculum design (Dissertation and Taught Tracks only)
    -Teaching the language skills (Portfolio Track only)
    -Research design & dissertation (Dissertation Track only)
    -Language teaching portfolio (Portfolio Track only)

    Optional Modules

    Dissertation Track - 3 modules from the following list; Taught Track - 6 modules from the following list:

    -Language testing principles
    -Written language (reading & writing)
    -Corpora in applied linguistics
    -English for specific purposes
    -Experimental phonology for language teachers
    -Spoken language (listening & speaking)
    -Teaching young learners
    -Information technology for language teaching
    -Intercultural communication

    Portfolio Track - 3 modules from the following list:

    -Child language development
    -English in the world
    -Language testing principles
    -Corpora in applied linguistics
    -English for specific purposes
    -Teaching literature in the language classroom
    -Intercultural communication
    -Information technology for language teaching

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