Deree – The American College of Greece has introduced a brand new MA in TESOL, which provides opportunities for teachers of English who wish to pursue or further their careers and work worldwide. The MA in TESOL has been designed by an academic team led by Mark Osborne and is offered by Deree’s School of Graduate and Professional Education. The School of Graduate and Professional Education is accredited by the New England Association for Schools & Colleges (NEASC) in the USA, which is a globally recognized standard of excellence and attests to an institution’s high quality and integrity.
The program combines the development of practical teaching skills with strong theoretical underpinning in key areas of applied linguistics and language learning. There is a strong focus on the use of educational technologies and digital resources, which are becoming increasingly important in TESOL. MA TESOL students must successfully complete 12 graduate-level courses representing a total of 36 US credits. One innovation lies in the fact that the brand new MA TESOL has embedded Deree’s validated Trinity College London CertTESOL course, an internationally recognised qualification for teachers of English, as an optional additional qualification as part of the program.
Mark Osborne, who has worked on the design of both, talks to ELT NEWS about the new MA TESOL, its content and delivery.
· There are a lot of MAs in TESOL offered both nationally and internationally. What differentiates Deree’s MA?
When we were designing the MA TESOL at Deree we wanted to ensure that we could offer something that would be attractive and innovative both in its content and delivery. The emphasis we have placed on digital technologies in language learning and teaching is a key differentiator. New digital media are becoming increasingly prevalent in TESOL and teachers (and their learners) are very keen to learn how best to exploit them. The blended approach we have developed means that students on the MA can experience first-hand how educational technologies can be used to support learning and teaching. It also means that for each course, in-class attendance on campus is only required every other Saturday – opening the program up to those living outside Attica. The online component involves collaboration with other participants as well as individual work, all under the supervision of an instructor. Deree graduate students also benefit both from the Alba Graduate Business School career workshops and events, as well as from the Deree Office of Career Services, which can help them expand their professional network and gain access to various job positions. Plus the library and facilities at The American College of Greece are outstanding.
· Why has the previously introduced Trinity College London CertTESOL been embedded in the MA?
We wanted the MA to cater for both those new to the TESOL profession as well as more experienced teachers. The Trinity College London CertTESOL is an initial teaching qualification appropriate for students with little or no prior qualifications or teaching experience. The CertTESOL is widely accepted, and there are many jobs available worldwide for individuals with a recognized certificate in TESOL, especially when accompanied by the prestige of an MA.
· What is the difference between ‘practicum’ and ‘thesis’?
The Practicum and Thesis Tracks in the later stages of the program (2 3-credit courses each) provide options depending on the prior experience and qualifications of the students. The Practicum Track is for recent graduates or working professionals – from all backgrounds – who are starting a career in English language teaching. It involves preparing and teaching observed lessons, carrying out action research (and covering the assessment requirements for the CertTESOL) and writing in-depth academic reports. The Thesis Track is for language teaching professionals with more experience and qualifications. It involves training in various research methods for TESOL followed by individual research inquiry into an area of TESOL and resulting in a thesis. More experienced applicants holding the Trinity DipTESOL or Cambridge DELTA may be eligible for credit transfer for up to 9 US credits transfer in total.
· Can a degree holder in another discipline enrol for Deree’s MA in TESOL?
Yes. We have designed the MA TESOL at Deree to also cater for those who do not have a first degree in English, although candidates will have to have a high level of written and spoken English.
When is the new MA about to begin?
Courses start on 26 September 2016, with admissions open up to 21 September. We are organizing an Open Evening on campus on Tuesday, September 13, for those who wish to find out more about the program and explore scholarship opportunities. To participate in the Open Evening, you can register here.