On this page, you will find answers to some of the most
commonly asked questions about the TMLA Programme. If your
particular question is not addressed here, browse through
the course documents on the other pages using the index
bar above, or write to us through the Contact
For whom is the Programme designed?
The TMLA Programme is intended for practitioners in MFL
(Modern Foreign Languages), teachers of EFL/ESL (English
as a Foreign/Second Language) and teachers of community
and heritage languages, based both in the UK and abroad,
who wish to upgrade their current qualifications by taking
a course leading to a postgraduate Master’s degree.
For how long has the TMLA programme been running?
The Postgraduate Certificate TMLA has been offered as
a campus-based course since 1997 (accredited by the Institute
for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education as well
as the University of Dundee). Since 2003 the Certificate,
Diploma and Master's TMLA (in EFL/MFL) have been on offer
in distance learning mode.
What makes this Programme different from other, similar
Because the TMLA is not language-specific, it brings together
lecturers and teachers from a wide variety of linguistic
backgrounds - which creates a very rich environment in
which to exchange ideas and opinions, and to engage in
collaborative projects - and allows us to take a much
broader view of language teaching theory and practice
around the world. Individual participants also have a
chance to explore the pedagogy not only of their primary
teaching language, but of other languages with which they
may be familiar. Furthermore, because the TMLA is conducted
online, it offers great flexibility for busy professionals.
In what language is the Programme taught?
The language used for all class work and assignments is
English. However, participants on the course may make
use of other language expertise - for example when teaching
observed lessons - and indeed, are encouraged to use other
languages in addition to English when researching information
for assignments or projects.
How many levels does the Programme have?
The TMLA Programme is divided into three levels: Certificate
Level, Diploma Level, and Master's (Dissertation) Level.
Higher levels build on lower ones and become progressively
more demanding, with the final level consisting principally
of a Master's Dissertation. Successful completion of one
stage of the programme is a prerequisite for admission
to the next phase (with the exception of suitably qualified
candidates admitted to Diploma level by the Programme
Director). More information on the topics covered can
be found on the Overview
of Modules page.
How long does the Programme last?
Each level requires one year of part-time distance study,
with the courses normally running from late October until
early September of the following year. For more information,
see the Overview
of Semesters page, or for this year's course dates,
go to the Overview of Dates
page. The total number of years spent on the course depends
on whether you wish to exit with a Certificate (after
one year), a Diploma (two years), or a full postgraduate
Master's (three years).
What prior qualifications do I need to participate?
You require an excellent level in your target teaching
language + very high standard in a second language + a
degree or equivalent + appropriate teaching experience.
An entry interview or an entry essay may also be required
in borderline cases, or in cases of admission directly
into Diploma Level. Full details can be found on the Overview
of Structure page.
not teaching at the moment / do not yet know where I will
be teaching in the future. Can I still apply?
Just keep the "Confirmation of Teaching" form
until you have a definite contract (part-time hours will
suffice) and send a letter with your application form
stating that you are in the process of seeking teaching
hours and will confirm them in due course. (This applies
only to applicants for the Certificate Level. Candidates
at Diploma and Masters' Levels are advised but not required
to continue teaching while completing the TMLA.)
Is it possible to enter directly into the second year (Diploma
If you have not completed the Certificate Level, it is
possible to enter directly into the Diploma Level only
if, in addition to the above requirements, you have also
completed the Cambridge/RSA DELTA or equivalent. This
may be of particular relevance for EFL/ESL teachers. Additional
APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) regulations
apply to these candidates.
What qualifications do I obtain at the end of the Programme?
Normally, a successful student will exit after three years
with a postgraduate Master's Degree (TMLA), awarded by
the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. This will be an
M.Phil. for all entrants prior to and including the 2004
intake; from 2005 onwards, the award will be an M.Litt.
However, it is also possible to leave after one year's
successful study with a Postgraduate Certificate (TMLA),
or after two years with a Postgraduate Diploma (TMLA).
In each case, the University awards the qualification.
Is it possible to enrol for individual modules without studying
for a whole year of the Programme?
Yes, many of the modules detailed on the Overview
of Modules page are also available as single stand-alone
modules for professional development purposes. Anyone
interested in applying to take individual modules should
us for further information.
Is the course run entirely online?
Certificate and Diploma Levels, the course
is online with the exception of one optional Induction
Day per year, held at the start of first semester. If
you go on to Master's Level,
you are required to come to the University of Dundee for
a short period (normally 1-2 weeks) to consult with your
Dissertation Supervisor and make use of the facilities
of the University Library.
Where are the Induction Days held?
These are held at the University of Dundee, Scotland.
Course participants are encouraged to attend if at all
possible, as it is a good chance to find out more about
the course and the VLE, and to get to know the lecturers
and fellow students. However, if you can’t make
it to the Induction Day, don’t worry – log
on at the time you are given, and you will have a chance
to meet your peers “virtually” and to start
learning about the system at the same time as them.
What kind of equipment is necessary for a course like this?
As the course is run online, it is necessary to have access
to a PC which is connected to the internet.
The following are the key specifications:
32 MB of RAM, 50MB of free disk space
Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, or ME; MacOS 9 or
Software: Microsoft Office Readers (available free),
Adobe Acrobat Reader (also free)
Browser: Internet Explorer 4/Netscape 4 (or greater)
Network: 56 K modem or Local Area Network
It is strongly suggested that you should have access to
the above from home or an office, though it would theoretically
be possible to participate from a remote location with
full public internet access, such as a university computing
laboratory. Further details of recommended software can
be found in the Orientation
What kinds of activities do students engage in?
The set-up of the TMLA is based on the latest pedagogical
theory and currently accepted models of best practice.
As educational approaches continue to evolve, so too will
the course, though we do not anticipate any major changes
to its structure in the immediate future.
will normally participate in asynchronous and synchronous
classes, as well as a number of other key activities outside
class time. The most important sessions are the asynchronous
class discussions, where you will be asked
to contribute a number of “posts” to a discussion
board on (a) pre-set topic(s) which will be announced
at the start of the week. You can log on whenever you
like during the week to add your posts, and respond to
those of the lecturers and other students. Some modules
also involve a number of one-hour synchronous
classes which you are expected to “attend”
at regular intervals, often once a month, and generally
in the 4pm – 7pm time slot on Friday afternoon/evening
(GMT/UK time). The bulk of the time is spent discussing
the topics set for that week, usually based on past discussions
and the week's readings. Students may sometimes be asked
to "present" part or all of these sessions as
a component of ongoing projects.
addition, you will be asked to participate in other kinds
of activities, including for example: reading other students’
contributions, for later discussion in an asynchronous
or synchronous class; giving feedback on other students’
contributions, usually on an asynchronous discussion board,
but sometimes by private email; sending feedback, comments
or questions directly to the tutor; or getting together
with a group of students to plan a piece of group work,
either in the VLE or by email. You will usually be asked
to read one or more texts each week for each module. A
text might consist of an article, a book chapter, or a
couple of chapters together. You are expected to have
read the set materials before contributing to an asynchronous
discussion or attending a synchronous class.
Where will I find the books and articles I need?
Many books and articles will be available in good university
or public libraries. However, required texts will also
be placed online within a secure password-protected domain,
which will be accessible to all participants on the course.
What kind of time commitment is required?
Although this is a part-time course, designed to be as
flexible as possible to fit in with the timetables of
full- as well as part-time lecturers, tutors and teachers,
it does require a definite time commitment, as follows:
hours: You will normally be expected to
spend one to two online hours per week for an asynchronous
class (this is most likely to be divided over the time
it takes to make two or more separate posts on separate
occasions) and one hour per week for a synchronous class
(participating in a virtual discussion). Most students
will normally take two modules at any given time, and
in any given week may therefore have a combination of
two asynchronous classes (most common), one asynchronous
and one synchronous class, or two synchronous classes
(least common). Inbuilt flexibility in the system means
that students may spend more time on asynchronous topics
which are of particular interest to them.
Offline reading hours:
You will be required to do some reading for each module
each week. The amount may vary considerably from week
to week, but will not usually be more than three chapters
of a book per module per week. Reading also entails reflecting,
and making notes for future reference, so that you can
participate fully in online discussions.
Offline task hours:
For each module, you will have certain forms of assessment
which you will need to complete, whether a traditional
essay, a series of reports, a practical project, a group
project, peer- or self-assessment. While we would suggest
that as far as possible it is worthwhile beginning tasks
early in the semester, the way you divide your time is
up to you – and some students find the semester
breaks (as indicated on the Overview
of Semesters page) are a useful time to work on large
projects, including group projects.
How much does it cost?
Fees for the 2004-2005 academic session are as follows:
and Home students
per freestanding individual module for professional
development (i.e. not taken as part of the programme
leading to a postgraduate qualification) :
details can be obtained from the TMLA
Secretary, to whom questions about fees for the 2005-2006
academic session should also be addressed.
I still have a question! Whom do I ask?
We're always happy to answer questions. Simply go to the
Contact Us page for
details of how to reach us.