Programme Description & Aims

Teaching English as a Foreign Language programme (TEFL, alternatively known as TESOL in some countries) offers prospective a well as practicing EFL teachers a strong grounding in theoretical literature, a critical awareness of English language teaching methods, course design, materials development and assessment. It also provides candidates with an introduction to key research tools in language teaching and learning studies. The programme is aimed at individuals with knowledge and understanding of current debates relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language; therefore, some teaching experience is a plus. Applicants are required to have a first degree in a related field (e.g. TEFL, education, linguistics).

Programme length

2 years full time.

Programme Content

Academic Writing (2 credits: Optional)
 
The course introduces fundamental concepts of academic writing to graduate level students of TEFL. It specifically focuses on helping students gain the necessary knowledge and skills to write their graduate course papers, their thesis proposal and thesis following academic writing conventions. Through analyzing rhetorical and linguistic features in research articles in TEFL/TESL and individual writing practice, students learn strategies to improve their skills in writing and editing academic texts. Although the primary focus of the course is on content and organization, structures and vocabulary will also be worked on if and when needed. The instructor will provide students with feedback on each writing assignment.
 
Language Teaching Methodology (2 credits)
 
This course will familiarize students with the central topics dealing with contemporary issues and practices in the teaching of English. The aim is to provide students with the basic concepts in teaching methodology as a basis for teaching appraisal and teaching practice.
 
Principles of Teaching Language Skills (2 credits)
 
This course is intended to introduce MA students of TEFL to theoretical underpinnings of teaching language skills and components and focus on the most recent trends and latest developments in the field.
 
Research Methods in Language Teaching (2 credits)
 
This course is intended to meet the needs of the graduate students who are expected to carry out empirical research. It provides them with a critical awareness of the basic issues, problems, and solutions involved in second language research. The course focuses specifically on issues of research design and methodology and some of the basic concepts in statistics.
 
Computer: Basic Skills
 
This is a prerequisite course which focuses on basic computer skills. The goal is to give students increase students' computer literacy and build a solid foundation upon they can improve their future knowledge of and skill with computers. More advanced topics in computer technology, research and teamwork will also be explored in this course.
 
Teaching Practice (2 credits)
 
This course is intended to introduce MA students of TEFL to practical aspects of English language teaching and provide them with an opportunity to present micro teaching demonstrations.
 
Pedagogical Phonology/Teaching Pronunciation (2 credits)
 
This course introduces students to practical and descriptive levels of the English sound system. As regards phonetics, the course covers the vocal tract and its function in producing speech sounds. Consonants and vowels are described in articulatory terms, and students are taught phonetic transcription – narrow and broad. Moreover, attention is drawn to the problems that speakers of Persian have learning English pronunciation. With regard to phonology, on the other hand, students study the contrastive sounds of language - phonemes- as well as the phonological rules and processes whereby the pronunciation of such sounds is affected when grouped with other sounds – elision, assimilation, linking. In addition, the course covers other phonological issues, such as phoneme distribution, syllable structure, and prosodic features. This course will also look at the most recent approaches to ESL/EFL pronunciation models, e.g. pronunciation in discourse contexts, pronunciation and World Englishes. Students will become familiar with pedagogical treatments of phonetics and phonology in the TEFL context.
 
Language Testing (2 credits)
 
This course will familiarize students with a wide range of topics and trends in the field including both relatively new concerns and more traditional ongoing ones. The aim is to develop a critical awareness of language tests among course participants so that they can better reflect on and evaluate public tests and can construct for themselves valid and reliable tests to be used in language classes.
 
Researching Language in Education Seminar (2 credits)
 
Content Outline: This course will begin by examining the issues related to structuring of an inquiry focusing on the steps the researcher has to go through in the process including the choice of focus and formulation of research questions, designing the study, conceptualization and operationalization and finally the choice of research strategy along with methods of data collection and analysis. The course will then focus on the details of each step exemplifying the issues with samples of research reports and also the students’ progress reports.
 
Materials Development (2 credits: Optional)
 
This course is intended to introduce MA students of TEFL to principles and practice of designing, developing, and evaluating English language teaching materials in EFL contexts.
 
Teaching English through Literature (2 credits: Optional)
 
This course is an introduction to the English language through the medium of English literature. Through the use of examples from poetry, prose and drama, it offers a guide to the concepts and techniques in English language study. By developing practical activities designed for the study of English language, this course goes way beyond pure linguistic description and offers guidelines on the design and implementation of language teaching activities in EFL classrooms through works in the English literature.
 
Psycholinguistics (2 credits)
 
This two-hour credit course intends to provide students with an insight into the basic concepts of psycholinguistics, namely, the biological bases of language (language & the brain), speech perception, the lexicon, sentence processing, discourse, speech production and language acquisition.
 
Discourse Analysis (2 credits)
 
The aim of the course is to become proficient users of English Language and determine how texts are structured. Talk follows regular patterns, whose topics are listed as follows: how intonation operates in communication and how rules differ from culture to culture.
 
English for Specific Purposes (2 credits)
This course is intended to introduce MA students of TEFL to basic concepts in English for specific purposes and help them develop specific field-related materials and examinations.
 
Applied Linguistics (2 credits: Optional)
 
This course is intended to introduce MA students of TEFL to basic concepts in applied linguistics and make them aware of how applied linguistics contributes to second/foreign language teaching.
 
Thesis/Dissertation (4 credits)
 
The TEFL programme ends with students writing up a dissertation to obtain the M.A. degree. Students are encouraged to explore an aspect of TEFL which is personally relevant to them and their teaching contexts. Students typically have five months to complete the dissertation and have an individual supervisor to offer advice and support.
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