MSc in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching (ALLT)

The MSc ALLT is a specialised distance/online Master’s degree in applied linguistics aimed at teachers of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and modern foreign languages.

The course was formerly known as the MSc in Teaching English Language in University Settings (TELUS). To read more about TELUS, please click here.

This innovative two-year part-time course offers a cutting-edge introduction to the linguistic and pedagogic knowledge and skills needed for teaching language. While the concepts covered in the course can be applied to all languages in most contexts, there is a strong opportunity for students to specialize in the teaching of English language in university settings.

A low-residency course, it is characterised by intense online interaction and feedback, using a range of communication media. Its small-group teaching format pursues the Oxford tradition of demanding much of students and giving them much in return.

Students are admitted in the first instance as students on the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching. If they complete all PGDip modules they may then progress to the MSc, subject to a satisfactory dissertation research proposal. They will then matriculate in absentia in Trinity term of their second year and complete their dissertation during that term, under the supervision of a member of the applied linguistics group.

For further information about the MSc ALLT course, please contact the Higher Degrees Office.

MSc ALLT (and MSc TELUS) students who succeed at the highest level can go on to doctoral study in Applied Linguistics.

Is this course for you?

Are you preparing students for university studies in an English-medium institution? Are you teaching English to students in arts, science or social science subjects who need to access literature in English in their discipline?  Are you co-teaching at university level with content lecturers whose first language is not English?  Are you a modern foreign language teacher who wants to further their knowledge of language learning and teaching? Are you aspiring to move on to teaching language in one of the many university settings worldwide where languages play an important role?  If so, this course offers you a stimulating environment in which you can broaden your knowledge, deepen your understanding and sharpen your skills in contact with current research in applied linguistics.

What prior experience do you need?

Applicants are expected to have language teaching experience (normally at least one year), a willingness to reflect upon their teaching, and a commitment to work very hard undertaking an exciting intellectual endeavour.

How is the course taught?

The course is taught over two academic years, preceded by a week’s residential module in Oxford. Numbers on the course are kept low, to ensure quality of teaching and learning.

There are three distance-taught modules per year, spread over two eight-week terms from October to April. The assessment for each module comprises a take-home examination. In the third term of each year (May-July) students work on a dissertation project.

Who teaches the course?

The course director for this course is Dr. Heath Rose. Heath is an experienced teacher educator, having coordinated the M.Phil. in English Language Teaching at Trinity College Dublin before coming to Oxford, and previously having worked on The University of Sydney’s M.Ed in TESOL. Heath has been engaged in language teaching since 1997, and has worked with students in university settings since 2003. In delivering the course, he combines this practical experience with his research background in second language teaching and learning. Heath is the co-author of Introducing Global Englishes (Routledge), author of The Japanese Writing System (Multilingual Matters) and editor of and Doing Research in Applied Linguistics (Routledge). He has a forthcoming book titled Global Englishes for Language Teaching (Cambridge University Press).

Heath will be supported by a team of lecturers and tutors from the Applied Linguistics group at the Department of Education. This means that there will always be a group of academics working with students and helping with learning questions and technical questions.

What do students think…

…about the course content?

The course is constantly challenging my beliefs and perspectives and providing me with cutting-edge information to apply to my teaching and understanding of education and language learning.

I never imagined this module would be as fascinating as it was … I’ve learnt so much that I can apply to my classes.

The handouts are wonderful … I return to these documents and they are a valuable resource… an interesting multimedia mix with much food for thought.

…about the teaching approach?

A rigorous, but supportive and friendly learning environment.  I have learnt more during the last two terms than during all years of my previous training.

The non-prescriptive approach used in [the course] really helps us to arrive at research-based realisations that are relevant to our contexts; this is far superior to pushing us into the ‘right’ way of teaching something even though it might not work in our location with our students.

The feedback is personal, critical, positive, motivating.

…about the group atmosphere?

There is an excellent group feeling, the materials are excellent and the feedback extremely competent, generous and interested.

There is a wonderful sense of community.  I know that everything I write is taken seriously and will get a response.

…about preparing them for the future:

It has been so much more than learning about linguistics and teaching; it has taught me how to teach myself, how to continue learning, and how to read critically. 

This course was exactly what I needed to re-energise me and to open my eyes to a world outside of the commercial EFL environment.  My job will never be the same again!

Page last modified: September 4, 2017