Master in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Apresentação do Programa

With English being the global language it is, the provision of quality training for professional development becomes a must. In response to the growing demand in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the rest of the world, for improvement in the quality and effectiveness of English language teaching in both the public and the private sector, a programme in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has been developed. It is specifically designed for distance learning, and has been developed in collaboration with La Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (FUNIBER).

The programme aims to help practicing teachers, or those wishing to become teachers, address in an informed and principled way the issues and professional needs that relate to their own working environment. The type of training is thus developed to encourage the learner’s autonomy without losing sight of elements of constant but flexible interaction, tailored to the specific needs of teachers in professional development.

As a result, the material used has been designed to be accessed on the Internet by means of a special interface created for this reason. The interface is a central part of this type of teacher training since the virtual interaction, by means of e-mail, discussion groups, chats, etc., bridges the geographical gap between the different components of the course.

A quem é dirigido

The programme leading to the Master, Diploma or Certificates in TEFL is intended for:

  • Primary and secondary level English language teachers in public or private institutions.
  • Teachers of EFL working in adult education.
  • Graduates with relevant qualifications intending to work as English language teachers.

Estrutura do Programa

Structure, credits and length

The regular length of the programme is 25 months and credits vary according to the University awarding the degree.

Study Materials

The study programme for the Master, Diploma and Certificates in TEFL has been subjected to rigorous educational planning processes, and it offers a very high standard in terms of study materials and teaching resources.

At the beginning of each term you will receive a set of high quality distance learning materials. These have been written by specialists from FUNIBER, and from the universities participating in the TEFL programme. The course methodology has been tried and tested, reflecting the expertise acquired over the years, both in the field of distance education and in the field of TEFL, and it is thus of the highest standard. The course content is continually updated, which ensures its relevance to the context of teaching English as a Foreign Language.

The course is divided into three main modules, Module A (Second Language Learning and Teaching), Module B (Methodologies and Materials in Language Learning and Teaching) and Module C (Curriculum and Course Design). Each term you will receive the study materials for three or four subjects taken from these main core areas.

Each of the Certificates constitutes a selection of subjects from the three modules Fundamentals Issues in Language Teaching and Learning, Applying the principals of Language Teaching and Learning, Language and Culture.

The study material for each subject includes the following:

  • A preliminary introduction stating the general objectives of the subject.
  • The subject contents, including theory and pedagogical implications.
  • Tasks to help you reflect on what you are reading.
  • Suggestions for further reading.
  • A complete bibliography for the subject.
  • The assignment.
  • Key supplementary readings on the subject.
  • A specialised glossary of key terms in English and Spanish.
  • Access to recommended readings.

The Master, Diploma and Certificates in TEFL programmes do not assume that you have prior knowledge of a particular subject. Thus, emphasis is given to simplicity of style in the study materials and clear explanations of technical terms.

Case studies and practical classroom work are included in the study materials to ensure that they relate directly to your current or future professional experience.

Along with the first term’s materials, you will receive a booklet entitled Student’s Guide. The aim of this booklet is to provide you with information, which will help you to study more effectively, as well as detailed guidelines for writing assignments, and assessment procedures. This guide also explains the functioning of the Virtual Campus; a tool we strongly recommend in order for you to get the most out of the courses and to make the learning experience a collaborate one despite being done in distance mode.


The assessment process for the Master, Diploma and Certificates in TEFL, aims to maximise successful outcomes for students. Due to the practical nature of the courses, there are no examinations as such. Instead, a variety of methods for assessing performance are used including the submission of written assignments, reports, the creation of didactic materials, etc.

Your course teacher(s) will mark your assignments, and you will receive detailed feedback on your work through the Virtual Campus.


When successfully completed the programme, the student will be awarded with the title of MAESTRÍA / MASTER EN LINGÜÍSTICA APLICADA A LA ENSEÑANZA DEL INGLÉS COMO LENGUA EXTRANJERA o de MAESTRÍA / MASTER IN TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE according to the University chosen.

Double Degree

FUNIBER’s Department of Teacher Development also offers, parallel to the TEFL programme, the programme "Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera - FOPELE" (Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language), and gives you the possibility to transfer credits between the two programmes. In order to do this, the student has to choose which programme to study as the first Master, and then, once the course is completed, continues to study the course specific subjects for the other programme.

The common course contents are as follows:

1 Second language acquisition 3
2 Individual factors in the learner's development 3
3 Observation and research in the language classroom 3
1 Methodological approaches 3
2 Developing language skills in the classroom 3
3 Materials and resources in EFL - design, creation, adaptation and evaluation 3
4 Classroom management - techniques and reflections on practice 3
5 Computer Assisted Language Learning 3
1 Tasks and projects 3
2 Learning strategies 3
3 English in the Community 3
4 Assessment and testing in the classroom 3
5 Curriculum and course design - principles and practice 3

The student only has to study the specific subjetcts of the Maestría en Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera or the Maestría en Lingüística Aplicada a la Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera:

1 La comunicación y la adecuación pragmalingüística 3
2 Lengua, cultura y bilingüismo 3
3 La Gramática del Español para profesores de ELE 3
4 El español y sus variedades 3
5 Enseñanza del léxico 3
1 A separate Practicum and Research Project has to be written up in Spanish for the Master in FOPELE.
Students who decide to enrol on both courses from the beginning will benefit from reduced enrolment fees.


General objective

The overall objective of the programme TEFL is to provide a base for the development of the academic and professional skills required to teach English in any of the various teaching-learning contexts that exist. The aim thus being to complement professional practice with contemporary knowledge and insights, concerning the nature of foreign language learning and teaching, and to develop the perceptions, knowledge, resources and practical skills necessary to build on this theoretical base.

The promotion of critical reflection is one of the aspects, which define the very nature of the project, and bridges the gap between a solid theoretical knowledge and its required practical application.

Specific objectives

  • To provide a comprehensive understanding of the English teacher's work and to help develop strategies for dealing with major aspects of this work, as much as possible within the context of your own current or anticipated work situation.
  • To acquaint you with current approaches to the study of language that are relevant to the field of English language teaching and to help you develop, in the context of these approaches, a deeper understanding of and sensitivity to the nature of language, language use and language development.
  • To emphasize individual professional growth and to enable you to pursue in greater depth new aspects of English language teaching that are of particular interest, concern or relevance to you personally.
  • To provide students with the necessary support to be able to carry out action research in an autonomous manner and, as a result, promote professional development.

In this way the programme's practical focus encourages you to:

  • Reflect on and interpret the relation between theory and practice.
  • Adapt new ideas and strategies to your own classroom situation.
  • Test and appraise new teaching techniques in your own classrooms.
  • Apply your analytical skills to specific problems or issues.
  • Demonstrate your capacity to review and criticise current relevant literature and research within ELT.
  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of particular strategies and programmes, which are characteristic of current practice.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills gained in the programme in a continuing process of improving your own teaching and your students' learning.

A guiding principle of the programme is that the participating English teachers are viewed as professional practitioners who through the course are involved in a process of professional development that is directly related to, and located in, their current work situation.

Enfoque Pedagógico


The programme does not consist simple of the delivery of content, but rather, just as in the case of face-to-face courses, it includes a series of pedagogical aspects aimed at promoting collaborative learning (between peers and tutors). All the courses are based on the following methodological concepts:

  • Learning as a collaborative undertaking.
  • A dynamic and constructivist concept of teaching and learning.
  • Promotion of critical reflection on one’s own teaching practice and beliefs.
  • An approach based within the framework of action-research.
  • Cohesive and multicultural groups.

The Virtual Campus

As a pioneer in the field of distance education La Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana, has set up a Virtual Campus, which is accessed via the Internet. The Virtual Campus offers you the possibility of making direct contact with peers working on the course at your own and other universities, and discussing issues and questions arising from the course materials. Tutors also regularly participate in discussions, monitoring and synthesising participants’ contributions on topics, and informing participants of websites where additional information (such as articles published in on-line ELT journals, or webcasts) may be found.

Apart from the enormous potential for making direct and continued contact with peers and tutors, you will be able to access the course materials themselves on-line, and to submit assignments via the Virtual Campus (VC).

The virtual campus has been developed following a definite pedagogical approach, according to the criteria detailed below:

  • Students can use the Virtual Campus as a complement to the written material, as well as accessing the compulsory readings, with no additional cost.
  • The Virtual Campus is a complement to the actual learning experience in that it provides access to a number of additional resources such as the course materials, bibliography, recommended web sites, self-evaluation and feedback, glossaries, etc.
  • The Virtual Campus provides you with the means to exchange opinions and experience with students and tutors alike by means of the discussion lists, the VC e-mail and the Coffee Shop (a space provided for you to interact with the whole student community), consult the Events Calendar, where you can find information on which EFL events are taking place all over the world, and you also have the possibility to participate in the on-line chats and debates that are held for each subject and that will, without doubt, prove to be an enriching and useful experience.

At the beginning of the course, each student is provided with an individual password and a user name to allow access to the Virtual Campus.

In addition to this, the first two weeks before the course officially starts consist of an orientation period to the use the VC. Consequently, you do not need any previous IT-knowledge to enrol on the course.

During the Orientation Period, students take part in a series of socialization tasks in order to get to know each other while learning how to use the virtual campus (sending internal mails, opening and sending attachments, read on-line articles etc.). These two initial weeks of orientation have proved to be extremely useful, and at times even crucial for the establishment of group dynamics.

Descrições dos Cursos



    This subject introduces the main models of second language acquisition and explores their implications for classroom teaching. First language acquisition is also considered and parallels are drawn between the two processes. The influence of context on second language acquisition is explored, and you are encouraged to reflect on the factors, which may affect the language acquisition of learners in your particular context.


    This subject provides a formal introduction to the field of phonetics and phonology in the English language. Aspects of phonology such as stress, intonation and sounds are examined in some detail. Current debates over the teaching of phonology are reviewed, and we examine the practical implications for the teaching of pronunciation in the classroom.


    All classrooms are made up of groups of individuals each with their own life experience, patterns of language, emotional and intellectual development, and learning styles. Recently, research has put increasing emphasis on the role of individual factors in the learner’s language development. This subject looks at the cognitive, affective, physical and psychological factors, which influence the individual’s language learning. Constructs such as intelligence, aptitude, motivation and personality are critically examined.


    This subject introduces the major research traditions and the views of knowledge that underpin them. Current approaches to classroom research are explored, as is the assumption that all observation is selective and culturally constructed. This subject provides a solid base of knowledge and techniques from which to approach your Practicum and Final Project.


    This subject provides an introduction to the most important current psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic theories. We examine how perceptions towards the nature of learner language have changed over the last few decades. The concept of interlanguage is explored in depth, and research into classroom interaction is critically reviewed. We also look at the role of input in language learning, and the current psycholinguistic notions of ’noticing’ and ’restructuring’ are presented.


    CLIL (Content & Language Integrated Learning) looks like a good candidate for the next revolution in language teaching, although its growing tentacles reach out into other areas of the curriculum and force us to consider more seriously the role of content, how we define that content, how we choose it and how we can teach it more effectively. CLIL also raises interesting questions about the relationship between language and cognition that are too often neglected at classroom level. This subject looks at its brief history, its theoretical bases, and how it might represent the future of language teaching.



    This subject familiarises you with the main methodological approaches in ELT. Methods such as Grammar-Translation, the Audio-lingual Method and the Direct Method etc. are reviewed historically. Contemporary approaches such as humanistic, communicative, lexical and learner-centred approaches are discussed, and the notion of ‘method’ is analysed in depth.


    This subject looks in detail at approaches to the teaching of the macro skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in ELT. Current views based on recent research into these skills are presented, and the teaching of grammar and vocabulary are also examined. A range of practical classroom activities and teaching techniques for developing learners’ use of the language are evaluated.


    This subject includes an examination of EFL materials (textbooks and supplementary materials) that are currently used in the profession, and explores their strengths and weaknesses in relation to features of context and curricula. Principles of materials evaluation are identified and prioritised. The process of materials design, creation, trial and revision in specific teachings contexts is highlighted.


    This subject identifies some of the key features of management in classrooms, such as classroom talk, corrective feedback, group work and the use of L1. Current views on mixed ability teaching and discipline are also touched on. The important area of teachers’ beliefs, known as ‘teaching thinking’, is covered thoroughly.


    This subject introduces students to the ways in which computer software can be used to develop learners' language skills and examines how CALL relates to teaching methodologies. You will be made aware of the issues involved in using computers to assist language learning. You will evaluate software including developments in multimedia software and Internet applications.


    This subject, written by the University of Vigo, starts with a brief history of translation as an introduction to how translation can be used in the EFL classroom. The differences between teaching translation as a subject per se and as a tool in the teaching of a foreign language are also explored, and different approaches to how translation can be used to enhance the learning process, even in communicative classrooms, are considered.



    This subject presents an approach to teaching structured around tasks and projects. We examine the structure of a learning task, its components, and the effective sequencing of different types of tasks within units of work (’unidades didácticas’). The criteria for the evaluation of tasks are examined, and the current debate on the need for a focus on form in tasks is reviewed. We analyse the implications of task-based teaching for syllabus and curriculum design, specifically in the context of project work.


    This subject examines research into learning strategies, and considers how we can encourage our students to develop these further. Taxonomies of learning strategies are presented and related to current trends in ELT course books.


    This subject on sociolinguistics looks at the social and cultural context in which language is situated and in which it is learned. The global position of English will be explored to gain a better understanding of its future status, its likely expansion or decline. We examine how gender and race affect language use, as well as the notion of language shift. Important current issues such as the social implications of bilingualism are also explored.


    This subject looks at the purposes which assessment serves and describes current practices and trends in assessment and testing in ELT. The fundamental principles of testing are examined, and both formal and informal approaches to testing are explored.


    This subject looks at models of curriculum and course design, and their planning, implementation and evaluation in a variety of national contexts. Two main paradigms of curricula are presented, and the principles of syllabus design are examined in depth. An outline of the most significant syllabus types is provided.


Even if it seems that the Practicum and the Research Project are not related, they are two different stages of one project. Broadly speaking, the process consists of choosing a topic in which you are interested and doing a monographic project on it. The Practicum is the work camp and the analysis and design is the research.

This project can be a practical piece of research (e.g. teachers that want to improve their teaching methodology), a theoretical one (e.g. teachers that want to research into applied linguistics in the TELF field) or, even, a mixture of them both.

Note: The academic programme may change lightly due to updates or improvements


Direção Acadêmica

  • Dr. Jesús Arzamendi Saéz de Ibarra. Doctor en Filosofía y Letras. Director del Dpto. Ciencias del Lenguaje, Educación y Comunicaciones. Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana - UNINI.
  • Dra. Silvia Pueyo Villa. Doctora en Ciencias de la Educación. Coordinadora Académica del Área de Formación del Profesorado de la Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana. Prof. de la Universidad Europea del Atlántico.
  • Dra. Vanessa Anaya Moixí. Doctora en Ciencias de la Educación. Coordinadora de los programas de profesores de lenguas extranjeras de la Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana. Prof. de la Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana - UNINI.

Professores e Autores

  • Dra. Vanessa Anaya Moix. Prof. de la Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana - UNINI
  • Dra. Kim Griffin. Prof. de la Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Dr. Tony Harris. Prof. de la Universidad de Granada
  • Dr. Manuel Jiménez Raya. Prof. de la Universidad de Granada
  • Dr. Daniel Madrid Fernández. Prof. de la Universidad de Granada
  • Dr. Majid Safadaran Mosazadeh. General Director of Academic ProgramsInstituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano
  • Dra. (c) Beatriz Suárez Rodríguez. Prof. del Área de Formación del Profesorado Funiber
  • Ms. Mariángeles Avendaño Casassas. Prof. del Área de Formación del Profesorado Funiber
  • Ms. Philip Ball. Prof. del Área de Formación del Profesorado Funiber
  • Ms. Elena Caixal Manzano. Prof. del Área de Formación del Profesorado Funiber
  • Ms. María Eugenia Falabella. Prof. del Área de Formación del Profesorado Funiber
  • Ms. Anne Lennon. Universidad del País Vasco Prof. del British Council
  • Ms. Scott Thornbury. New School (New York, USA)

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