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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Course overview

(Postgraduate Diploma) Postgraduate Diploma
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
University of Essex
University of Essex
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate Diploma
DIP X16009

A 2:2 degree (or international equivalent) in the following disciplines: English Language studies – including education, English language and Literature, Teaching(English),Linguistics or Modern Languages.

We will accept applicants with a degree in an unrelated area but which contains a substantial element of education, Linguistics, Language studies and Teaching .

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 IA900-7-AU Advanced English Language Teaching 1 Core 15 Core
02 IA901-7-AU Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives for Teachers Compulsory 15 Core
03 IA902-7-AU Practical Description of English Core 15 Core
04 IA910-7-AU Research Methods 1 Compulsory 0
05 IA911-7-SP Research Methods 2 Compulsory 0 Compulsory
06 IA940-7-SP Reflective Practitioner Core 15 Core
07 IA942-7-SP Advanced Teaching Practice 2 Core 15
08 IA909-7-SP Advanced English Language Teaching 2 Core 15 Core
09 IA904-7-AU Sociolinguistics for Teachers of ESOL Compulsory 15
10 IA408-7-AU / IA409-7-SP / IA641-7-AU Optional 15 Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The MA/Diploma/Certificate TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES Programme is designed for experienced teachers who would like to extend and develop the competencies, critical skills and abilities related to the knowledge, understanding and application required of a professional TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES practitioner including: a sound understanding of key theoretical TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES related issues; the ability to analyse, synthesise and evaluate primary and secondary sources critically; the ability to evaluate and apply theory to practice appropriately; the ability to undertake small-scale research and to present the findings both in written and oral format; the skills required in the management and organisation of language teaching; the ability to evaluate ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) materials and acquire the confidence / skills to adapt / produce their own materials; an awareness of and the ability to use technology within the teaching and learning environment; an awareness of collaborative practice and of how to contribute to the professional development of other teachers; a preparedness to critically reflect upon their own teaching practices as part of their on-going professional development and continuously question and adapt their teaching approaches to meet the differing / changing needs of their learners.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Students will have sound knowledge of many of the major research questions in Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and the Psychological Bases of ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) together with a critical understanding of and the relationship between ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) theory and practice and of how theory can be applied to particular teaching situations
A2 Students will have a clear understanding of ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) methodology and language description and an appreciation of current theories related to ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) learner behaviour(s)
A3 Students will have an ability to demonstrate the application of theoretical basis to materials evaluation, adaptation and design
A4 Students will have an advanced awareness of the basic principles of qualitative and quantitative research designs, skills and strategies for ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) classroom based research
A5 Students will have a critical understanding of the link between the theoretical basis of collaborative classroom observation and the role of the reflective ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) practitioner
A6 Students will have the ability to formulate researchable problems and strategies to evaluate alternative approaches to research / in depth knowledge of a specific aspect of TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES through independent original research knowledge of relevant computer assisted approaches to TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES
A7 A sound knowledge of the role of the professional TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES practitioner clear informed understanding of study at M level and the professional progression paths available post graduatio
Learning Methods: The scheme includes one core course in English Language Teaching, one core course in Materials and Methods, three compulsory half courses including Psycho. & Sociolinguistics; Research Methods and Practical Description of English and a choice between either a Practical Topic or an EL Option half course.
EL900AP and EL940AU / 941SP- compulsory core courses (Autumn and Spring) are designed to provide the students with the awareness, knowledge and understanding outlined in A1, A2, A3 and A7.
EL 901AU and EL 902AU (compulsory core course Autumn only) provide the students with the knowledge and understanding outlined in A1.
EL 910SP(Research Methods in TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES compulsory core course Spring) provides the understanding and awareness described in A4 - A6 EL 911AP (Non-assessed compulsory course) Reflects the learning outcomes presented in A1/A2/ A4-A6.
A4 - A7 and are further addressed in the EL Options available to them in the Spring Term A1-A7 are taught through staff-led lectures and seminars using a variety of means of delivery.
Learning is enhanced by follow-up small-group discussion, workshops, practical exercises, student-led presentations of teaching materials, peer discussion and collaborative micro-teaching practice based on their own materials with individual feedback.
In addition to the sessions referred to above, A5 includes classroom observation practice both within the University and at local State schools.
The students then present their observation findings to the rest of the group in a seminar which is followed by group discussion.
Students also develop their knowledge through assignment writing and small scale research.
Assessment Methods: A1 - A6 are assessed by: EL900AP- two 3,000 word assignments EL940AU/EL941SP - one 3,000 word assignment and one 1,500 word assignment plus a micro teaching practice using student's own material EL901AU - two 1,500 word assignments.
EL 902 one 3000 word assignment EL910SP 2,000 word assignment plus formal Presentation of data gathered from small scale Research EL Options (see Section D) EL905SP/EL906SP two 1,500 word assignments

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Students should be able to show that they have developed and become autonomous in the application of their intellectual and cognitive skills through: an advanced ability to search, summarise and critically review TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES literature from different academic sources of information e.g. journals, articles, books & experiential with the ability to evaluate, analyse and review empirical evidence together with the development of a sense of criticism in reviewing competing theories
B2 ability to recognise and apply appropriate theory/materials/approaches to ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) classroom practice
B3 an awareness of the importance of critical reasoning when analysing and trying to solve complex teaching and learning problems together with the ability to identify and place issues in terms of relevance and importance
B4 ability to reflect independently on one's own and others' teaching experience and relate these experiences to ideas and research in the field
B5 a sound ability to identify pertinent issues relating to teaching and learning in ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) and to formulate researchable questions
B6 ability to choose an appropriate research method, and to collect original, qualitative and quantitative data relating to a specific TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES issues with the ability to interpret own / others data and to develop an original pedagogically sound argument
Learning Methods: Students practice and enhance assignments.
During lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials the tutors demonstrate skills B1 - these intellectual and cognitive skills across the programme through the course work; additional activities; B6 through example.
During the classroom observation sessions the students have further examples of the application of B2-B4.
Preparation for sessions involves the reading and evaluation of TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES related texts or practical tasks related to the topic e.g.
Materials collection, materials adaptation, preparation and design.
These provide students with practice in B1-B4.
Session tutors continuously encourage individual student reflection and provide reflective feedback (B4) on student work through discussion, and comment.
Students are also provided with written comments and suggestions on all assessed work to guide and enhance their intellectual development.
Tutors provide students with additional support outside the classroom during their office hours and by e-mail which further enhances the students' understanding and reasoning skills (B3/B4).
The preparation for the micro-teaching together with the micro-teaching practice enables the students to go through the cognitive processes involved in B2-B4.
Assessment Methods: Outcomes B1-B4 are judged and evaluated in EL900AP /EL940AU/EL941SP /EL 901AU /EL902AU.
Outcomes B2/B4 are judged and evaluated in EL910SP Outcomes B1/B3/B6 in the EL Options and outcomes B1-B3 are assessed in the Practical Topics EL911AP (Non-assessed compulsory course Autumn) Key criteria for awarding distinctions are clear evidence of advanced intellectual skills.

C: Practical skills

C1 Advanced ability to retrieve relevant TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES related literature using library and on-line sources
C2 Practical ability to summarise, evaluate and review TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES related arguments, texts and research findings
C3 Practical ability to communicate their ideas clearly and logically using the appropriate style / conventions in speech and in writing for - academic purposes / to colleagues and to Learners
C4 Practical ability to formulate and apply theoretical arguments to their own teaching environment orally in writing and through practical demonstration
C5 Ability to identify differing learner needs / learning styles
C6 Practical ability to evaluate and adapt published materials together with the ability to produce and teach their own teaching materials
C7 Ability to propose / plan / execute and write up original work of differing lengths and types using appropriate style and conventions
C8 Competence in quantitative and qualitative approaches to research within the field of teaching and learning Have the basic skills required to conduct and report empirical research orally and in writin
C9 Ability to use IT in the production of instruments, collation and presentation of data using appropriate conventions
C10 Ability to plan, organise and manage a productive ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES) teaching and learning environment
Learning Methods: Emphasis is placed throughout the programme on the links between theory, empirical research, experiential knowledge and practical application.
The compulsory courses in the Programme: EL910SP Courses EL911AP are designed specifically to help students to develop and apply the skills listed in Outcomes C1- C4/C7-C9.
Students also hone skills C1-C5 and C7 through lecture, seminars, workshops, presentations, micro-teaching practice, observation practice, tutorials and assignments in EL900AP/ELl940AU/EL901AU/EL902Au/EL905/6SP and EL Options.
Outcomes C5/C6 and C10 are specifically addressed in EL940AU/EL941SP.
EL 900AP is designed specifically to provide links between theory and practice thereby further enhancing Outcomes C2/C3/C4/C5 C10 is explicit throughout the programme.
Assessment Methods: In all assessed courses emphasis is placed upon the integration of theory and practice.
Therefore skills C1 - C10 are assessed informally on a continuous basis by the students themselves - through reflection or by the tutors during feedback.
C6/C10 are formally assessed in EL940AU/EL941SP.
C5 is specifically addressed in EL900.
C7-C10 are assessed in EL910SP All skills C1-C5 are assessed across all courses.

D: Key skills

D1 a) An advanced ability to present ideas and evidence to others (academics, peers, learners and trainees as a facilitator) orally in a logical, clear and concise manner. b) An advanced ability to present ideas and evidence to others (academics, peers and learners) in writing, in a logical, clear, concise manner and appropriate style
D2 a) The ability to use IT in order to collect/present ideas and as teaching resource. b) A capacity to carry out medium difficulty statistical calculations
D3 Advanced ability to read, interpret and draw inference from published sources Ability to produce and correctly interpret data for research purposes
D4 Ability to identify, evaluate and find strategies to solve problems independently and to show originality of thought in finding solutions and ability to facilitate problem solving strategies in learners / trainee teachers and colleagues
D5 The development of a professional approach to both colleagues and learners the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and the ability to foster a cooperative approach to learning in learner
D6 a) A keen awareness of the importance of reflection on on-going own teaching and learning development together with the ability to act positively to own or external feedback. b) An awareness of personal learning style, strengths and weaknesses and to use this knowledge to become independent and more able to find ways of self-improvement
Learning Methods: Key skills D1 /D3-D6 are taught, acquired and practised across the programme through tutor demonstration of and student participation in: lecture/seminar /workshop/discussion/micro-teaching and observation practice, tutorial contact, formal presentation, written assignments and the management of their own research with the support of supervisors.
D1 -D4 are taught formally in Research methods and the non-assessed compulsory courses.
D1b/D2a/D5-D6a are addressed specifically in EL940AU/EL941SP.
D6are covered in EL900AP
Assessment Methods: D1-D6 are formally assessed by written assignments in EL900/901 / EL940/ EL904/EL901/ EL902/ EL Options and Practical Topics - numbers to be added In EL941 assessment includes a shorter written assignment and micro-teaching based on students own materials.
In Research Methods assessment is by written assignment and presentation of observation findings.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: