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Pre-Reading List for MA in TESOL

Department of Education & Professional Studies, Kings College London

I recommend reading one or more of the following general introductory books:

Hedge, T. Teaching and Learning in the Foreign Language Classroom. Oxford

University Press
Harmer, J. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman
Richards, J.C. & Renandya, W. Methodology in Language Teaching: an
Anthology Cambridge University Press
McDonough J. & Shaw, C. Materials & Methods in ELT. Blackwell
Carter, R. & Nunan, D. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Cambridge University Press.
Brown, H.D. Teaching by Principles. Pearson Longman
Lightbown P. and Spada N. 2013, How Languages are Learned, (4th Edition),
Oxford: Oxford University Press
Hall, G. Exploring English Language Teaching. Routledge

I also recommend the following online articles which are available for free on the

Ellis, R. 2008. Principles of instructed second language acquisition.

Drnyei, Z. 2010. Communicative language teaching in the 21st century:
The principled communicative approach
Richards, J. 2006. Communicative Language Teaching Today. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. http://zanjansadra.ir/attaches/26779.pdf

We suggest that you do some of this reading before starting the programme but do not try
to read too much better to read a little with good understanding than to try to read a lot
without understanding very much. We also recommend that you practice the kinds of
writing expected on the MA by doing the following:
Take brief notes while you are reading
Once you have finished reading a chapter or a section of a book, summarize the
main ideas.
Then write your own opinions about these ideas.
It is a good idea to write about whether you think these ideas could be used in
your own context, why (or why not), and how you might apply these ideas.

The books listed above provide a background to the core modules of the MA
curriculum. It will help you in your studies if you are able to read one or two of them
before the beginning of the course. Some of these titles, but not all, will be referred to
within particular modules; others are suggested here as general reading in preparation for
attending the programme.
After this, if you want further ideas for reading, and if you have access to them, you
could also look at journals such as Language Learning Journal, ELT Journal, and TESOL
Quarterly. Read whatever you find accessible and interesting, and leave it if you find it
too difficult.
General Reading on Linguistics
Pinker, S. 1994. The Language Instinct. London: Penguin Books.
(A very readable introduction to linguistics)
Yule, G. 2014. The Study of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(Short introductory chapters on all the key areas of linguistics)
Aitchison J. 1998. The Articulate Mammal 4th ed. London: Routledge.
Other ways to prepare for your studies
You will find it helpful to bring with you to London examples of textbooks and other
teaching materials you have used as a learner or as a teacher, as these can form the basis
of discussions and presentations as well as data for some of your assignments. In
addition, if you can bring copies of curriculum documents, syllabuses, tests and other
types of materials from your context, you will find these useful for relating general
principles and theories to what is actually happening in different teaching and learning