MA TEFL

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MATEFL)


The M.A. TEFL is designed to meet the needs of an educational system in transition. In an era when English is regarded as the international language of business, diplomacy, scientific research, and other specialized areas of endeavor, it is imperative that the development of curricula, textbooks, examinations, and the preparation of future teachers dedicated to English language instruction be based on the most highly developed and advanced linguistic, pedagogical, and socio-cultural principles. The course combines theory and practical skills providing students an opportunity to conduct research in the field of applied linguistics and language teaching.

It is expected that graduates of the M.A. TEFL program will assume leadership positions and play pivotal roles in Armenia’s and other nations’ development and implementation of English language curricula for academic, scientific, political, and commercial purposes.

 

Admission Requirements

 

Applicants to MA TEFL must comply with the general university admission requirements detailed in the Admissions tab of this website. In addition, MA TEFL program applicants must have a minimum iBT (Internet-Based TOEFL) score of 79, a satisfactory score on the DEP Speaking Test, an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher on a 5-point scale, and an interest in applied linguistics research, theory, and practice expressed in the applicant’s letter of intent. Applicants who do not meet the minimal language scores may be admitted conditionally.

 

Graduation Requirements

 

To graduate with a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (MA TEFL), students must successfully complete a set of graduate courses in advanced methods, discourse grammar, research design, curriculum design, and assessment. In addition to the coursework, students must complete a Master’s Thesis or a Master’s Paper and Internship (see below TE 391A and TE 391B), and present the results to the public. Submitting and receiving final approval of the Master’s Thesis or Master’s Paper constitute the final steps in the Program.

In addition, all students must take one of three alternative two-unit courses in environmental science. These are a university-wide requirement.

 

MATEFL Goals and Learning Outcomes:

Goal 1.  To develop a sound understanding of modern theories of applied linguistics

Outcome 1.1.     Students should be able to use modern theories of applied linguistics in their class presentations, class assignments, theses and portfolios.

Goal 2.  To develop a good command of form and function of English structures

Outcome 2.1. Students should be able to use the English language appropriately in their writings, classroom performance, and their theses and portfolios.

Goal 3. To employ a variety of teaching methods and materials

Outcome 3.1. Students should be able to employ modern and postmodern methods of teaching and develop relevant materials in the Practicum course as well as in their independent teaching in the EEC classes.

Goal 4.  To develop an awareness of various learning styles and strategies

Outcome 4.1. Students should be able to apply the knowledge of various learning styles and strategies to their own learning process.

Outcome 4.2. Students should be able to develop classroom pedagogies culturally sensitive to the learning processes of Armenian learners.

Goal 5.  To conduct research in the areas of language education

Outcome 5.1. Students should be able to conduct their own research employing appropriate methodologies and drawing reasonable conclusions

Outcome 5.2. Students should be able to develop frameworks for evaluation of language teaching programs.

Goal 6. To utilize a variety of assessment techniques

Outcome 6.1. Students should be able to develop assessment tools to evaluate students’ achievement in language classes

Outcome 6.2. Students should be able to develop an ability to critically review existing local and international tests

Outcome 6.3. Students should be able to incorporate traditional and alternative assessment in their own assessment procedures.

COURSE LISTING AND DESCRIPTIONS

TE 300: English for Language Teachers (*Elective) – 3 credits

Course description to be announced later.

TE 301: Introduction to TEFL Methodology – 3 credits

The course surveys language teaching approaches and methods and their underlying principles, with a particular focus on the basic questions of language acquisition and affective/cultural variables that impact on second and foreign language teaching and learning. The course provides an overview of the historical development of language teaching, addresses the roles and responsibilities of the modern language teacher, and introduces the basic concepts of motivation, learning styles and strategies, learner autonomy, course evaluation and assessment, exploring how current understanding of language learning and language acquisition informs teaching practice.

TE 302: Teaching Reading and Writing – 3 credits

This course is a study of theoretical and practical approaches to selecting and developing materials for the teaching and assessing of reading and writing skills in English. In this class the students explore the practical aspects of teaching reading and writing skills focusing on various ‘sub-skills’. Students also consider these aspects of language teaching and learning in the context of the Armenian classroom and incorporate the outcomes into their teaching. Students observe English language classes and their peers during microteaching and learn to give constructive feedback. They learn to understand and analyze lesson plans and materials used in teaching the skills and then develop their own lesson plans and create appropriate materials for different levels of language students.

TE 303: Teaching Listening and Speaking– 3 credits

This course is a study of theoretical and practical approaches to selecting and developing materials for the teaching and assessing of listening and speaking skills in English. In this class the students explore the practical aspects of teaching listening and speaking skills focusing on various ‘sub-skills’. Students also consider these aspects of language teaching and learning in the context of the Armenian classroom and incorporate the outcomes into their teaching. Students observe English language classes and their peers during microteaching and learn to give constructive feedback. They learn to understand and analyze lesson plans and materials used in teaching the skills and then develop their own lesson plans and create appropriate materials for different levels of language students.

TE 304: Classroom Assessment – 3 credits

This course focuses on school/classroom-based assessment.  It provides the latest information on the theoretical principles of language testing and assessment and discusses the implementation of the principles in real life practices. The primary focus of the course is on language assessment in classroom context. In addition, the course provides learners with knowledge and skills required for critically examining the existing tests and selecting or developing appropriate tests for their own academic context.

TE 305: Research Methods – 3 credits

This course will lay the foundations for the students to learn about various principles and issues regarding research methods in second or foreign language teaching and classroom research. The course will look at the various viewpoint involved in research, the issues raised by quantitative and qualitative research, how the research program is to be structured and carried out, and how to report findings.

TE 306: Practicum – 3 credits

Supervised student teaching with the following goals:  improve the effectiveness of EFL teachers, consolidate the theory and practice of teaching methods covered, help student teachers develop and expand their own teaching/learning techniques, facilitate the integration of new EFL teaching methods, teach and be guided in an authentic EFL class, get constructive feedback and assistance, learn how to reflect on one’s own teaching as a means of improvement, improve time and classroom management in the EFL classroom, practice peer observation and evaluation.

TE 307: New Technologies in TEFL – 3 credits

Once viewed primarily as a domain studying computer-mediated means of learning and teaching languages, this field has expanded to include new tools such as mobile and cloud technologies, and social media. This course will survey current trends and best practices in new technologies specific to the TEFL field. It will provide an overview of related theory and practice in the areas of social media and networks, digital video and storytelling, digital games, 3D virtual worlds, mobile technologies, distance and open education, open educational resources, and cloud computing specific to TEFL. Students will engage in research, hands-on, and material development projects to enhance their practical skills of using technologies for teaching purposes. They will also learn how to harness the strengths of new technologies to become life-long learners in their profession. Students are expected to be conversant in Internet and basics of second language acquisition.

TE 308: English for Specific Purposes – 3 credits

With the growing interest in teaching English for specific purposes around the world, it is imperative that AUA MA graduates develop a sound knowledge of the field. ESP includes many areas such as EAP (English for academic purposes), EOP (English for occupational purposes), EST (English for science and technology), etc. Since in foreign language context like Armenia almost all non English major students study English through ESP programs, it is necessary for the MA TEFL students to understand the concept of ESP and be prepared to serve the needs of the society. Therefore, this new course is offered in the second year of the program.

TE 309: Curriculum Design – 3 credits

This course will help students to develop a deeper understanding of the principles and procedures that inform current practices in language curriculum design and how they impact classroom pedagogies. It will also equip students with a variety of theoretical resources and insights for the formulation and implementation of appropriate language courses. Finally, it will enable students to develop a critical view of the curriculum in the context of Armenia EFL context.

TE310:Teaching Internship – 3 credits

Teaching internship in the Experimental English Courses or other venue.  MA TEFL students independently teach one course over several weeks and are responsible for materials design, lesson planning, testing, classroom management, etc.

TE 320: Introduction to Language – 3 credits

An introduction to language in all its aspects as studied in the field of linguistics, including a focused concentration of how this approach relates to language education. This course explores biological, historical, and social/cultural aspects of language, and then addresses the system of language, looking at phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. It covers most areas of linguistics at the introductory level, familiarizing students with general principles and key vocabulary in these areas, and exploring the relationship between the study of linguistics and language teaching.

TE 321: Introduction to the Structure of English – 3credits

This course studies English sentence structure – morphology, syntax, and semantics – as it relates to the teaching and testing of ‘grammar’. The students examine the sentence level grammar of English in terms of both the forms and functions of basic grammatical elements. Thus, the focus is largely on syntax and semantics, with phonological and morphological aspects of sentence level grammar considered as necessary for the fullest understanding of the structure of English. The consideration of the functions of grammatical elements requires some consideration of discourse and how grammar plays a role in creating discursive structures in longer texts. In addition, the students also learn to develop their own lesson plans and materials for teaching grammar consistent with contemporary theory and the need to focus on form within a meaning-based or communicative approach.

TE 322: Seminar on Current Topics in Applied Linguistics – 3 credits

This course will attempt to promote an informed understanding of the relationship between knowledge, theory and practice in the field of language study as understood in Applied Linguistics. This will encourage students to investigate how various ways of looking at language can influence their thinking about language teaching. The aims of this course are to:

  1. Familiarize students with major issues and insights in the field
  2. Introduce students to some current topics and debates in the field
  3. Study in some depth particular articles as a way to acquaint students with particular issues and topics of potential interest to them

TE 323: Second Language Acquisition – 3 credits

This course will explore the various concepts relating to the learning of a second language (or any language not learned in infancy), in the discipline of applied linguistics usually referred to as “SLA”. It will deal with the patterns observed during the learning process across several languages, as well as personal and social factors affecting the process. We will also look at the learner language itself, considering it as a “language” in its own right. We will also consider the differences between SLA in the classroom and SLA in “naturalistic” settings.

TE340 Special Topics in Applied Linguistics (*Elective) – 3 credits

Content will vary (to be announced later).  For information, please contact the DEP.

TE341Special Topics in TEFL (*Elective)

Content will vary (to be announced later).  For information, please contact the DEP.

TE 390: Independent Study in TEFL/AL (*Elective) (may be repeated for a total of 3 credits)

TE 391: MA Thesis/Paper Preparation (6 units)