Programme Structure

The MA in English Language Teaching and Assessment is a one-year full-time programme or two-year part-time taught postgraduate programme.



Core credits


Electives credits

Core modules

This module gives an overview of English linguistics and applied linguistics, providing the foundations for effective language teaching, testing and assessment. By addressing the key concepts, theories and current issues in phonetics, phonology, morphology, lexis, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and discourse analysis, the module offers students an opportunity to learn and reflect on a broad array of linguistic and applied linguistic topics, such as the formal properties of language, language and the brain, language and society, language acquisition, as well as language education.

This module provides an advanced study of current theories of language teaching from the perspectives of second language acquisition research. Drawing on theoretical insights from second language teaching and learning literature, students will be introduced to principles and techniques underlying teaching of the four macro language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and the language systems (vocabulary and grammar). They will be provided with opportunities to read and critique previous research, reflect on the relationship between theory and practice, and engage in hands-on practice of instructional planning and design through micro-teaching activities.

This module aims to introduce students to the fundamental principles of English language testing, as well as to provide them with an opportunity to critically review the central concepts and various methods for English language testing to measure students’ English language development. Then, students will be instructed the procedures for test construction and evaluation, which include designing, trialling, moderating, and validating the test instruments for different assessment purposes such as formative, summative, and self-assessment. Last, issues about the pedagogical context of English language testing are also discussed.

This module provides an overview of the key concepts, approaches, and issues related to formative and summative assessment in physical and online language classrooms. It focuses on developing students’ knowledge of the multiple purposes assessment fulfils as well as their skills of designing appropriate language assessment tasks, including technology-enhanced assessment, to fulfil these purposes in primary and secondary school contexts. It develops students’ ability to critically evaluate major methods of face-to-face and online language assessment.

This module introduces concepts, principles, and approaches related to curriculum design and materials development. It aims to enable students to design curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize language learning and to develop appropriate materials, including digital materials, to meet the needs of learners. Students will also critically evaluate language curriculum, syllabus, and teaching materials.

This module aims to instruct students the rationales and assessment methods of various significant international tests including International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL), English Language of Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE), and English Language of National College Entrance Exam (Gaokao in Mainland China) and explain how these tests serve the purposes of placement, admission, achievement, and diagnosis. To apply the knowledge they have acquired, students will be required to examine the constructs and rubrics of the authentic testing materials of these international tests. They also need to employ the selected international tests to measure the English language standards of a group of ESL/EFL learners. Actual data derived from the test results will be collected and analysed to compare the reliability and validity of the selected tests. Suggestions for improvements will be made after the data interpretation.

Elective modules

This elective module explores the psychology of language from a scientific perspective. The major issues of psycholinguistics cover the psychological processes underlying language comprehension (listening and speaking), language production (speaking and writing), and language acquisition (first language and second language). Fundamental theories and research in general psychology, language processing, brain and neurosciences, and language disorders will be introduced. This course will also establish connections between conceptual discussions, empirical works, and real-world applications of psycholinguistics, such as language teaching and speech therapy.

This module aims to equip learners with the key concepts and approaches related to writing instruction and assessment, with a focus on technology-enhanced writing instruction and assessment at the primary and secondary school levels. It develops students’ skills of designing technology-enhanced writing instruction and assessment. Students will also develop the ability to critically evaluate writing instruction and assessment.

This module focuses on a special topic in English Language Teaching and Testing: The task-based approach. It explores needs analysis, syllabus design, class implementation, and assessment issues in task-based language teaching and learning (TBLT). Students will be introduced to the psycholinguistic and socio-cultural rationales of TBLT and how it emerges as a research-informed pedagogy. As such, basic research skills in TBLT will be discussed to foster critical thinking and a sense of accountability among in-service and prospective teachers.

This module introduces students to a special topic in the MA-ELTA programme: language testing and assessment for gifted children and children with special needs. Topics in this module include history of assessment for gifted and special needs, identifying non-normality in language development, language testing for talents, language testing for special needs children, and other essential consideration in language assessment for the identified students. This module aims to broaden students’ knowledge base in language assessment from an alternative perspective. Students will learn to appreciate the diversity of student population and thus accommodate different needs in language testing and assessment.

This module provides students with a broad overview of the historical reasons behind the development of English into a global language. Moreover, the module aims to critically examine the linguistic features, role, status of English in a wide range of socio-cultural and political contexts around the world. The module is designed to develop students’ language expertise through the analysis of linguistic features of varieties of Englishes and aims to develop an appreciation of the effects of different socio-cultural contexts including language contact and multilingualism

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete and obtain a Grade D or in at least 24 credits and obtain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

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