Program Details

Program Details


Program Requirements

Students enrolled into the MA in International Language Education program will have opportunity to pursue one of the two specialized concentrations: Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCSL). Students must declare the specialized concentrations they apply for at the time of application.(1) Double-specialization is not allowed.

Students of the program must take eight courses (24 credits). Of the eight courses, students are required to take four compulsory foundation courses (12 credits), and four elective courses (12 credits), including at least two courses (6 credits) from either Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCSL) concentration. Credit transfer is not allowed.

Foundation Courses

MILE 5000 Language Learning
MILE 5002 Language Teaching Methodology and Curriculum Design
MILE 5004 Understanding Research in Language Education
For TESL students only:
MILE 5005 Descriptions of Language for English Teachers
For TCSL students only:
MILE 5006 Descriptions of Language for Chinese Teachers


Elective Courses

General Electives
MILE 5103 Testing and Assessment
MILE 5106 Contrastive Analysis between Chinese and English
MILE 5108* Foundations of Technology-enhanced Language Education
MILE 5109 Bi/Multilingual Approaches to Language Education
MILE 6000 Supervised Teaching Practicum (2)
MILE 6980 Research Project in International Language Education
TESL Concentration Electives
MILE 5201 World Englishes
MILE 5202 Teaching Second Language Vocabulary
MILE 5203 Phonetics and Phonology for English Teachers
MILE 5205 Grammar for English Teachers
MILE 5206 Teaching English for Academic Purposes
MILE 5208 Discourse Analysis
MILE 5209 English-Medium Instruction and International Education
MILE 5210 Functional Grammar in the Language Classroom
TCSL Concentration Electives
MILE 5301 Chinese Writing and Culture
MILE 5302* Mandarin Chinese Grammar for L2 Chinese Teachers
MILE 5303 Advanced Phonetics and Phonology of the Chinese Language
MILE 5304 Chinese Lexicology
MILE 5306 Understanding Chinese Language in Global Context
MILE 5308 The Practice of Teaching International Chinese

*may be offered as pure online course


Students may substitute no more than three credits (one courses) of elective courses with other courses (including a maximum of one undergraduate course at 4000-level) offered by the School of Humanities and Social Science to fulfill the program requirements with prior approval of the Academic Director(s). The approved substituting courses should be either language teaching-related or culture-related

* *Not all elective courses are offered every year. The elective courses are listed for reference only.

Program Duration

This MA program is a full-time taught postgraduate program and can normally be completed in one year. Students are required to take a minimum of 9 credits of coursework each semester.


Language Requirements

Most courses are taught in English. Students who wish to enroll in courses in which Chinese materials are used and/or Chinese is the teaching medium must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the Chinese language. Generally,

English requirements for applicants whose first language is not English and whose degree or equivalent qualification was awarded by an institution where the medium of instruction was not English are as follows:

  • for Chinese (TCSL) Concentration applicants: IELTS ≥ 6.5 (all sub-scores ≥ 5.5), or TOEFL iBT ≥ 85
  • for English (TESL) Concentration applicants: IELTS  ≥ 7.0 (Writing ≥ 7.0, and other sub-scores ≥ 5.5), or TOEFL iBT ≥ 100 (Writing ≥ 27/30)

Applicants to the TCSL concentration whose first language is not Chinese and whose degree or equivalent qualification was awarded by an institution where the medium of instruction was not Chinese are required to fulfill the Chinese requirement of Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK by Hanban or the “New HSK”) level 5 or above. Applicants whose first language is Chinese or whose degree or equivalent qualification was awarded by an institution where the medium of instruction was Chinese, must demonstrate their Chinese proficiency by obtaining the National Putonghua Proficiency Test (PSC) Grade 2B or above.

(1) Any transfer of students between the two concentrations must be approved by the Academic Director, and is contingent on whether students can meet the language proficiency requirement of the concentration they would like to transfer to. Double-concentration is not allowed.

(2) MILE6000 is a credit-bearing course, which has to be taken at HKUST because it involves access to English and/or Chinese courses on campus.