Language Teaching (MA)

Year of entry

2017

Start date

October 2017

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Two to three evenings a week, October to September

Other entry years for this course

2018

Birkbeck's specialist MA Language Teaching is designed for people who are already experienced foreign or second language teachers who want to develop their career opportunities, or those with less experience but a strong interest in pursuing a career in this field.

The programme will develop both your understanding of classroom practice and of key areas of research that inform practice. This is a course on which the importance of bridging the gap between theory and practice is valued and it is structured to reflect the fine balance between the two.

Through your acquaintance with current literature and the research you carry out in completing course assignments, you will be able to engage critically and constructively in debates relating to a wide range of aspects of language teaching.

The programme has a number of unique features. One of them is its focus on the multilingual and multicultural contexts of language learning and teaching. Another unique feature of the programme is that locally based teachers of languages other than English have the opportunity to share their experiences with students from all over world, thus gaining insight into a wide range of language teaching contexts internationally.

In addition, you will be studying alongside students on the MA TESOL programme, thus benefiting from an exchange of experiences and perspectives with teachers of English as well as a range of other languages.

The programme is also unique in offering you a choice between two dissertation pathways: an empirical research investigation of an aspect of language teaching and learning or an independent library-based project on a topic of your choice.

MA Language Teaching will enhance your career prospects in a number of ways. If you are an experienced teacher it will help you to progress to a more senior or specialised position in language teaching, such as a senior teacher, director of studies, teacher trainer, consultant or materials developer. An MA Language Teaching is an essential qualification for those who wish to teach languages at university level, whether for general or more specific purposes. For those with less teaching experience, MA Language Teaching will give you a competitive early career advantage as you gain more experience in teaching posts.

As an MA Language Teaching student, you will join a vibrant and diverse community supported by the Birkbeck College Applied Linguistics Society, which is student run. An annual Postgraduate Student Research Conference is organised by the Society every summer. In addition, the Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts a lecture series given by international visiting scholars. Birkbeck also actively collaborates with the larger community of applied linguists throughout University of London colleges, including the Institute of Education (IoE), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and University College London (UCL), which are all next door to Birkbeck in Bloomsbury, while King’s College London (KCL) is a short walk away.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

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Highlights

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • You will gain a broader view of language teaching and learning by drawing on the rich and diverse research in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication.
  • You will have the opportunity to share experiences with, and learn from, colleagues from all over the world and the UK, and be part of a vibrant scholarly and research community in the heart of London.
  • Read a blog post by Professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros that considers what linguistics is.
  • If you are interested in an academic career, MA Language Teaching can allow you to progress to doctoral study.
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Course structure

You take two core modules (worth 30 credits each) and two or three option modules (worth 30 credits each), and complete a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation (worth 60 credits) or a 4500-5000-word independent literature review (worth 30 credits).

Note: please check with the programme office for availability of the modules listed.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

Read more about modules

Sample timetable

PDF document icon ALC Masters Timetable 2017-18.pdf — PDF document, 72 KB (74743 bytes)
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