To better understand the English language, look to its birthplace. That’s exactly what Joe did after 12 years of studying and working in Mainland China. He started his journey there by learning the Chinese language to better communicate what he knew about English to Chinese primary students. However, the St. Helens-born professional realised there were many aspects of the language he needed to master to truly advance his career.
Returning to his roots was a crucial first step and Edge Hill University (EHU) — which recently won the title of Modern University of the Year (the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022) — was an obvious choice.
“Its MA TESOL just seemed like a natural progression for me,” he says. “After reading up on similar qualifications, I felt the modules provided by EHU were well-designed and better-suited for my own personal and professional development.”
While nervous to begin yet another academic journey — this time, as a mature student — Joe was immediately comforted by his interaction with an approachable faculty. “Kind and welcoming” are two words he uses to describe them. With their help, he was able to view every obstacle as a learning opportunity to overcome barriers — language-related or not.
With broadened horizons, Joe began realising his full potential. “Although I still enjoy teaching young learners, the knowledge and skills gained through EHU’s MA TESOL have inspired me to consider a broader range of positions — possibly even into material development or teacher training,” he explains.
Those without Joe’s years of experience are welcome to these realisations as well. The programme is just as effective when it comes to providing new knowledge and skills to those in the earliest stages of their career. EHU’s expert TESOL faculty have extensive experience in both local and international contexts. Students have multiple opportunities to engage with other TESOL practitioners too, such as by attending regional TESOL conferences or Professional Interest Meetings. Some even take on paid outreach teaching opportunities at a local refugee centre.
International student Rahul travelled from his home country of India to study the MA TESOL – a decision that’s set to pay off well for him. For him, the most enjoyable part of his programme was being able to learn something new every day. “You get to know how to manage your classroom, you get to know how to apply the research material that brilliant people have prepared,” he says. “The module on management and leadership is very useful for any teacher, because you get to stand in the shoes of the manager, and you get to analyse things from his perspective.”
He’s planning to work in many European countries where the MA TESOL is accepted. “I would definitely recommend this course to students who intend to improve in their profession, especially teachers who would like to know how they should teach, and why they should use certain strategies in their classrooms which are totally proven,” he says.
EHU’s MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) was designed to inspire such confidence by covering every angle. It embraces many different aspects of language teaching and learning including EFL and ESL (English as a Foreign & Second Language), ESP (English for Specific Purposes) and EAP (English for Academic Purposes).
Designed with postgraduate ELT students in mind, the programme sets out to expand comprehension of contemporary theory in English language teaching. In the process, it enhances professional, practical and reflective skills. Its core modules nurture a solid foundation, focusing on educational theories in the context of second language learning, important recent research and development in language teaching, and the needs of learners within the ESL classroom. Through a combination of compulsory and optional modules, the programmes offer real depth to the learning experience.
The Educational Management of TESOL module plays a crucial role in preparing students to take their careers further. This aspect of the programme involves a thorough and rigorous theoretical and practical insight into an area of TESOL management through the extensive exploration of practical educational management problems that exist within organisations.
“I particularly enjoyed the management module as this is the current field I am working in,” says graduate Alexa. “The theory behind management was really interesting and I was able to put the theory into practice in a real-life scenario, which I have since implemented within my company by putting new procedures into place. These procedures improve observation policies and continual professional opportunities and working towards a more collegial model with our freelance homestay tutors.”
Alexa is currently working as a Director of Studies for a homestay English language teaching organisation. Joe moved to Hong Kong to join an international education group as an English Second Language teacher. Others find employment all over the world, as teachers, trainers, lecturers, instructors, administrators or directors of study within language schools, colleges, universities or organisations like the British Council. Many feel well-equipped for the doctoral route as well.
“Developing my personal academic literacy is one of the biggest takeaways from the course and I feel inspired to pursue a higher-level degree at some point,” attests Joe. “The Theories of Second Language Education module really helped me to develop my academic writing skills. In fact, I am currently working on writing a research paper for an academic journal — something I would never have even considered possible before starting the MA TESOL at Edge Hill University.”
Click here to enquire about studying the MA TESOL at Edge Hill University.