Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages for Young Learners

This programme for experienced TESOL teachers, advisors and teacher trainers focuses on the teaching of English or other languages to children between 5 and 12 years old.

You’ll study core modules alongside students on our other TESOL programmes, exploring how people learn languages and the strategies teachers use to develop the key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. A specialist module will focus on foreign language learning in children and how theories of learning and pedagogy have contributed to TESOL practice in the classroom.

In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules allowing you to build your knowledge of topics such as the potential for technology in language learning, materials development and TESOL teacher education.

Taught by leading researchers and experienced practitioners in TESOL, you’ll benefit from a wide range of resources and support. You’ll gain valuable skills to inform your teaching practice in a stimulating, friendly environment.

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.

In Semester One you’ll deepen your understanding of the foundations of TESOL – you’ll focus on how people learn languages, how to describe and explain language to learners and the approaches you can take to teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

You’ll then expand your knowledge in Semester Two in more specialist areas. You’ll take a further core module that focuses on the theory and practice of teaching foreign languages to children aged 5-12 – including theories of children’s language learning, activities, key skills, story and theme-based courses, designing tasks and materials and appropriate ways of assessing the progress of young learners.

In addition, you’ll choose from a range of optional modules on topics like the use of technology in language learning, teacher education and learning and teaching vocabulary.

In the final part of the year, you’ll use your newly-acquired knowledge and skills to carry out a small-scale piece of research. Your critical study can be related to your own interests within the field of education. To support your work on the project, you will take a non-assessed research methods course, while help with your academic writing is available throughout the year.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

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

You’ll take four compulsory modules throughout the programme, including your critical study, and choose another 30 credits from the optional modules below.

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
- Critical Study
- Learning and Teaching in TESOL
- Investigating Language for TESOL
- Teaching Languages to Young Learners
- Technology Enhanced Language Learning
- The Practice of Supporting Language Teacher Learning
- Learning and Teaching Vocabulary
- Grammar, Learning and Teaching
- Teaching Academic English
- Corpus Linguistics in the Classroom
- Teacher Education for TESOL
- The TESOL curriculum and TESOL change
- Assessing Language Learning
- Materials Development for TESOL

Learning and teaching

You’ll generally have around 8-10 hours of classes per week including seminars, tutorials and lectures. However, independent study is an important aspect of this programme, either alone or in a group, since it allows you to develop key research, analysis and communication skills and develop your own ideas.


Most of our taught modules are assessed through written assignments, which you’ll choose from a range of topics. To help you prepare, you’ll be able to submit a draft to your tutor for comment beforehand, and we offer other forms of support as well. You’ll also complete a portfolio of work such as materials and activities as part of the module Teaching Languages to Young Learners.

Entry requirements

2 years relevant experience. We will consider applicants with alternative 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.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Application deadlines

We generally advise you to apply before the end of July.

Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent and transcripts
  • Two references
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications is English is not your first language
  • A personal statement of 750-1,000 words explaining how you would be suited to the programme.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,000

International: £15,000

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Postgraduate Masters fees.

Part-time fees are calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year. Part-time fees may increase each year in line with full-time fees, so subsequent years of study may cost more than the first.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out if you can get help at Postgraduate funding.

Career opportunities

There is a worldwide trend towards introducing English at earlier stages of national curricula, while parents often seek out private tutoring for their children at even younger ages.

The MA TESOL for Young Learners encourages participants to take a critical perspective on these developments, but also equips them with the skills and understanding to participate more fully in young learner pedagogy in their home or other international contexts.

Recent graduates of the programme for example have become teacher trainers, others have found more rewarding classroom positions, and those who do particularly well are encouraged to consider continuing to doctoral study.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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