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 School 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 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.
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 School 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.
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 School of Asian Studies 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 School 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.
Full-time students choose three modules in the Autumn semester and three in the Spring semester, with a dissertation completed over the summer months.
• 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)
• 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)
• CH6305 Dissertation in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (30 credits)
Part-time students take the course over two years. This option is available only to Irish/EU students.
The part-time option is taught during weekday working hours over two years.
• 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 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 (hanyu shuiping kaoshi/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 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.
Fluency in English
IELTS (or equivalent): 6.5
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 available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Closing Date: Non-EU Closing Date: 15 June
Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under
How to Apply - Application Date Weblink below.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
• Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
• Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.
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
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Post Course Info
Skills and Career 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 of 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.