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MA Applied Linguistics or TESOL????
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773



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:36 am    Post subject: MA Applied Linguistics or TESOL???? Reply with quote

My husband and I are looking at unis in Australia or New Zealand to get either an MA in Linguistics or TESOL.

We are interested in teaching at the university level when we are finished in the Mid East primarily, and then maybe onto somewhere else. Which MA would be the most practical for securing the best jobs at universities abroad as well as in English-speaking countries? Applied Linguistics or TESOL? Can't decide.... Rolling Eyes

Also, I am trying to find good programmes in places that aren't extremely expensive to live in (we have a total budget of about US$50,000 for everything). Any suggestions?

Thanks a million! Cool
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moot point



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the course lists for the different programs your mentioned. I think you may be surprised to see just how close the "App. Ling." and "TESOL" Master's degrees are. I really don't think how one will give you and advantage over the other -- they are both very closely related MA's.
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773



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

moot point wrote:
Check the course lists for the different programs your mentioned. I think you may be surprised to see just how close the "App. Ling." and "TESOL" Master's degrees are. I really don't think how one will give you and advantage over the other -- they are both very closely related MA's.


Yes, they are so similar! I guess that's why employers ask for either one, without preference usually...

Any suggestions on good unis in NZ or OZ? I have been looking at Victoria University of Wellington in NZ...can anyone shed some light on the reputation of the university and/or its Linguistics/TESOL programmes?

Thanks! Very Happy
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at USQ - University of Southern Queensland and UNE - University of New England, both in Australia.

I am just finishing my masters in applied linguistics at USQ. It is a good program.
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zoubaidah



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Victoria Uni has had TESOL programmes for more than 20 years, and a good rep in NZ. I am checking it out at present re enrolling for an MA TESOL - pm me if you are still looking. Not sure what international fees are, but their site will have them:
www.vuw.ac.nz/lals/degrees/ma-tesol.aspx
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ambernz



Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Posts: 27
Location: HCMC but soon NZ

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,

I did my MA at Victoria, and the App Ling and TESOL are very similar. It's done me in good stead, and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Amber
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cyberphi



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: MEd at Sydney Uni Reply with quote

Hi
I've just finished the MEd TESOL at Sydney Uni. I learned a lot from the reading I did on the course and I think the degree will help my employability, but I'm not sure I would recommend it unreservedly.

The course runs face-to-face (ie they don't have distance options). 90%+ of the students on the course were non-native English speakers, some with IELTS scores as low as 6.0 (average - so their speaking was even lower in some cases). So the cut and thrust of interesting discussion, as I encountered on DELTA, just wasn't there - this was more than frustrating in tutorials etc, as I felt more like I was the teacher a lot of the time we had to work in small groups (as the others often didn't have a clue / hadn't read the material / had no experience to draw upon). Many had never really taught before, lots were quite young, and almost all were Chinese/Korean/Japanese (so confucian-style learners: learn facts and regurgitate them, and everything is assessment-driven - so if something 'doesn't count', like tutorial reading, they just didn't do it).

This meant that the standard was pretty low - good b/c it's stupidly easy to get the degree, but bad because - where is the challenge? I had to laugh, towards the end of the second semester, when there was confusion in class as to what, exactly, communicative language teaching might be. I mean, for god's sake. Is this TEFL 101?

In contrast, I have a friend who is studying at Macquarie. A lot of the same stuff applies for the face to face classes, but there seem to be some advantages:
-they do distance / online options, so you can mix and match - some online / some face to face. As Macquarie is an hour outside Sydney CBD, this makes it convenient.
-they seem to be more focused on quality / not selling their souls as much as Sydney - this could be conjecture, I don't know. All Aus unis have let their standards slip, it seems, with the funding crisis - offshore students, with their money, solve this in the short term. But Macquarie seems to be where most of the interesting research comes from - a lot of the reading on the Sydney course is Macquarie publications, for example.

For your purposes, though - you might want to look at living outside of Sydney, as it is easily the most expensive city in the country. An example: I pay $250/wk rent for a one-bedroom flat, and my BF in Adelaide pays $155 for the same (but salaries are almost the same). This could mean you doing the masters somewhere like Adelaide (or Hobart?), or it could mean doing a distance masters and basing yourselves anywhere - a Thai beach, say ;-)

Another thing to consider - some masters programs offer advanced standing for previous qualifications - e.g Sydney gives 2/8 credit for DELTA or 1/8 credit for CELTA. Macquarie gives 2/10 and 1/10 respectively. This is a reduction in both cost and workload, and was significant enough for me to choose Sydney over Macquarie.

Another factor: if you are planning to work as you go, Sydney is a much better bet for ELT work than, say, Adelaide. But, due to the ridiculous 'step' system of pay in Australia, the more experience/quals you have the less desirable you may actually be, as schools have to pay you more. It works like this: you get accorded a 'step' based on quals/experience (and some places count overseas exp'ce, some do not). I was step 11 (it goes, weirdly, step 2 to step 11). Step 11 is worth about $52k/year on contract, or $52/hr casual. But step 2 teachers (CELTA and uni degree, no experience) get $32k/$32/hr - so the schools I are keen to employ lots of lower step teachers instead of a few higher step ones. So, what ends up happening is a bargaining process - I am step 11 and you want to pay step 3. So how about you pay me as step 6 salary? Etc. I ended up 'training up' as a CELTA trainer to get more, better, better-paid work. On a student visa, you can work 20 hours/wk, which in most schools is pretty much a full-time teaching load (so you can pay your way if you get work).

What else? Doing a dissertation as part of the masters kept my enthusiasm going, and is essential if you want direct entry to a PhD afterwards (you might - I got inspired by research). So make sure that's an option if you think you'd like to do that.

Otherwise - MEd TESOL / MAppLing - they are very very similar, and I'm yet to find a job ad that specified one or the other. I have a colleague with a MA in App Ling from UNSW and our courses overlapped more than they differed. The main difference, which affected neither of us, was if you wanted to do outside options on my course you did education courses, whereas the outside options for his course were more linguistics courses. But as you can't really fit many outsides into a course if you get advanced standing (b/c have to do the core courses), then it's not relevant.

Hope this helps - best of luck
Phi
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
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Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks phi for that analysis of Sydney uni. I just finished my masters of applied linguistics from the university of southern queensland. I did it by distance, but the courses are identical to the ones done on campus. I figure about 10% of the students were non-native, maybe half were Australian and many Cdns. Most of the other students were teaching in either Australia or abroad. I liked the program, but their biggest weakness was that most of my papers were not marked by the profs. I don't know how common that is for other unis. I would have liked to have been able to meet with the prof or other students face to face, but I had to work f/t at the same time. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in doing a masters.
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Super Mario



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 1022
Location: Australia, previously China

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macquarie University [Sydney} is worth a look. I was satisfied with my distance program a few years back. But there are lots, and in such a competitive environment they're probably all of a good standard.
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Johanna



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:44 pm    Post subject: University of Adelaide Reply with quote

I'm finishing up my Masters in Applied Linguistics this year (three years part time - children and some work so it's taken a while) and I would recommend the course and Adelaide.

I have had some frustrations with classmates who initially didn't have the English to cope with the courses but by the end you realise that there's just as much thinking going on with them - they just have to express it in their second language which is difficult and at times intimidating with an experienced ESL teacher sitting next to them. It's important to remember that it's not their fault that the University said it would be ok for them to come with a 6.0 - they are in a way victims too.

I would recommend studying part time too. There are a lot of concepts that won't have time to click if you are trying to keep up with a heavy reading load for two subjects and assignments and part time work and family. But part time is not an option on a student visa.

Having said that I would love to have studied at Macquarie but realistically living in Sydney with my family obligations and a study load and reduced income just wouldn't have worked - but maybe for the doctorate when the kids are bigger!

As mentioned before Adelaide has a lower cost of living than other Sydney and Melbourne. It is clean, friendly and safe and for a couple of weeks in February and March every second year quite exciting!

Cheers,

Johanna
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773



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the helpful replies!

We are heavily considering the coursework MA Appl. Ling. at Griffith University in Brisbane.

Anyone have any opinions on this uni? Would anyone recommend another uni instead with tuition of or around AUS$13,000 (international) for the programme (1 year) or less? Since we will be studying as overseas students on campus, tuition costs are an obvious factor...

Cheers everyone! Very Happy
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danielb



Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look at Uni of Tas at Launceston.
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Miyazaki



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 635
Location: My Father's Yacht

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon wrote:
Take a look at USQ - University of Southern Queensland and UNE - University of New England, both in Australia.

I am just finishing my masters in applied linguistics at USQ. It is a good program.


USQ is NOT a good school!

This is one of the worst schools you could go to to do your M.A. degree. The town is very inconvenient to live in also.

UNE is also NOT a good school!

If you're looking for "GOOD" schools, you may want to look at Griffiths, QUT or University of Queensland.

Macquarie and Melbourne are also reputible.

The University of Queensland is nothing more than a degree mill. The program is very unorganized and the teaching staff are very under-qualified to be lecturing there.

UNE is also in the middle of nowhere.

Both USQ and UNE specialize in distance education programs and their campuses are very small and in small towns which can be difficult to live in.
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jonks



Joined: 29 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: MA Applied Linguistics or TESOL???? Reply with quote

773 wrote:
My husband and I are looking at unis in Australia or New Zealand to get either an MA in Linguistics or TESOL.

We are interested in teaching at the university level when we are finished in the Mid East primarily, and then maybe onto somewhere else. Which MA would be the most practical for securing the best jobs at universities abroad as well as in English-speaking countries? Applied Linguistics or TESOL? Can't decide.... Rolling Eyes

Also, I am trying to find good programmes in places that aren't extremely expensive to live in (we have a total budget of about US$50,000 for everything). Any suggestions?

Thanks a million! Cool


Hi 773.

I would definitely reccommend you study at Victoria University in Wellington (New Zealand).

The university has a very strong reputation in the Applied Linguistics community, something that you will realise after you begin the programme.

VUW also has very high entry requirements, so there is no chance that you would be spending the majority of your time giving 'English proficiency' lessons to your classmates.

All of your work (whether it be online postings or assessment of your work) is handled by professors of the university. They have an extremely dedicated team, who really care about your learning, and their feedback is excellent.

Also, you can study from anywhere in the world. So if you don't want to delve into the entire 50K that you and your spouse have saved up, then you could do the course part time, over two (or up until four) years from Europe, Korea, Saudi Arabia (or whatever tickles your wick).

I am currently completing my MA from VUW, and I must say, they've been amazing (that's why I'm posting this). I've done mine entirely via distance learning, (from Taiwan) and have not got a single complaint about the degree.

But, if you want a degree that is not going to be too demanding (i.e. not require too much learning) then VUW probably is not the best place for you.

If you did decide to do your MA there, you'd have to be prepared to spend about 12-15 hours of study per week on each course. Each course runs for a single trimester (usually about 10 weeks).
Each course grants you 15 credits, and you typically have to do 180 credits for the degree. So, if you were to do it part time (two courses per trimester for two years) you would have to expect to be spending about 25-30 hours each week on study, for two years.

But believe me, it's definitely worth it.
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773



Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your feedback. After looking into all options, we have pretty much decided to go with Griffith University in Brisbane (Applied Linguistics)...it seems to be the best option overall in terms of the quality and duration of the programme, tuition fees, and cost of living.

I was really attracted to Wellington, and somehow seemed to think after researching their web site that they only offered Appl. Ling. undergrad programmes. However, I just looked again and found otherwise...so, this morning, I am going to do my research into them again. Thanks!!!! Very Happy
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