Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

BA (Hons) English, Language and Education

Join us for our 2016 Open Days

In this Section:

  • Do you want to learn more about the English language?
  • Do you want to understand how people learn languages?
  • Do you want to study a foreign language?
  • Do you want to explore the role of languages in education and society?

Are you thinking about a career with worldwide employability?

If so, BA English, Language and Education is the perfect course choice.  

BA English, Language and Education will give you an in-depth and practical understanding of the English language and the language learning process.

You will explore the English language. We equip you with the skills needed to explain and describe language, and introduce you to the structures of English, so you can acquire a working knowledge of the English language.

You will consider how people learn English. We introduce you to the current views on English language learning, and help you to develop your understanding of the language learning process.

You will learn how to teach the English language. We guide you through the major methods and approaches to English language teaching, and give you the tools to evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches.

You will discover how to plan teaching and learning. We explore language learning materials, and introduce you to the methods of assessing teaching and learning progress. We also consider the practicalities of teaching, so you can develop effective lesson planning and classroom management techniques.  

You will expand your current foreign language skills. You will take a foreign language if you are an English speaker, or perfect your English if you are a speaker of another language.

You will investigate how people learn a new foreign language. Our innovative third year modules introduce you to the process of learning an unfamiliar foreign language at beginner's level, in concert with reflective one-to-one tutorials, so you can use your own language learning experience to inform your future professional practice. 

You will have the opportunity to study for an optional professional teaching qualification. You can choose to take an intensive CELTA course, which leads to an internationally-recognised qualification that allows you to teach English to speakers of other languages anywhere in the world.

Together, we analyse the latest research on language, learning and teaching, so you develop independent critical thinking skills and have a sound academic base to use in your future career. We show you how to conduct your own research, so you can continue to develop your skills when you enter the workplace, undertake further study or pursue a career in research. We provide extensive academic support, so you get the help you need.

Our course builds on our school's international reputation for teaching and research excellence in language education. Our academic experts have run an extensive range of language education programmes for many years.

BA English, Language and Education will give you the skills, knowledge and practical awareness for a variety of careers in teaching, industry, commerce, media, or research where an understanding of the language learning and teaching process is valuable.

International Foundation Year Scholarships

Scholarships are available for International Foundation Year students who enter into year one of this programme in September 2016. Find out more.


BA English, Language and Education is a three year full-time course. If you choose to take a study or work abroad opportunity here at Leeds, this will add another year onto your degree course.

Year one

Compulsory Modules

Second Language Acquisition and Learning explores how people learn a new language, and examines current views on the process of second or foreign language use and learning. You will also consider what it means to be “proficient” in a language.

Language, Learners and Society examines historical, current and developing understandings of the relationships between language, learners and society, drawing on students' research and reflection on their own language learning.

Education in a Multilingual World investigates the role of languages in society and their role in the educational development of children. You will take a socio-historical perspective on language change and spread, focusing on the growth of English and its effects on social and educational opportunity in diverse global settings. You will also consider how government policies and school practices can promote or inhibit multilingualism in young people.

English for Communication (International students only) aims to give you increased confidence in communicating in 'real' English. Through the use of video, newspapers, the internet and project work you will extend your vocabulary and develop communication strategies. You will analyse and learn about different British dialects and have the opportunity to interview the people of Leeds.

Foreign Language Module (UK students only)

Optional Modules

You choose two of the following optional modules.

  • Children, Young People, Families and the State
  • Building a Career from Education Studies
  • What is a Child: Child Development and Learning
  • What is a Child: Social Construction of Childhood

Year two

Compulsory Modules

Language Description for Education explores the skills a teacher requires to describe the aspects of language - such as pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar - to their students.

The Practice of English Language Teaching equips you with all you need to get started in the practice of English language teaching, and covers lesson planning, classroom management, and working with grammar and vocabulary.

Planning Language Teaching examines the world of language learning materials. You will learn how to evaluate, use, adapt and create materials for your teaching needs, while reflecting on their effectiveness.

International students will study ‘Advanced English for Academic Study’. UK students will continue the study of the foreign language studied in year one or will choose a Discovery Module.

Optional Modules

You study two of the following optional modules.

  • Health, Wellbeing, Childhood and Youth
  • International Perspectives of Pedagogy and Practice
  • Critical Debates in Childhood and Youth: Policy and Practice
  • Approaches to Research: Theory and Learning

Year three

Compulsory Modules

Analysing Language Learning works with your Foreign Language Study in year three to give you a unique insight into the process of language learning. You study a foreign language that is entirely new to you and then critically examine your experiences -- supported by fortnightly, reflective, one-to-one tutorials -- with reference to theoretical models of language learning

You also do a Final Year Project

Optional Modules

You also choose two of the following modules.

  • Advanced Career Development: Business Awareness
  • Special Profiles: Intervention and Support
  • Globalisation, Identity and English Language Education
  • Language Learning Technology and Materials
  • Growing up in a Digital Age
  • Critical Debates in Childhood and Youth: Research Childhood and Care

Discovery Modules

You may choose one discovery module in place of one optional module.

Dongping ChenSo far, I have most enjoyed the module English for Communication, which is a language course. In this module, I have learnt how to learn English in an efficient and independent way.

Dongping Chen

Taught by experts

The English, Language and Education team at Leeds is comprised of world-renowned academics, conducting research at the cutting edge of their discipline.

Our research and teaching expertise supports you in acquiring both broad and specialist understanding of the English language, the acquisition of English as an additional and a foreign language, and the development of effective teaching practices that enable learners to acquire, understand and use English.

We have specialist knowledge in areas such as the young learner classroom, language learner motivation, materials design, practical teaching skills, and language learning and new technology. 

Supportive environment

While encouraging you to become a self-motivated learner, our supportive team of staff will guide you through your studies, helping you to develop the skills you need to become an independent critical thinker and part of the University of Leeds learning community.

Here at the School of Education, you have the benefit of being one of a relatively small number of undergraduate students within the school, yet also part of the large University of Leeds cohort. Many of our students say this is incredibly beneficial to their university experience: the school feels like "a family", yet they still have access to all the benefits of studying at a large institution. 

Global, practical perspectives

Members of our teaching team have professional experience living and working in countries such as Bulgaria, China, Italy, Indonesia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sweden, Tanzania and also within multilingual settings here in the UK.

We know what it is like to work within a multicultural environments because, through our research and consultancy work, we collaborate regularly with people that work in such settings.

Our personal experiences will help and prepare you for the practicalities and challenges of employment around the world in a range of diverse and intercultural settings -- we don't just teach you the theory here at Leeds, we teach you how to put the theory into practice.

Experiential learning

Our teaching team believes in the value of experiential learning: the process of learning from direct experience.

We will guide you towards opportunities, both in Britain and abroad, that will increase your employability skills and help you to relate skills to practice.

Our students have taken advantage of such opportunities in the UK and abroad over the last two years. Some of our students will travel to Peru, Uganda and Indonesia to teach the English language during the summer holidays this year, and, last year, one of our students taught the English language in Cambodia.


If you study BA English, Language and Education with us, you will develop skills and knowledge that will provide an effective foundation for careers relating to teaching, education and language learning. The course also enables you to acquire skills and knowledge that will be valuable for careers in industry, commerce, media, research and academia.


You may decide to apply for a teaching training place on one of our school's PGCE programmes after graduation. Should you wish to pursue a PGCE, our school will assist you with your application.

You may want to consider an appropriate working abroad opportunity or youth volunteering project that will strengthen your PGCE application and show you have areas of understanding and expertise that will promote national curriculum goals and objectives within an educational environment.

BA English, Language and Education is a strong foundation for a career in primary teaching, particularly if you would like to specialise in primary foreign language learning and teaching. Our school runs one of the largest PGCE Primary teaching training programme in the North of England, and would provide you with the skills and experience you need to teach the full Primary curriculum.


As a BA English, Language and Education student, you have the opportunity to take an intensive CELTA course. Successful completion of the course leads to the CELTA award, an internationally recognised qualification that allows you to teach English to speakers of other languages anywhere in the world. The CELTA is also the entry qualification to the TESOL profession. 

MA TESOL Studies

If you would like to pursue a career in TESOL, our school offers MA TESOL Studies. This programme gives you all the essential skills and knowledge necessary to start a career in teaching English to speakers of other languages. 

Related postgraduate study

You may wish to further your education by studying a related subject at postgraduate level. BA English, Language and Education provides a sound foundation for postgraduate study in Linguistics, the English Language and Modern Languages.

BA English, Language and Education core career skills and knowledge

You will understand …

  • the structure of English
  • the main theories of language learning and teaching
  • key issues and terminology in TESOL and applied linguistics
  • the different approaches to designing language-learning materials
  • the importance of contextual factors in the learning and teaching of English.

You will be able to demonstrate an awareness of …

  • the issues involved in learning an new language
  • the features and processes of first language acquisition and learning
  • the current views on the processes of second/foreign language use and language learning
  • the potential benefits and issues of multilingualism for individuals and contemporary society
  • the role of English as a global language
  • the implications that global English has for the learning and teaching of English worldwide
  • how language change in society connects with global events, national policies, and people's everyday lives
  • different types of research strategies, methods and perspectives for language and educational research.

You will be able to …

  • describe language in terms of the four levels of phonology, lexis, grammar and discourse
  • transcribe simple sentences into phonemic script
  • analyse texts in terms of lexical patterns: collocation, sense relations and idiom
  • describe, use and evaluate methodological options for developing students' speaking, listening, reading and writing skills
  • use and evaluate techniques for presenting and practicing a new language
  • utilise your own experiences of learning an unfamiliar language to inform your understanding of new language acquisition
  • give clear definitions of key concepts in multilingualism and language education
  • describe ways that schools and teachers can contribute to multilingualism.

You will know how to …

  • plan a sequence of language lessons, adapted to the needs of a specific group of learners
  • critically evaluate your own and others' teaching performance 
  • comment on data findings in the light of language learning processes
  • articulate your own beliefs about English language learning and teaching 
  • use ICT to interrogate electronic data sources, analyse data, and present data and findings
  • select and develop research tools that are commensurate with research questions
  • collect, analyse and synthesise data into a coherent report format
  • present your findings on designing and applying a variety of research methods 
  • express ideas in written form on an academic debate within the field of multilingualism and/or language education.

BA English, Language and Education is an innovative course that combines three distinct, but interrelated, areas of study: Language Studies, Foreign Language Studies, and Education Studies. 

We asked our academic teaching team to say what the course means to them, so you can get an idea of the breadth of knowledge, skills and perspectives the course covers.

Dr Martin Lamb says ...

"BA English, Language and Education gives students a chance to develop their interests in three distinct subject areas – English, a second language, and education – and allows them to gradually specialise in whichever area they find most fascinating."

Dr James Simpson says ...

"BA English, Language and Education offers a thorough, distinctive and high-quality preparation for all kinds of careers in language education."

Dr Simon Green says ...

"BA English, Language and Education is both new and innovative in its design, and, for me as an academic team member, it is exciting for both those reasons. The particular constellation of studies that it represents is unique in the UK and, in my view, affords students interested in the areas of language and education an unusually rich learning experience."

Dr Judith Hanks says ...

"BA English, Language and Education enables students to bring theory and practice together as they analyse issues in English language, in language learning and in education. The course provides a broad foundation for students to develop their interests into careers around the world."


Dr Martin Lamb
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 0113 3434620
Email: m.v.lamb@education.leeds.ac.uk

Dr James Simpson
Senior Lecturer in Language Education; Academic Group Leader, Language Education Academic Group
Tel: 0113 3434687
Email: j.e.b.simpson@education.leeds.ac.uk

Dr Simon Green
Lecturer in TESOL
Tel: 0113 34 34537
Email: S.J.M.Green@leeds.ac.uk

Dr Judith Hanks
Lecturer in TESOL
Tel: 0113 3430524
Email: J.I.Hanks@education.leeds.ac.uk

Dr Elaine Lopez
Lecturer in TESOL
Tel: 0113 343 34526
Email: e.s.lopez@leeds.ac.uk

Dr Lou Harvey
Lecturer in TESOL
Email: L.T.Harvey@leeds.ac.uk


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