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Gain an in-depth understanding of language learning and teaching on our full-time TESOL degree in Cambridge, home to key English language teaching businesses. Discover your teaching style in a real ESOL classroom, with ongoing support and feedback from our team of experts. Develop the knowledge and practical skills to begin a rewarding career in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
- Gain the internationally recognised Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) in Year 2*.
- Make valuable contacts for your future career in teaching with our links to local and international language schools.
- Progress directly onto our MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL to explore the theories and practice of English language teaching in greater depth.
- Learn a new language or continue with an existing one via our Anglia Language Programme to support future work plans abroad.
- Make valuable contacts for your future with our links to EF, Studio and CAMDoSA, a group for heads of language schools.
- Study in Cambridge, home to key English language teaching businesses including a number of international language schools, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Assessment, giving you opportunities for work experience, part-time work and jobs when you graduate.
English is the global language for trade, science, computing, education, politics and entertainment. There are learners of English in almost every country around the world.
This course will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills you need to begin your career in English language teaching, whether you choose to teach in the UK or elsewhere in the world.
On our Cambridge-based BA (Hons) TESOL, you’ll begin by exploring how the English language is structured and how the sounds of English are represented. You’ll learn how to investigate language and you’ll develop an awareness of the ways in which language and culture can impact on the way we communicate with people from around the world.
As you progress, you’ll learn how to apply this knowledge in the classroom. You’ll be given the opportunity to learn from observing experienced teachers working with their classes. You’ll then have the chance to develop your own teaching identity through regularly teaching multilingual groups of English language learners at a range of levels.
In addition, you will begin to learn a new language for yourself with the Anglia Language Programme. This is a rewarding experience in itself. It may well equip you better for any future work plans abroad. It will definitely help you empathise with the learners in your own lessons.
In your third year, you’ll have the opportunity to find a placement teaching English in a professional environment on our ‘Working in English and Media’ module. You’ll also have the chance to take optional modules that will extend your understanding of the English language into other areas, including global Englishes, contemporary fiction and cinema.
As well as your practice, our course will develop your understanding of the theory and ongoing research behind learning and teaching languages: how we learn, when we learn, what we learn. From this you will form an interest in language and education that may well lead to a career in modern language teaching, language school management, speech and language therapy, publishing or educational policy design.
Our teaching staff will support you to develop your skills in materials selection and preparation, lesson planning, classroom management, and self-evaluation. You’ll also pick up transferable skills that are high in demand such as communication, interpersonal, leadership and organisational skills.
You’ll be taught by a team of experts in the theory and practice of English language teaching. They include Amanda Bailey and Alastair Douglas, who have worked for over 20 years each in the field of English language teaching, training and management; Dr Bettina Beinhoff (Perceiving Identity through Accent: Attitudes towards Non-Native Speakers and their Accents in English); and Dr Michelle Sheehan (co-author, The Philosophy of Universal Grammar).
Our well-resourced classrooms will give you the opportunity to use interactive whiteboards, document cameras, PowerPoint projection and audio and video lesson recording to experience working in a modern professional classroom environment.
Cambridge is home to professionals and visitors from a wide range of countries so there are many groups and societies where you can practise your teaching skills while also learning different languages yourself.
Course Leader: Sarah Etchells
*At the end of the first year of your degree course, you can apply to study for the internationally recognised CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) alongside your BA (Hons). You will need to research and complete a language task and to attend a group interview. The task and the interview will be used to check that you meet the entry requirements for the CELTA qualification, which are different from the course entry requirements.
If you are accepted onto the CELTA course, you must complete the syllabus for the CELTA, both the methodology and teaching practice modules, in one academic year. You’ll take part in supervised lesson planning, observation of experienced teachers and assessed teaching practice, with support and feedback from experienced CELTA tutors. Having successfully completed all elements of the course, you will be awarded the CELTA qualification. This qualification will enable you to start teaching English as a second or other language immediately.
You can also complete the degree course without completing the CELTA qualification.
We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.
Teaching English to speakers of other languages is a highly versatile and rewarding profession. You could teach in the UK or abroad; you could teach adults or younger learners; you could teach in a language school, in a university or in a business context.
Nowadays, not all teaching has to be done face- to-face either. Online tutoring is becoming increasingly popular, bringing together teachers and learners from around the world from the convenience of their own homes.
You’ll also pick up transferable skills that could be useful in many other careers, including communication, interpersonal, leadership and organisational skills. Our past students have found success in many different fields including teacher training, materials writing, language school management, and speech and language therapy.
Or you might decide to continue on to a Masters course, such as our:
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
Language and Data
Language and Society
Semantics and Pragmatics
Introduction to the Sounds of English
The Nature of Language
Revealing English Structure: The Phrase
Revealing English Structure: The Sentence
Year two, core modules
TESOL – The Language System
English Phonetics and Phonology
TESOL – Language Skills
Research Methods for English Language, Linguistics and TESOL
Year two, optional modules
Regional Varieties of British English
Language and Gender
Year three, core modules
Language Acquisition: Topics and Issues
Methods and Developments in TEFL
Year three, optional modules
Philosophies of Language and the Body
Narrative in Global Cinema
Race, Racism and Cultural Identity
Working in English and Media
Special Topic in Linguistics
Languages in Contrast
Intercultural Competence and Graduate Mobility
Writing for Work
Optional modules available in years two and three
Anglia Language Programme
For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.
You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of assessment methods, including unseen examinations, in-class assessments, essays, portfolios, and assessed presentations. Most of our modules also include practical elements or exercises such as non-assessed discussions, presentations and language laboratory work.
If you take the CELTA component, your teaching practice assessment will be based on classroom-related written assignments and the continuous assessment of your lesson plans and teaching.
Where you’ll study
Your department and faculty
At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.
With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.