Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree from a recognised university, plus two years of teaching experience.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
To be confirmed
International fees
To be confirmed
This course is taught in

Course overview

Two students in a cafe area

This course is studied entirely in China. It is jointly delivered by the University of Leeds and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and allows experienced Chinese Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) professionals to gain a deeper understanding of how languages are learned, and the strategies used to teach and assess them.

You’ll explore current trends, new ideas and prominent challenges within TESOL, and assess the theoretical frameworks for the language learning, teaching and testing processes. You’ll have the opportunity to appraise the procedures and outcomes of different approaches to pedagogy and evaluation in TESOL and develop the ability to relate new ideas to your own professional environment.

Four core modules allow you to explore current theories of language acquisition, the complex context in which any language learning takes place, different approaches to and strategies for TESOL, and current theories and practices around language assessment.

You’ll be taught at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies by tutors from both universities and be registered as a full-time student at Leeds, giving you access to all of our online library resources as well as those available at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

The course is taught from Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons, to enable serving teachers to enrol. However, it is a full-time Master’s degree and demands a considerable amount of independent study.

As a large team of education practitioners, we have a wide range of experience of teaching and teacher education work in many contexts in the UK, China, and around the world. As researchers, we have a broad range of expertise across the discipline with ongoing research projects in teacher development, language learning motivation, curriculum reform and values-based teaching.

This course is not suitable for those without professional TESOL experience.

Specialist facilities

The course is taught entirely on the campus of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) in Guangzhou.

Pre-sessional study at Leeds - watch our recorded talk

Course details

This course is jointly delivered and has been designed by academic staff from both the University of Leeds and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

All teaching and learning is influenced by the context in which it occurs. The course begins by considering the components of an educational context, from visible features of the classroom to the less visible but influential educational norms that affect teacher and learner roles and behaviours. We also examine the increasing opportunities that digital technology provides for learning beyond the classroom.

You then explore current theoretical models of language acquisition, and consider the ways in which people learn, or acquire a second language. The course continues by deepening your understanding of learning and teaching integrated skills in TESOL, focusing explicitly on oral and written language processing and their implications for different teaching and learning activities. You’ll use this knowledge to design, adapt and evaluate language learning tasks, and to think carefully about methods of assessment that will be appropriate for your working context.

At every stage of the course, you’ll develop your research skills and think about the relationship between research and TESOL practice. You’ll demonstrate this awareness when you complete your dissertation: an intensive, small-scale, research project related to your own interests in TESOL education.

In March of the year after you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a MA TESOL degree from the University of Leeds at a graduation ceremony in Guangzhou, with the option of also attending the Leeds graduation in the UK.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 60
Approaches and Contexts in TESOL 30
Introduction to Second Language Acquisition 30
Teaching Oral and Written Skills for TESOL 30
Language Testing 30

Learning and teaching

This course is taught face-to-face at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies with two modules taught by tutors from each university.

You’ll experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, discussions, small group tasks and presentations, and extra study support will be available online through the University of Leeds’ Virtual Learning Environment.

You may notice some differences in the way tutors from the different Universities teach, and the combination of Chinese and British pedagogic styles is a distinctive feature of this Master’s programme.

Independent study is also an important part of this course.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Modules are assessed in different ways, in order that we can measure the intended learning outcomes. For some modules students have a choice of written essay topics, in other modules different kinds of writing are required, including summarizing articles and planning pedagogic innovations. You may also be assessed through oral presentation.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent, plus at least two years of relevant teaching experience. The programme is not suitable for those without professional TESOL experience.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

How to apply

Apply directly to Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (please note this link takes you to a web page in the local language of Guangdong University).

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Education

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions

Email: pgeduc@leeds.ac.uk


UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees are paid to the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, details can be found on their website (please note this link takes you to a web page in the local language of Guangdong University).

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

You can find out more about funding and scholarships for this course on the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies website (please note this link takes you to a web page in the local language of Guangdong University).

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a range of knowledge and skills from this course that could make a big difference to your career prospects. Many of our graduates become candidates for promotion thanks to their greater expertise.

Some find new jobs in different institutions or in other parts of the country. Others have progressed to PhD level study at institutions in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.