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Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2017
Part time 2 years September 2017

Choose Kingston's Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching MA

This practice-based programme is aimed specifically at postgraduate students with or without language teaching experience who intend to develop their careers in language teaching of not only English but also other languages. It is suitable for both native speakers and non-native speakers of English. Students may be eligible for a bursary.

Find out more about this course:

Key features

  • You will have the opportunity to observe teachers in practice to gain a deeper understanding of classroom management and language teaching pedagogy, as well as the chance to design and use teaching materials.
  • In addition to gaining research skills from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives, you will also gain employability skills, such as criticality and advanced oral and written communication, which are relevant not only to language teaching, but also to teaching-related professions.

What will you study?

The course offers a mix of theoretical applied linguistic topics and more-practical application of ideas. Core modules introduce the conceptual foundations of the subject, while option modules cover topics that allow you to develop your own path of enquiry.

You will gain insights into the theory and practice of language learning and teaching, and will develop your teaching skills through micro-teaching in a peer-led environment and through the optional opportunity to gain a professional teaching qualification (CELTA*) as part of the programme. Students may choose this option at their own additional expense and at an institution of their choice, but the CELTA/CLTA* must be studied after the end of the second semester modules.

* The CELTA qualification is not available at Kingston University. You will be advised of a local college where the CELTA can be studied.


Coursework and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • The purpose of this module is to consider how technology-based educational resources and tools can be critically analysed to determine their usefulness in underpinning second language development in a range of educational contexts. This will include the selection, creation, use and evaluation of multimedia artefacts such as digital video, sound, image, animation and games as well as other technology-based tools such as Learning Management Systems (LMS), email, and the Internet. Students will have the opportunity to participate as facilitators and language learners in a simulated virtual learning environment which serves as a springboard to experience, analyse and evaluate the pedagogical opportunities and challenges of using technology to foster language learning.

  • This core module describes the nature of language and, in particular, explores how the systems of grammar, lexis, phonology and discourse underlie language. Language systems form the basis on which students then go on to explore the selection, creation and sequencing of language learning materials. Students will be given the opportunity to write their own materials and so understand the processes, production and adaptation of materials to language learning contexts. Examples from languages other than English may be used in order to show how the basic principles of linguistic analysis can be applied to different languages. Overall this module develops the metalinguistic ability needed by a language teacher, and will allow students to apply this ability to a language classroom. This module also provides an overarching perspective on how materials relate to language learning, syllabus design, teaching approaches and research. A unique feature of this module is that it is coupled with micro teaching and class observations. Therefore this module serves as a foundation on which students can research and plan their language teaching and put materials into practice in a classroom context.

  • This core module explores two strands of applied linguistics. The first is to critically explore foundational concepts in second language learning theories. The second is to consider the application of this research to language teaching. Knowledge from one domain feeds forward to inform the other domain, and thus gives this module its unique flavour. Students experience both language learning (in the form of learning a language under a language learning scheme) and language teaching (in the form of micro-teaching sessions), which enables them to map this experience onto the literature, and which further develops their professional practice.

  • This module explores the key concepts and developments in LSP theory and methodology. Students will become familiar with issues in the areas of needs analysis, syllabus design, materials design and evaluation, and testing. Students will have the opportunity to conduct a needs analysis, evaluate English for Specific Purposes (ESP) materials and create their own syllabus and materials. The module considers the teaching of a variety of branches of ESP such as English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Occupational purposes (EOP). Students will be able to develop a comprehensive understanding of LSP which they can then use in future language teaching.

  • The dissertation (Pathway 1) integrates the different concepts, theories and skills within  the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching, equips students, in their future careers, with knowledge and understanding of an area within the field by allowing them to explore a particular area of language teaching and/or language learning in depth, and allows them to reflect on the process of research enquiry. In addition, it provides students with an introduction to research methodologies, equips students with the management and theoretical frameworks involved in handling an extended piece of written work, and introduces them to the ethical considerations required in the conducting of language teaching research. The dissertation (Pathway 1) requires students to present a piece of written work of 12,000 to 15,000 words and can explore any topic within Applied Linguistics for language teaching. Students are required to attend 10 hours of lectures/seminars on research methods, and to submit a research proposal by the end of Teaching Block 2.

  • The Dissertation (Pathway 2) enables students to gain a professional qualification (CELTA: Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), to reflect on their own learning, and to integrate the subject areas studied in the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching. The CELTA qualification is internationally recognised and provides students with practical teaching skills for teaching adults, which makes it easier for them to obtain a teaching job. The Dissertation (Pathway 2) module allows students to explore some of the key concepts and techniques used in critical reflection on language learning and teaching, and enables them to practise a range of critical reflections on their experiences as teachers and learners. The module also familiarises students with the methods for combining theory and practice in reflective writing. Students are encouraged to reflect on their roles as teachers and learners, and the teaching and learning context;  to reflect on their knowledge, understanding and ability to teach language and the language skills of reading, writing , listening and speaking through collated and/or created materials; to reflect on their ability to plan for and use resources for different teaching and learning contexts; to reflect on theories, concepts, approaches and methodologies in language teaching and learning and their application to practical teaching situations; and to reflect on  the progress they have made in developing teaching skills and professionalism.


Optional modules

  • This module serves to introduce the key theoretical concepts involved in the understanding and study of discourse. It will work through a wide variety of strands within discourse studies which will contextualise the key theories as well as give students an understanding of the range of viewpoints from which discourse can be conceptualised and studied. These areas include pragmatics, Critical Discourse Analysis, corpus linguistics and sociolinguistics. This module will also link the theories and tools of discourse studies to the practice of language  teaching.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill

View Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill on our Google Maps

Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill

View Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill on our Google Maps
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