Designed to meet the demand of degree holders for a postgraduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Designed to meet the demand of degree holders for a postgraduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Master of Arts (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

R2/145/7/0056 | MQA/SWA0147  (12.04.2028)

The Master of Arts (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is designed to meet the demand of degree holders for a postgraduate degree in TESOL.

This program aims to facilitate the development of disciplinary knowledge on second language acquisition, focusing on the area of teaching English to speakers of other languages; equip prospective teachers with the basic, intermediate and advanced tools for classroom practice in the area of TESOL; explore in-depth, current theories and pedagogy in second/foreign language teaching; critically investigate classroom issues related to teaching TESOL; critique second/foreign language teaching methodologies, discuss research trends in the field of teaching English as a second/foreign language and, enable students to explore and apply research methods and skills in TESOL.

Upon successful completion, you will be awarded from Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

Our Swinburne Advantage

The MA (TESOL) programme complies with the Australian Qualifications Framework and is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Register. It is taught by highly qualified and experienced lecturers trained in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom. Classes are conducted via blended delivery. Students will able to complete the masters within two years (4 semesters). Each semester is 13 weeks long and students will only need to be on campus for 3 weeks per semester during the Malaysian school holiday period to accommodate working adults/practising teachers. Weekly online discussions and tutorial sessions are conducted via Canvas learning management system to keep track of student progress. The programme also includes four units which are conducted fully online, giving students the ultimate flexibility to learn and study at their own pace and convenience.

Note: Students are also enrolled for the Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching units (beginning with EDU), which are completed online.


2 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Course details

Duration of study

The duration of study is two years full-time or equivalent part-time. Full-time students will undertake four units of study per semester or eight units per year whereas part-time students may take two units per semester. Students who have an undergraduate background in English Studies/English Literature/TESOL/TESL/TEFL may be exempted from 1 semester of study (4 units) thus completing the program within 1.5 years.

Each semester consists of 13 weeks and there are two semesters per year.  In addition to formal class time, students are expected to participate in peer teaching sessions to give them an opportunity to experiment with language teaching techniques and critically evaluate them, as well as conduct real-life classroom teaching for relevant practical units.

Units of study

MAT4101 Phonology and Grammar for English Teachers

This unit will develop students’ knowledge of phonology of the English language to prepare them to teach English effectively. It will also develop students’ knowledge of the morphology and syntax of the English language, enabling students to compare and contrast English language grammar with that of one or more local major languages, and to apply this knowledge to teaching English grammar. 

MAT4104 Methods and Approaches of TESOL

This unit will introduce students to the main approaches to the teaching of the English language, helping them to develop a critical understanding of the theoretical concepts underlying these approaches.

MAT5101 Theories and Practices: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing

In this unit, students will develop an in-depth understanding of how listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are acquired and a pedagogical knowledge of the different functions of these skills, to design lessons which integrate a variety of teaching practices and resources, including technology, to engage students in effective learning.

EDU60001 Nature of Learning and Teaching

This unit will enable students to explore learning and teaching theories, models and approaches for contemporary Higher Education contexts.

MAT4103 Educational Management and Leadership

This unit introduces students to the importance of leadership in schools as part of professional development and the need for leadership in improving teaching and learning practices in and out of the classroom. 

EDU60003 Curriculum Design and Assessment

In this unit, students will explore effective curriculum and assessment design through the identification and application of key concepts associated with the development of curricula. They will consider the central roles that intended learning outcomes, aligned learning activities, and formative and summative assessment play in ensuring an effective curriculum.

EDU60002 Digital Learning Environments or EDU60014 Design and Delivery for Online Learning

In these units, students will focus on the use of digital technologies for enhancing learning and teaching through appropriate pedagogical design. Students will also explore how to integrate good online teaching practice into face to face, blended and online environments. They will acquire online learning design skills and apply them to develop engaging learning activities, assessment tasks and feedback methods that effectively promote student learning and engagement. 

EDU60004 Scholarly Teaching: To Explore, Evaluate and Improve or  EDU60005 Dynamics of Diversity for Inclusive Learning and Teaching

In these units, students will explore the concept of teaching as a scholarly activity and develop strategies for evaluating their teaching in order to use evidence to improve student learning, inform teaching practice and further their professional learning and career. Students will also challenge notions of diversity, the implications for teaching, and create inclusive learning environments.

MAT6101 Methods and Approaches to Language Research

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to issues and approaches in applied linguistics as a step towards developing their ability to analyse English teaching practices critically from the standpoint of applied linguistics.

MAT6102 Issues in Applied Lingustics

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to issues and approaches in applied linguistics as a step towards developing their ability to analyse English teaching practices critically from the standpoint of applied linguistics.

MAT6103 Assessment in TESOL

The focus of this unit of study is on the assessment of the English language competence and performance of ESL/EFL students. In this unit of study, students will not only learn the theoretical issues and principles that underlie language testing, the concepts of validity, reliability and alignment with learning outcomes, but they will also have practical experience in test construction.

MAT6104 World Englishes

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ awareness and knowledge of the varieties of English and their implications for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Students who successfully complete this unit should be able to explain world Englishes in respect of sociolinguistic concepts and language models, identify features of world Englishes and local variations and explain the impact of selected language policies on English language teaching and learning.

MAT6105  TESOL Research Project

The aim of this unit is to enable students to conduct and report a well-argued independent research project directly related to their professional concern about TESOL through the critical analysis and evaluation of existing research, research principles and methods, and via the selection of appropriate method(s) of collecting and analysing data.

Learning content

  1. To design learning and teaching activities, curriculum and assessments that are aligned with high quality intended learning outcomes for students.
  2. To design, implement and evaluate, independently and/ or collaboratively, curricula and pedagogical courses that are locally and internationally relevant.
  3. To creatively apply effective digital and technological skills in response to perceived teaching and learning contexts in order to enhance teaching/learning practices.
  4. To distinguish and explain critically socio-cultural and linguistic factors that impede or facilitate the learning and production of English in order to be able to teach English effectively in response to the needs of the students and institutions.
  5. To identify research issues, apply research principles and methods, conduct and report an independent TESOL research study.

Study planner for cognate entry

S 1 2022 (Non Cognate only) S2 2022 S1 2023 S2 2023
MAT4101 Phonology and Grammar for English Teachers MAT4103 Educational Management and Leadership MAT6101 Methods and Approaches to Language Research MAT6105 TESOL Research Project
EDU60001 Nature of Teaching and Learning MAT4104 Methods and Approaches of TESOL MAT6102 Issues in Applied linguistics  
EDU60005 Developing Inclusive Learning and Teaching Practice MAT5101 Theories and Practices: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing MAT6103 Assessment in TESOL  
EDU60014 Design and Delivery for Online Learning EDU60003 Curriculum Design and Assessment MAT6104 World Englishes  

Message from the Course Director

Hugh Leong

“For over a decade, Swinburne Sarawak has trained hundreds of English teachers both locally and internationally through short course programs, workshops, seminars and our TESOL postgraduate programs. Come and experience our wide range of TESOL postgraduate study options tailored specifically for your needs.”

Hugh Leong, Course Director, MA TESOL program & Research Leader in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Centre of Education Research.

External Advisory Committee and External Examiners

At Swinburne, we pride our marking to be of a high standard and is compliant with higher education and industry standards internationally. To ensure this, we appoint external moderators and/or examiners to ensure that the instructions, marking scheme and student submissions for assessment tasks are up to international standards and marked fairly.

Title and Name of External Examiner / Course Advisory Panel Affiliation/Representative

Role: External Examiner, or Course Advisory Panel

Dr. Jane Kerhwald Manager, Student Support, Student Engagement Unit, University of South Australia, Adelaide Course Advisory Panel
Dr. Jennifer Tan Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, Help University Malaysia External Moderator
Dr. Peter Sercombe Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, School of Education, Communication & Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK External Moderator
Associate Professor Ting Su Hie Associate Professor, Faculty of Language and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Course Advisory Panel
Dr. Ho Theen Theen Lecturer, Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Tun Abdul Razak, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak   External Moderator
Dr. Souba Rethinasamy Associate Professor, Faculty of Language and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak External Moderator
Mr. Fakhzan Haji Buang Senior Language Instructor, Department of Social Science and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Kampus Bintulu External Moderator
Associate Professor Gerry Rayner Associate Director, Academic Development & Learning Innovations, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne External Moderator

Fees & scholarships


Malaysian students
RM35,968 (total)
International students
RM43,872 (total)

* All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.
STU member: RM27,136


At Swinburne scholarships are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. Scholarships are available for both commencing and current students.

Find your scholarship

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an approved undergraduate qualification in any discipline from a recognised university or college with a CGPA equivalent to a Malaysian CGPA of 2.5 or above.

English Requirements

English proficiency

English language proficiency consistent with Swinburne policies for admission of local and international students to postgraduate courses will be required for entry into the course. Potential students must produce evidence of an advanced level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

Applicants may also take the Versant English Placement Test (EPT) in  examination conditions to determine if they have met the required language proficiency level.

English language requirements

Find out more about English language requirements.

Application process

To apply for this course, please fill in this registration form.

Contact person: Hugh Leong (Course Director)
Phone: +6082 260 745 ext 8745

Career opportunities

The Master of Arts (TESOL) program prepares students to become English language teachers at schools, universities and private education institutions, to work as course advisers, course designers, teacher trainers, or to set up private education businesses. It also lays a sound foundation for those who are interested in conducting research in language teaching and learning.

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