Nagoya University of Foreign StudiesMA TESOL HandbookThe Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS) MA TESOL program was established inresponse to the enthusiasm of a small group of passionate Japanese teachers of English. In2000, Professor Kazuyoshi Sato invited these teachers to co-create a communicativelanguage teaching research group. By 2006, the small group had grown into the Center forEFL Teacher Development, a monthly workshop for English teachers, and the NUFS MATESOL Program, drawing on the participation of English teachers from throughout theChubu region in central Japan. As of 2015, eight books and six DVDs of classroom-testedlearning activities and assessment tasks had been published by Professor Sato incollaboration with students and graduates of the MA Program and the NUFS Workshop.Director: Kazuyoshi Sato, ProfessorCoordinator: Duane Kindt, Associate ProfessorCoordinator: Juanita Heigham, Associate Professor1

TABLE of roductionGoals and Features of the ProgramChoices and OpportunitiesProgram StructureAcademic CoursesAction ResearchYearly AR CycleCompleting Your DegreeStrategies for SuccessResourcesIntroductionThis handbook is designed for prospective students, current students, and non-degreestudents* as a road map to help you navigate the MA TESOL program. The information isdivided into four sections: (1) goals and distinguishing features of the program, (2) choicesand opportunities, (3) program structure, and (4) strategies for success.* Non-degree students are those who take MA TESOL courses but are not officially masters studentsbecause they have not applied to and been accepted into the program.2

Goals and Features of the ProgramMissionThe program aims at nurturing teachers who have a deep understanding of second language(L2) learning and teaching. In essence, the mission of our program is to graduate studentswho can effectively implement a communicative language teaching (CLT) approach,including task-based language teaching, in their own classrooms and actively pursueprofessional development as lifelong learners.Student GoalsSuccessful graduates will be able to do the following:1. Understand the principles of language learning and language teaching based on secondlanguage acquisition (SLA) research and the relationship between SLA research and L2classroom teaching practices. In particular, understand research studies from which CLThas grown and how to use those insights to guide their own teaching.2. Be able to apply CLT in their teaching through continuous action research (AR). CLT isnot a method but an approach, which is flexible and responsive to learners’ needs,interests, and levels. Thus, CLT requires teachers to develop a number of teaching andmaterials development skills. MA students improve their teaching by integrating theoryand practice.3. Understand research findings, which are based on research in various fields such asSociocultural Theory, Materials Development, Classroom Dynamics, and LearnerAutonomy. These courses provide insights into how to implement CLT to maximumeffect.4. Be able to assess their students’ ability to use English within the framework of CLT sothat learning goals, classroom tasks and test tasks are integrated and consistent. Refiningassessment practices is the key to improving teaching and thus key to improving students’ability as English users.Admission RequirementsTo apply, you will need to submit an application form that can be found here. Along with theapplication form, students must provide the following information when they apply: Evidence of prior learning (all MA students must have an undergraduate degree) Description of current teaching position (all MA students must be practicingteachers)For further details regarding these, contact the graduate office.3

Key FeaturesOur program is distinguished for its ongoing AR component; students conduct AR in theirclassrooms for the duration of their MA studies. The central pillar of the program is the requirement of conducting ongoing AR. Thisrequirement gives students the opportunity to apply newly learned theories, principles,and techniques to their teaching and to improve their classroom practice. The AR requirement necessitates students have a teaching position throughout theirstudies. Courses are held on Saturdays and during summer vacations in order toaccommodate in-service teaching schedules. The language of instruction within the MA TESOL program is exclusively English, andstudents must be proficient in English in order to participate. The interaction amongstudents from multiple backgrounds facilitates rich discussion of teaching practices aswell as opportunities for social interaction, but they require a high level of English. There is no formal language requirement to enter the program. Students decide forthemselves if they can manage the all-English environment of the program including theacademic reading, discussion and writing aspects of their courses. If students are unableto keep up with the pace of the program due to English language issues, they will haveto withdraw. A supportive learning community has evolved through the monthly workshops and ARreport sessions. Participants share teaching ideas and discuss how to solve their teachingproblems. Click here to see a list of workshop topics. Also visit the bilingual Center forEFL Teacher Development webpage for newsletters of past workshops, instructions forjoining the workshop, samples of shared materials, information about the lending library,and more.Choices and Opportunities Available to StudentsYou may shape your MA TESOL experience so that it best matches your individual contextand goals.Deciding the Length of your MA StudiesWithin the program there are two course options you may choose from: the two-year or thethree-year course. These two options cost the same amount.Two-year CourseThe two-year course option is for students who prefer intensive study. It is best suited forstudents who have lighter responsibilities at school and home, and who have native ornear-native ability in English. Students who choose this option should be confident withacademic reading and writing or should have completed an undergraduate program or acertificate course in TESOL or a related field.4

Three-year CourseThe three-year course option is for students who prefer a more relaxed pace of study, and itis the recommended option. Research in our program has shown that teachers who take thiscourse generally develop a more comprehensive understanding of AR than those who takethe shorter option. This is because they have more time to practice the ongoing cyclicalprocess of AR and can give more time and effort to each course as they have a lighteracademic load. It is important to note that this course is not more expensive. The course feesthat you pay during your time as a non-degree student are subtracted from the tuition of yourfirst year as a registered MA student. This means that, in effect, you get three years ofinstruction for the price of two.Extend your StudiesIf you need to extend your studies, you may do so for up to two years. To do this, you mustcomplete required forms and submit them by specified, strictly-enforced dates. Details maybe obtained from the graduate school office.Study AbroadStudents who meet the study abroad requirements may study in an MA TESOL program atone of three sister universities for one year and transfer the credits they earn back to NUFS.Our sister schools are: (1) The University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia,(2) Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and (3) Hawaii Pacific University inHonolulu. Students going to Hawaii Pacific University also have an additional opportunityof earning a Graduate Certificate in TESOL. Inquire at the graduate office for moreinformation.Professional OpportunitiesPresenting at NUFSEvery year a number of graduating students, alumni and workshop participants are invited toshowcase their research or original teaching materials in featured presentations at themonthly workshop.Professional conferencesThe program encourages students to submit proposals to present their research atconferences held in Japan such as the annual Japanese Association for Language Teaching(JALT) international conference. Those who present are further encouraged to write anarticle for possible inclusion in the related conference proceedings.Further educationStudents who have successfully completed the MA TESOL degree are eligible to apply forthe NUFS PhD program.5

Program StructureThere are three components of the MA TESOL program: (1) academic courses, (2) ongoingAR, and (3) a final project or a thesis. The academic year begins in April and ends in Marchand consists of two semesters. During summer break—late July and August—intensivecourses are held.Academic CoursesStudents must earn 30 credits by completing 15 courses. The majority of the courses meetone Saturday a month for four months during the first and second semesters. The rest of thecourses are offered during summer break and meet for four consecutive days. Studentsshould examine the MA TESOL academic calendar in order to plan their course registrationfor their time in the program.There are two types of courses offered in the program: (1) required courses including AR,and (2) elective courses. Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Second LanguageTeaching (SLT) are required courses. Based on current research studies and seminal theoryand related papers, these courses examine how a second language is learned and how it canbe taught. Students take these courses in their first year, and they provide the foundation forthe remainder of the program.AR-focused courses are also required including Action Research I and II (AR I, II) andCurriculum Design I and II (CD I, II), and it is in these courses where students develop theirown AR. Input is provided through course work, the NUFS Workshop, and discussion inmonthly AR report sessions. In AR I and II, students learn how to create communicativeactivities, to structure lesson plans with culminating tasks, and to assess the productive skillsof conversing and writing. In CD I and II, students focus on how to develop year-long andmulti-year curricula.The 12 elective courses teach specific aspects of learning, teaching, and researching.(1) Materials Development and Classroom Dynamics(2) Vocabulary Teaching and Learning(3) Learner Autonomy(4) Introduction to Action Research Methods(5) Qualitative Research Methods(6) Sociocultural Theory(7) Cross-cultural Communication(8) Language Assessment(9) Teaching English to Children(10) Positive Psychology in ELT(11) Introduction to Linguistics(12) Introduction to Quantitative Methods6

For the convenience of students, courses are taught in central Nagoya, at NSC College inShinsakae, rather than on the NUFS campus in Nisshin.AttendanceStudents are expected to attend all classes of each course. If a situation arises where youmust miss a class, you are required to contact your instructor before your absence.Attendance is extremely important since there are few face-to-face class meetings, andrepeated absences can lead to an inability to pass a class.Action ResearchWhat is it?AR is central to the MA TESOL program. AR is a way for you to experiment with yourteaching in order to improve both your teaching and your students’ acquisition of English. Itis cyclical and is conducted in a disciplined way, which follows specific iterative steps thatare explained below.1. Identify a problem that your students are having in acquiring English.2. With the help of new ideas that you gather through course work, workshops, advisors,and other teachers, plan a specific change in your teaching that you think may help thestudents overcome the problem.3. Implement that plan in your class and collect data on how the change affected theproblem.4. Based on the results of the data and with the help of further input gathered during ARsessions, modify the change.5. Repeat this cycle to further improve your teaching and your students’ learning.Yearly AR CycleMay: Decide your goals and make a planThe overarching goal of most NUFS MA students is to develop the ability to improve theirstudents’ communicative competence in English. Incoming students who are beginning ARtend to be unsure of themselves at first, but they steadily gain confidence by learningthrough their own AR, working with their peers in AR report groups, and using the advice ofadvisors.During the annual May weekend study trip, you will discuss AR in a group of new andexperienced AR practitioners. The groups discuss issues teachers are facing in their classesand ways of solving them. Afterward, you will complete an AR plan on simple form thatincludes: Some teaching issues you are facing in your classes and which issue you want toaddress first. Your goal regarding the issue you plan to address. (How do you want the situation tochange?) The action(s) you will take to try to reach that goal.7

Share your draft plans in your group. During the weekend study trip, there are opportunitiesto ask for more advice about your draft plan during meals and in free time.After the study trip, you will submit your AR plan and lesson plan for the month of June.Send both to Professors Sato ([email protected]), Kindt ([email protected]), and Heigham([email protected]) for them to review. Based on their feedback, revise your lesson plan,and AR plan if necessary, and begin to carry it out.June and July: Monthly ReportsThe following pages present an explanation of the content and organization of the ARreports that you will submit each month.8

Action Research Report ExplanationFeedback FocusPlease list one or two things you would like your group to give you feedback on after yourpresentation1.2.Overall Teaching GoalThrough my AR this semester, I am working on this overall teaching goal:Write your overa

* Non-degree students are those who take MA TESOL courses but are not officially masters students because they have not applied to and been accepted into the program. Choices and Opportunities Program Structure Academic Courses Action Research Yearly AR Cycle Completing Your Degree Strategies for Success Resources Pages 2 3-4 4-5 6-15 6-7 8 8-13 13-18 18-19 20-22 . 3 Goals and