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Chichester offers something completely different

Although the number of universities offering ELT-related Master’s in the UK appears to have increased in recent years, the range of courses on offer has, if anything, declined. Most departments opt for an MA TESOL, generally aimed at novice EFL teachers and/or an MA in Applied Linguistics, for experienced EFL teachers.

The new Online MA in Education at the University of Chichester, by contrast, offers a different concept: a course designed not only for teachers of English as a Foreign Language, but also for a wider range of teaching professionals, including secondary English language specialists, primary teachers and early years educators.

At last, a Master’s that caters to the vast majority of English language teachers working in mainstream education. In addition, by working alongside school teachers from other disciplines and grade levels, ELT professionals will explore the major issues, not only those specific to language teaching and learning, but also more generally with regard to different areas and education systems from around the world.

The idea for the new Online MA in Education is built on the work done by Dr Francisco Melara Gutierrez and Dr Debbie Hickman during an online short course they ran with secondary EFL teachers from South Korea, in which the participants engaged with PGCE secondary English students and in-service teachers from different specialities through the University’s school partnerships. “We were struck by how much the different groups learned from each other and how much they gained from exploring the same issues from different perspectives.”

Taking inspiration from the original short course, this Online MA focuses on current key areas in education: in the first year, for example, these include curriculum and pedagogy. Each student learns online within two different groups: a smaller, specialised one encompassing teachers from within their own stream, and a wider one comprising teachers across all the academic subject disciplines involved in the programme.

For Dr Melara Gutierrez, originally from Spain, whose own teaching career has seen him teach across all age groups, from early years to university undergraduates, it seems a natural progression to bring teachers of different age groups and different subjects together.

It is also an excellent fit for the University of Chichester, which is a rising star according to British students, ranking 8th for student satisfaction in the 2023 Complete University Guide for the UK and 5th overall for Education (2022 Guardian University League Tables), a subject the University has been teaching for 150 years.

Although the University of Chichester has been involved with other English Language Teaching Master’s, the Online MA in Education (TESOL stream) is the first one it has devised to bridge the gap between mainstream education and the sometimes isolated world of the English language teacher, offering an exciting new professional development option. course/ma-education-online/

Image courtesy of Library
Dr Francisco J Melara Gutierrez
Dr Francisco J Melara Gutierrez
Dr Francisco J Melara Gutierrez is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences at the University of Chichester.
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