Master of Education

MEd in Teaching Languages in Global Contexts

Method of delivery:
Applications open:
October 17, 2022
Applications close:
February 15, 2023
Next start date:
September 1, 2023

Graduate students from around the world are provided with an exciting learning opportunity focused on language education and the globalized contexts of teaching additional languages.

Program Overview

Designed For

The program is intended primarily, but not exclusively for international students with an interest in teaching additional languages. However, students may come from a range of educational backgrounds and from different regions of the world who may or may not have prior experience teaching additional languages.  

Program Structure

  • Full-time, 16 month, 40 unit program
  • In-person classes typically held at the Burnaby campus
  • Introductory course (EDUC 835) covers educational topics and focuses on academic literacy and cultural adaptation to Canada
  • Cultural and academic advising and support available to students throughout the program

Intake Schedule

This program typically accepts applications on an annual basis.

Next Start Terms
Fall 2023 (applications closed)
Fall 2024

Program Design & Courses

Program Design

Designed with international students in mind, this program features a highly personalized graduate education experience (including academic and cultural support) and a strong learning community. Our cohort-based model allows students to work through the program and coursework together (18-24 students).

This full-time intensive program combines the theory of teaching and learning languages in a globalized world with a practical component of fieldwork (observations of teaching). During two fieldwork courses students observe teaching and learning in diverse Canadian classrooms at different levels. Although some teaching (mini-lessons) may be available during fieldwork, the intention of these experiences is to provide MEd students opportunities to explore various inquiry questions regarding language education in a variety of B.C. classroom contexts. While fieldwork courses enhance understandings of teaching and learning languages, they are not considered practicum experiences.

The Teaching Languages in Global Contexts MEd does not lead to teacher certification.

Program Advantages

Simon Fraser University has an outstanding academic reputation. Over the past decade, we have consistently been ranked among Canada’s top comprehensive universities. We have three campuses in the Metro Vancouver area, serving over 35,000 students.

Located in the province of British Columbia, we enjoy one of the most favourable climates in Canada. Metro Vancouver, with a population of more than 2 million, is home to a diverse community of people who have settled here from all over the world.

The Faculty of Education provides particular support for MEd international students in the Teaching Languages in Global Context MEd:

  • Cultural assistant to ease the transition to life in B.C.
  • A dedicated pre-admission advisor working with the faculty coordinator to support potential applicants in assessing the relevance of the program for their educational goals.
  • A Faculty Coordinator available for academic advising
  • An academic literacy support person to help with the demands of reading and writing at the graduate level.


Students complete:


Educational topics and academic and cultural adaptation to graduate study in Canada. Explores key questions in contemporary educational discourses, issues of culture, language and identity, and develops advanced academic literacy through intensive reading and writing.


Variable units: 3, 4, 5.

The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity to explore major trends and issues in second/foreign/additional language education theory and practice. Through readings, class discussions and presentations, the focus is on current understandings of different aspects of second language instruction and debatable issues prominent in language teaching research. Students will consider these questions in relation to educational contexts they are familiar with and additional languages they teach or intend to teach.    


Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

This course is intended for students admitted in the MEd in Teaching Languages in Global Contexts Program. The purpose of the course is to explore teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives and develop inquiry skills related to topics of interest in language education. The topics include teacher dispositions, inquiry, reflective practice, building caring classroom communities & democratic classrooms, student/teacher/curriculum relationships, culture in the classroom, and models of best practice. Graduate students will observe teaching and learning practices in diverse classrooms in B.C. schools where children and youth come from a multitude of language backgrounds.

Until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, fieldwork observations will occur remotely. When in-person instruction resumes, TLGC students will be permitted to physically visit classrooms to observe teaching and learning and conduct fieldwork inquiries.


The purpose of the course is to inquire into teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives, expand on practices/topics in Education 811 Field Work I and connect theoretical understandings in language instruction and teaching practice. Topics include critical thinking, reflective practice, narrative inquiry, identity and culture in the classroom, equity and social justice in education, beliefs informing practice, language instruction, and models of best practice. Students will have the opportunity observe language instruction in post-secondary and private institutes/programs or, in some instances, public schools.   

Until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, fieldwork observations will occur remotely. When in-person instruction resumes, TLGC students will be permitted to physically visit classrooms to observe teaching and learning and conduct fieldwork inquiries.


A survey of major theories of Second Language Learning (SLL) to date, including the conceptualizations of language, learning and the learner, and their applications and implications in second/additional language teaching and learning in various contexts over time and today.


Course activities will be structured for participants to consider recent formulations of learners as agents as well as subjects of culturally constructed, socially imposed worlds. Participants will examine a number of ethnographic descriptions of the experiences of learners in a variety of communities, noting in particular their use of diverse mediations/tools, including language. Participants will consider these ideas in relation to their own educational communities and develop plans for research activity in those sites. Equivalent Courses: EDUC713

ELECTIVE (ONE OR MORE) OF EDUC 816, 820, 823, 830, 833, 836, 854, 855; AND, OR 711

816-5 Developing Educational Programs and Practices for Diverse Educational Settings

820-5 Current Issues in Curriculum and Pedagogy

823-5 Curriculum and Instruction in an Individual Teaching Speciality

830-5 Implementation of Education programs

833-5 Social and Moral Philosophy in Education

836-5 Equity Issues in Language, Education and Society

854-5 Teachers as Agents of Change

855-5 Multicultural and Race Relations Education: Policy Development and Program Implementation

711    Special Topics


The examination is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

The Comprehensive Examination in the last term consists of the development and presentation of a project that synthesizes the knowledge and experiences students obtain throughout the program.

Courses and order of delivery subject to change.

Interested in Transfering to an MA degree

If there are students interested in completing an MA degree, they may consider the following pathway. Such students may request a transfer to another Masters program in the FOE after successfully completing the first 3 terms in the Teaching Languages in Global Contexts program provided they have prepared an 8-10 page research proposal approved by a faculty member interested and available to supervise them. If their request is successful, they will need to take a research methods course prior to embarking on their own research under the guidance of the said faculty member. 


At SFU, campus life is rich with opportunities to engage with people, ideas and activities that contribute to personal development and a better world.


Perched atop Burnaby Mountain, Simon Fraser University's original Arthur Erickson-designed campus includes more than three dozen academic buildings and a flourishing sustainable residential community.

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, on which SFU Burnaby is located.


The non-departmental structure of our Faculty makes it relatively easy for students to take advantage of a wide variety of faculty expertise. Meet some of the faculty members teaching in this program.

Future Pathways

Where can this program take you? The world is changing rapidly and so is the full range of career and academic opportunities that await.


  • Additional language educators

Further Studies


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