Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) MA/ Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate (School of Education)

This Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) programme based in the School of Education, offers a unique opportunity to study for a qualification which links teaching English to wider issues of school-based education. It is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language. The aim is to support you in becoming a reflective TEFL practitioner, a competent educational researcher and an active member of the international academic and professional TEFL community.

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Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: MA - 1 year full-time, 3 years part-time; PGDip - 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; PGCert - 1 year full-time/part-time

Start date: September

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

Details

This programme is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a Foreign Language. Some teaching experience is an advantage but not essential. The aim is to support you in becoming a reflective TEFL practitioner, a competent educational researcher and an active member of the international academic and professional TEFL community. 

Two of our international students talk about their experiences of the TEFL programme.

Two recent students talk about their experience of the TEFL programme
Ai from Japan (speaking in Japanese) Xiao Xiao from China (speaking in Mandarin)

Programme content

The programme is designed both to be practical and to provide an introduction to key research tools. There are three core modules for the Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme:

  • Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment
  • Language, Discourse and Society
  • Second Language Learning

These modules give you a strong grounding in appropriate classroom methodology, and course design with the opportunity to create your own teaching and learning materials. Other modules provide opportunities to visit British primary, secondary and language schools, and prepare you for your dissertation. We also offer a wide range of options to choose from, including Curriculum Design in Global Contexts, Leadership for School Improvement, Personal and Professional Skills for Education Management, Online Learning, ICT in Education, Education as an International Issue, and Special Educational Needs of Children with Autism.

You will have the chance to participate in events organised by our research centre MOSAIC, such as conferences and popular seminar series with renowned international TEFL researchers.

For an alternative qualification in a different College in the University of Birmingham, please view the Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language MA within the Centre for English Language Studies. 

Why study this course

Zohra from Pakistan talks about why she decided to join the TEFL programme

A number of students talk about the TEFL programme on 'Student Voices'

The School of Education has a vibrant community of research students;(MPhil/EdD/PhD), researching a range of topics, including as bilingual education, second language motivation, second language learning in virtual environments, intercultural communication, complementary schools, and many others.

All tutors teaching on the core modules of the MA Education TEFL programme are involved in research projects concerning classroom interaction, second language learning and teaching, teacher collaboration, teacher development, bilingualism and multilingualism, literacy, academic discourse, gender and identity, digital literacies and learning through IT amongst many others.

All of this will make studying TEFL at the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, England, UK an exciting and rewarding experience.

Modules

Foreign Languages in Education: Communicative Language Teaching, Syllabus Design and Assessment

Module code 05492 (20 credits)

This module will present the theoretical background to communicative language teaching and learning and investigates practical issues of current concern in teaching and testing.  Topics include communicative competence, relationship of L1 to L2; teaching in the L2; socio-cultural studies; influence of discourse analysis; national curriculum, syllabus types and syllabus design; grammar, accuracy and error; uses of the visual; listening, reading, writing and authentic materials; and communicative assessment in the four skills.  Theoretical issues will lead to work on practical examples taken from the particular languages which students teach. The practical classroom constraints will receive particular attention.

This module will encourage you to:

  • Critically engage with the theory and practice of communicative approaches to the learning and teaching of language
  • Evaluate CLT possibilities in a variety of cultures and teaching and learning contexts
  • Critically evaluate different syllabus documents, teaching materials and activities and consider issues of assessment and evaluation
  • Understand the role of teacher reflection and action research in the development of appropriate language teaching methodology

Language Discourse and Society

Module Code 05598 (20 credits)

This module will provide an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of the interrelationship between language and society. Specifically, it is concerned with sociolinguistics and its relevance to language learning and teaching. Topics will include multilingualism (code-switching, bilingualism, politics of language), discourses and identities (with specific reference to ethnicity and gender) and literacy in its social context.

This module will help you to:

  • Understand the pivotal role language plays in human social organisation
  • Be able to identify key areas in the interaction between language and society
  • Develop a knowledge about and an ability to apply sociolinguistics research methods
  • Understand potential applications of sociolinguistics knowledge in education

Second Language Learning

Module code 05639 (20 credits)

The learning of a foreign language wil be considered from a number of angles: general theories of learning, learner variables, the nature of interlanguage, classroom input and interaction, 'focused' communicative tasks, and strategies for language-processing and learning.  Theory will be related to practical issues through consideration of issues of course and materials design for learner autonomy and task-based learning.

This module will help you to:

  • To introduce and discuss the basic terminology of second language acquisition theory
  • To examine a wide range of data from case-studies, language classrooms, and experimental studies to lead students toward making inductions
  • To examine the relevance of major language learning theories for teaching
  • To encourage students to critically evaluate their own learning and teaching experiences in the light of theoretical perspectives.

There are 2 core Education Modules.

School Observation, Evaluation and Supervision

As part of this module you will visit schools and observe a teacher teaching a class. This module will help you to:

  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of the English education system
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of effective teaching and of approaches to the observation and evaluation of teaching and learning
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of school development planning and approaches to school improvement

Practitioner Inquiry in Education

Module code 21410 (20 credits)

This module will help you to:

  • Plan and carry out your Master’s dissertation
  • Identify a suitable dissertation topic and appropriate research methodology
  • Develop a knowledge about data collection and analysis in an educational context
  • Get feedback and support from tutors and a supervisor

There are also several optional modules.

Optional Modules

Students choose one optional module from:

  • Curriculum Design in Global Contexts
  • IT in Educational Administration and Management
  • Human Rights, Citizenship and the Environment
  • Personal and Professional Skills for Education Management
  • Leadership for School Improvement

Dissertation

In the School of Education, the 'Practioner Inquiry in Education' module prepares the ground for this choice. This module is completed in the first semester and the MA programme is designed to get you to make an early choice and help with planning. This means you have more time to read around topic and organise data collection. Many overseas students return to their home country to collect data. Others stay in UK and find an suitable research focus here. The TEFL team will help you make this choice. Each student has an individual supervisor who is there to offer advice and support along the way.

The actual dissertation is 15000 words long. It usually contains a description of the research or teaching context, a section on research methodology, a literature review, analysis and discussion, as well as evaluation. Although it sounds like a large number of words, the main problem students usually have is cutting their work down to the word limit! Students have nearly six months (between April and September) to complete the research and writing.

To see examples of TEFL dissertation projects, view the Dissertation prize winners

Fees and funding

Fees Home/EU 2015-2016

  • Code 6146 PGCert full time £2,070
  • Code 6150 PGDip full time £4,140
  • Code 4399 MA full time £6,210
  • Code 6374 MA part time £2,070

Fees for part-time programmes are based on students studying 60 credits per year.

The fees shown above are the annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2015. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Fees overseas 2015-2016

  • Code 6146 PGCert full time £4,714
  • Code 6150 PGDip full time £9,427
  • Code 4399 MA full time £14,140
  • Code 6374 MA part time £4,714

Fees are based on students studying 60 credits per year on part-time programmes. 

The fees shown above are the annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2015. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation.

Please view our Fees for International Students  page for further details 

Learn more about fees and funding  

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page

For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries

Entry requirements

Please refer directly to the School of Education entry requirements web page.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

VISA Requirements

Obtaining a visa can be a lengthly process. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your visa. Find out more about the visa requirements and process

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

Learning and teaching

The course participants will experience a range of teaching and learning styles, including lectures and group discussions, practical demonstrations and microteaching, group presentations, school observations, journals and group projects.

The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize

The MA Education TEFL Dissertation Prize is annually awarded to best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour.

Prize winners 2012-2013

Prize winners 2011-2012

Prize winners 2010-2011

Assessment methods

Modules are typically assessed with a 4,000 word written assignments in which students are asked to explore a topic of their choice, review relevant literature and collect and analyse some data in a small-scale research project. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of an aspect of the teaching and learning process and suggest practical implications. For some modules, assessment will take the form of a design and evaluation of curriculum or teaching materials. There will be an early opportunity to submit a short piece of written work and receive constructive feedback from the tutor.

The dissertation is 15,000 words in length, and encourages students to explore an aspect of TEFL which is personally relevant to them and their teaching contexts. It usually includes a description of the context, a literature review, a methodology chapter and the discussion of findings. Students will have an individual supervisor to offer advice and support. The MA Education TEFL Dissertation prize is annually awarded to the best TEFL dissertations in the School of Education whose work demonstrates significance, originality and methodological rigour

 

 

 

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk

Employability

Our graduates typically find work as EFL teachers in schools and universities in countries around the world, return to their English teaching jobs in their home countries, are promoted to more senior roles within their teaching contexts, or pursue a research qualification (usually a PhD degree). Graduates from the MA Education TEFL are consistently successful in winning prestigious PhD scholarships and awards and present their MA TEFL work at international conferences and in publications.

Contact

Dr Maggie Kubanyiova
Programme Coordinator for MA Education TEFL
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8056
Email: m.kubanyiova@bham.ac.uk

Programme administrator
Jagjivan Shienhmar
Tel: +44(0)121 414 4821
Email: j.sheinhmar@bham.ac.uk