Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    shroob is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default MA - Study options

    Hello everyone, I'm currently weighing up my options of furthering my education and professional development. I've come to the decision that I'd like to take an MA TESOL or related course eg. MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL or MA English Language Teaching, but I have a few questions about how I go about this.

    My first thought was to do it the normal way, full time on campus, however I've been thinking about distance learning and would like your opinions. The full time course would be one year, where I'd study full time and nothing else. The distance course would be two years and I'd be working abroad for the duration of the course.

    One of my concerns is about how potential employers would view the distance MA over a regular MA. Does this matter? I also want to ask about the various course, MA TESOL, MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL and MA English Language Teaching. Would these all be valued equally by employers? Or is one regarded better than the others?

    Any advice or just your thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by shroob; 19-Sep-2012 at 08:26. Reason: My paragraphs were removed for some reason...

  2. #2
    Academic Writing's Avatar
    Academic Writing is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: MA - Study options

    This is a matter of personal opinion. If you just want to learn how to read and write at a high level, distance education could technically work (I'm not a huge fan to be honest, but that's just me).

    However, you are talking about learning to become a teacher. This goes beyond knowledge of words and grammar. One of the impost important parts about effective language teaching is how you engage students, organize an effective lesson, and manage your classroom, often adapting in the moment as needed. Many teaching models, especially for teaching languages, are moving toward student-centered, communicative approaches. I agree with that trend. The traditional approach of having students diagram sentences only gets them so far. I have seen how effective the communicative approach can be.

    It takes skill and discipline as a teacher to have the students do most of the talking in a class (and to make that talking productive and meaningful). The best way to learn how to do this is to shadow other teachers and to practice in your own classes and in real settings. A distance education program might be able to show you videos of how to do this, but you won't be able to practice in a real setting and receive feedback to improve your skills.

    I am not claiming that my measly 30-day TEFL degree comes close to an MA, but just to give an scaled-down example, of the 150 hours I spent in that course, the most meaningful were clearly the 10 hours of instruction and feedback from experienced teachers. When taking teaching jobs abroad, I found it very useful to watch other teachers in their classrooms. Sometimes the teachers were very skilled and I learned a lot. Other times I saw teachers who, in my opinion, were not facilitating language learning very well, but those experiences also taught me what not to do.

    Bottom line: For a profession based in personal communication, I suggest learning in a context of personal communication.

    Some people will disagree with me (and of course, please think about all of the pros and cons and consult others in your decision process), but that is where I stand.
    SeriousScholar.com

  3. #3
    shroob is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: MA - Study options

    Quote Originally Posted by Academic Writing View Post
    This is a matter of personal opinion. If you just want to learn how to read and write at a high level, distance education could technically work (I'm not a huge fan to be honest, but that's just me). However, you are talking about learning to become a teacher. This goes beyond knowledge of words and grammar. One of the impost important parts about effective language teaching is how you engage students, organize an effective lesson, and manage your classroom, often adapting in the moment as needed. Many teaching models, especially for teaching languages, are moving toward student-centered, communicative approaches. I agree with that trend. The traditional approach of having students diagram sentences only gets them so far. I have seen how effective the communicative approach can be. It takes skill and discipline as a teacher to have the students do most of the talking in a class (and to make that talking productive and meaningful). The best way to learn how to do this is to shadow other teachers and to practice in your own classes and in real settings. A distance education program might be able to show you videos of how to do this, but you won't be able to practice in a real setting and receive feedback to improve your skills. I am not claiming that my measly 30-day TEFL degree comes close to an MA, but just to give an scaled-down example, of the 150 hours I spent in that course, the most meaningful were clearly the 10 hours of instruction and feedback from experienced teachers. When taking teaching jobs abroad, I found it very useful to watch other teachers in their classrooms. Sometimes the teachers were very skilled and I learned a lot. Other times I saw teachers who, in my opinion, were not facilitating language learning very well, but those experiences also taught me what not to do. Bottom line: For a profession based in personal communication, I suggest learning in a context of personal communication. Some people will disagree with me (and of course, please think about all of the pros and cons and consult others in your decision process), but that is where I stand.
    Thanks for the responce, useful information. Perhaps I should have said but I've got a CELTA so know how important observed practise and feedback is. I also have two year's post-CELTA experience (albeit at a Chinese university where professionalism is almost nonexistant - partly a reason for my desire to improve myself).

    The personal communication aspect is important to me. The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the 'regular' course.
    Last edited by shroob; 19-Sep-2012 at 08:25. Reason: Paragraphs again...

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: MA - Study options

    If it's from a reputable university, distance learning shouldn't be a problem. When I was taking mine, the distance course offered by the same place was highly regarded.

  5. #5
    shroob is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: MA - Study options

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    If it's from a reputable university, distance learning shouldn't be a problem. When I was taking mine, the distance course offered by the same place was highly regarded.

    I would have thought that also, however, on another teaching forum people are saying that some employers in the Middle East aren't recognising distance learning courses, and after looking around, it seems to be true. This is slightly worrying as the M.E. is somewhere I have thought about teaching in the future. So to be safe I think I'll opt for the 'regular' method of study.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,590
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: MA - Study options

    If you have that option, then it makes sense. Many employers will not consider distance teaching training because of all the dross out there offering basic training courses. I hadn't heard about this applying to MAs too, though I haven't worked in the Middle East.

Similar Threads

  1. options
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-Feb-2011, 19:05
  2. other options?
    By bearsmommy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2010, 03:41
  3. Options
    By Andronik in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-Dec-2009, 09:13
  4. a study/studio/study room
    By angliholic in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Nov-2007, 20:50
  5. Culture study vs. Cultural study.
    By Jupiter in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2006, 22:38

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk