The programme aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and professional competences required to teach Chinese effectively to speakers of other languages in a variety of contexts globally and in Ireland.* Students develop an understanding of key issues in teaching Chinese as a linguistic system to a variety of learners. They become familiar with recent research and publications on theory and practice in teaching Chinese and they learn how to critically review this material. They gain practical professional experience by engaging in class observation and practice teaching and they learn how to evaluate their own professional competence and that of others. Their teaching internship placements are arranged for them by the School of Asian Studies. They also write a dissertation on a topic drawn from the field of Chinese language teaching. On leaving the programme they are prepared to teach Chinese in a wide range of contexts and they have the necessary professional and reflective competences to further develop their capacities and careers in Chinese language teaching or associated fields in Ireland or globally.
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 historical campus and a great range of student services and facilities.
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; 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.
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. An MA TCSOL from UCC offers a guarantee to your future employers – and students – that you have studied with the best and succeeded.