Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (China)

­This programme is studied entirely in China. It is jointly delivered by the University of Leeds and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and allows experienced Chinese TESOL professionals to gain a deeper understanding of how languages are learned and the strategies used to teach them.

You’ll study current theories of language acquisition, the complex context in which any language learning takes place and different approaches to and strategies for teaching and assessing key language skills.

You’ll be taught at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies by tutors from both universities and be registered as a full-time student at Leeds, giving you access to all of our online library resources – as well as those available at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

The Language Education team in the School of Education is nationally and internationally recognised for its range of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and consultancy work in TESOL, ELT, EFL, ESOL, EAL, Modern Foreign Languages, and Applied Linguistics.

We’re one of the largest Language Education teams in the UK. As education practitioners, we have a wide range of experience of teaching and teacher education work in many contexts in the UK and around the world, and as researchers, we have a broad range of expertise across the discipline.

This programme is not suitable for those without professional TESOL experience.

This programme is jointly delivered and has been designed by academic staff from both the University of Leeds and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

All teaching and learning is influenced by the context in which it occurs. The programme begins by considering the components of an educational context, from visible features of the classroom to the less visible but influential educational norms that affect teacher and learner roles and behaviours.

You then explore current theoretical models of language acquisition, before building your understanding of models of oral and written language processing and their implications for different teaching and learning activities. You’ll use this knowledge to design, adapt and evaluate language learning tasks, and to think carefully about methods of assessment that will be appropriate for your working context

At every stage of the course, you’ll develop your research skills and think about the relationship between research and TESOL practice. You’ll demonstrate this awareness when you complete your critical study – a small-scale research project related to your own interests in TESOL education.

In March of the year after you successfully complete the programme, you’ll receive a MA TESOL degree from the University of Leeds at a graduation ceremony in Guangzhou.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

You’ll study five core modules throughout the year, including your critical study.

Compulsory modules:
- Critical Study in TESOL
- Approaches and Contexts in TESOL
- Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
- Teaching Oral and Written Skills for TESOL
- Language Testing

For more information on typical modules, read Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA in programme catalogue

Learning and teaching

This course is all taught face-to-face at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, with two modules each taught by tutors from each university. You’ll experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, discussions, small group tasks and presentations, and extra study support will be available online through the University of Leeds’ Virtual Learning Environment. Independent study is also an important part of this programme.


All modules are assessed by written assignments of up to 6,000 words, and you’ll be encouraged to write on topics that are directly relevant to your own professional context. Your critical study is around 12,000 words. All your assignments will be submitted online through the University of Leeds’ Virtual Learning Environment.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) plus at least 2 years' relevant experience. The programme is not suitable for those without professional TESOL experience.

We will consider applicants with alternative qualifications and experience on an individual basis.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

How to apply

Apply directly to Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

Admissions policy

School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: Please contact School

International: Please contact School

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a range of knowledge and skills from this programme that could make a big difference your career prospects.

Many of our graduates go back to their previous work contexts, where they often become candidates for promotion thanks to their greater expertise. Others find new jobs in different institutions or other parts of the country. Some have even progressed to PhD level study at institutions in China, Hong Kong and the UK.

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