Course Strand Leader | Dr Noel Ó Murchadha
Is this course for me?
This strand is for those interested in the dynamics of language in education, at both national and international levels. The aim is to introduce students to contemporary debates on language development and the role of formal education in this process. It is for teachers practising in the primary sector, in Ireland and abroad, who wish to extend their theoretical knowledge in the area of language. It is also aimed at teachers involved in post-primary and tertiary education. While language educators may be particularly interested, the strand engages with the dynamics of language in education more broadly and may therefore also be of interest to specialists in other subject areas. Individuals engaged in policy and planning in education and language will also be interested in the course, as will graduates in the areas of education, language, and linguistics. The strand can also provide a pathway for those who wish to pursue further research on issues concerning language and education. Note that suitable applicants for Language Education are invited to interview for a place on the strand.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an M.Ed. student at Trinity College Dublin. I studied a BA degree majoring in Psychology and English at the University of Cape Town and continued with further qualifications in Education and Psychology. I decided to complete my M.Ed. (Language Education strand) at TCD in 2018-2019 to extend my theoretical knowledge as a language teacher and to access new career opportunities. I will never forget arriving in Dublin and walking into Front Square for the first time, knowing that I had been accepted into the top-ranked university in Ireland. The course exceeded my expectations and I benefitted not only from the world-class facilities but also from engaging with staff and students of a high standard. I look forward to implementing what I have learned at TCD in my professional practice and will remember my times as a student in Ireland with great fondness.
Strand Focus and Structure
The Language Education programme provides an integrated perspective on language that is grounded within the broader field of education. Overall the strand aims to ensure a theoretically grounded understanding of language development and use through integrating oral and written language.
- Start Date: September 2020
The taught component includes four strand modules, each including 25 hours of direct contact time. Each strand module normally includes twelve two-hour lectures in Trinity College on weekday evenings during term. In addition to the four strand modules, students will also take a common M.Ed. taught module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods (ALRM). This taught module generally takes place on 6-8 Saturday mornings in Trinity. The Language Education strand can be studied on a 1-year full- time basis, or on a 2-year or 3-year part-time basis. The research component involves carrying out a research project and writing a dissertation (20,000 words) under the guidance of a supervisor.
- Integrating Language will provide students with a comprehensive overview of issues pertaining to language and language education. This core, baseline module explores key issues and concepts in language. It aims to offer a theoretical perspective, encouraging students to reflect on what language is, from a developmental point of view. Given the breadth and range of research in the field, the module will aim to examine how competing theoretical approaches to language have accounted for language development phenomena in first and second languages.
- Researching Language will allow students to build upon the expertise developed in the Integrating Language module and will allow them to investigate how research in language and language education generates theory and informs policy and practice. A key focus of the module will be on the appraisal of approaches to research and on the application of critical awareness to the design of research projects.
- Bilingualism and Multilingualism will develop the foundational knowledge gained in the core modules and situate it within the global context of bilingualism and multilingualism. It will allow students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with using more than one language under the conditions of globalisation. Students will develop an awareness of the nature of bilingualism and multilingualism and will engage with and assess educational models for bilingual/multilingual individuals.
- Embodying Language: This module provides an introduction to embodiment in language education and research. It aims to encourage discussion on the theoretical and practical aspects related to researching the role of play, emotions and creativity in learning. The module encourages students to cultivate a variety of research methods related to embodiment, drawing on different art forms - including drama in education, storytelling, dance, music, visual arts, media and digital arts.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
A blend of lectures and seminars. The seminars will include activities that engage the students in group work and cooperative learning. Student participation in class debates and discussions will feature, for instance students will read prescribed materials before class and class discussion will be based on the topics in the assigned readings. Learners will experience a flexible approach to teaching and learning, facilitate by experts in the field.
Q: Does this strand qualify me to be a teacher?
A: No. The Language Education strands on the M.Ed. is an academic programme designed to advance students' knowledge and practice in the area of language and language education. As such, it is not designed to qualify students as language teachers. Completing the M.Ed. (Language Education) may, however, advance graduates' employment and advancement opportunities.
Q: When will classes take place?
A: The timetable for the 2019/20 academic year is available HERE and this provides an indication of the contact hours.
Q: Where can I find information on the fees for the strand?
A: You will find information on the fees structure for the M.Ed. on the Academic Registry website.
Q: Who are the staff working on the strand?
A: The taught components of the strand are delivered mainly by 3 full-time members of the School of Education staff: Dr Ann Devitt, Dr Noel Ó Murchadha and Dr Erika Piazzoli. Combined, the lecturers on the strand cover a broad range of areas of expertise within language and language education.