Chinese - Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages - MATCSOL
Our Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) MA programme aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and professional competencies required to teach Chinese effectively to speakers of other languages in a variety of contexts globally and in Ireland.*
In this course, you will develop an understanding of key issues in teaching Chinese as a linguistic system to a variety of learners and become familiar with recent research and publications on theory and practice in teaching Chinese. Students of this programme gain practical professional experience by engaging with in-class observation and practice teaching and they learn how to evaluate their own professional competence and that of others.
Teaching internship placements are arranged by the Department of Asian Studies.
*Note: To be eligible for appointment to an incremental salaried teaching position in a secondary school in Ireland, a teacher must be registered. It is the Teaching Council alone that has the authority to determine what constitutes adequate qualifications for registration purposes. See the Teaching Council page at teachingcouncil.ie for registration details.
What happens in the programme?
The MA TCSOL combines theory with hands-on practice. In class, you'll find yourself discussing theories and concepts used in language teaching and how they are relevant to Chinese, and reviewing the pros and cons of different ways of teaching languages. You'll learn to analyse and explain Chinese as a linguistic system and to understand the varying challenges faced by learners of Chinese. You'll observe successful teachers in action and discuss what you've learned, and in turn, you'll develop teaching materials and teach students, with others observing your classes and providing constructive feedback.
Through written assignments and presentations to fellow students, you'll learn the right professional terminology and gain experience in applying your theoretical understanding to effective lesson planning and delivery. Your teaching practice may also provide you with material for exploring a topic of special interest in your dissertation, in which all the knowledge and skills acquired during the course should come together. Throughout, as a UCC student, you'll enjoy access to a beautiful and historic campus and a great range of student services and facilities.
This is a 12-month programme (24 months part-time). UCC semesters run from September to early December and January to March/early April, with 12 teaching weeks per semester. Taught modules are typically 3 hours per week in the classroom while language modules will involve up to 6 hours per week.
The teaching internship module involves periods of time in different teaching settings preparing and delivering classes and reflecting on your teaching style and effectiveness. You do not have to find your own placement as the Asian Studies Department will arrange a sufficient number in a range of educational settings each academic year.
MA level work involves a lot of reading and thinking so you'll find that the year passes very quickly. You should be thinking about the topic of your Dissertation from early on in the year but you'll devote the most time to it during the summer months.
The course is delivered by faculty from UCC's Department of Asian Studies, the most prestigious centre for Asian Studies in Ireland with a long track record in delivering the teaching of Chinese at all levels.
Why Choose This Course?
The market for Chinese language teachers is expanding rapidly as China becomes increasingly active on the world stage and more and more people find themselves engaging with China. Reputable qualifications for Chinese language teachers, however, are thin on the ground. As with TEFL, the quality of teachers and their qualifications varies enormously. UCC's Department of Asian Studies is Ireland's only fully-fledged university School specialising in Asian languages and Area Studies, and UCC is in the top 2% of universities in the world.
Full-time students choose three modules in the Autumn semester and three in the Spring semester, with a dissertation completed over the summer months.
Part I - Semester One
CH6301 A Linguistic Introduction to Chinese (10 credits)
LC1101 English for Academic Study (10 credits) or
CH6302 Advanced Chinese for TCSOL Teachers (10 credits)
CH6303 Introduction to Teaching Practice (5 credits)
CH6307 From Pedagogical Theory to Effective Classroom (5 credits)
Part I - Semester Two
CH6304 Teaching Practice Internship (15 credits)
CH6306 Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages: A Pedagogical Grammar (10 credits)
CH6308 Postgraduate Research Skills (5 credits)
Part II - Semester Three
CH6305 Dissertation in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (30 credits)
Part-time students take the course over two years during weekday working hours. This part-time option is open only to Irish/EU students.
In Year 1 you choose 35 credits of taught modules.
In Year 2, you choose a further 10 credits of taught modules, 15 credits of teaching practice, and 30 credits for the dissertation.
Please see the University Calendar MA (TCSOL) for further information on course and module content.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Candidates should hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in a relevant subject area such as Chinese or Asian Studies.
Candidates who are native speakers of Chinese should have a degree in the following disciplines areas Chinese or Asian Studies, Linguistics, Education, Pedagogy, Foreign Languages, Literatures and Communication.
Candidates who hold a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in another relevant area may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), following a review of their individual qualifications and experience and based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview acceptable to the Department selection committee. Prospective candidates may be called for an interview (in person or, where more feasible, online), with a view to assessing their suitability for the programme.
Fluency in Chinese (minimum HSK level 5 or equivalent)
Candidates whose first language is not Chinese should hold an HSK (Hàny? Shu?píng K?oshi/Chinese Proficiency Test) Level 5 certificate (or certified equivalent). Alternatively, they should have an approved undergraduate degree in which at least 50% of the credit weighting is in the Chinese language and Chinese Studies. Candidates without these qualifications but who have a demonstrably strong proficiency in the Chinese Language may be exceptionally considered on a case by case basis subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.
Please note that as part of this programme students will require Garda Vetting as they will take part in a placement or UCC related activity where they will be working in an unsupervised capacity with children and/or vulnerable adults. For more information on this process please read the UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please indicate your level of language expertise in the language(s) offered by this programme and include details of any relevant qualifications, skills and experiences to date.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
Chinese language learning among non-Chinese people is expanding all the time and it's a truly global market. This means that an MA TCSOL from UCC can be a passport to employment as a Chinese language teaching professional not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world. For those who already have experience teaching Chinese, the MA TCSOL offers a chance to consolidate understanding and develop specific skills and expertise.
While at present there is no formal pathway to qualified teacher status in Irish schools for teachers of Chinese and this course will not qualify you to teach Chinese in state schools in Ireland, the MA TCSOL offers a prestigious prior qualification in this area which will open many teaching opportunities to you in Ireland and further afield.