Postgraduate Diploma in Technology for Language Learning (TeLL) 788
Course Code: 12848 788 (120 credits)
Fourth year level module
Duration: one year
Composition : five modules
The diploma is on HEQF Level 8 (the same as an Honours degree) and, as such, is recognised for acceptance to a Masters programme.
Description of the nature of the programme
This one year postgraduate diploma, PGDip (TeLL), familiarises students with relevant concepts, principles and practices of language learning and teaching, as well as with the practical application of various technologies for language learning. The diploma should enable students to evaluate, design and develop material for language learning and to integrate various ICTs effectively into this material.
Programme material for the year of study is available online on a dedicated website and an FTP server. Instructional material is in English but assignments and tests can be written in Afrikaans or English. Communication with off-campus students is by e-mail, Skype, Webstudies and a blog.
The schedule provided on the TeLL website guides students through their learning and covers the period February (start of learning programmes at the university) - middle November. Two three-day seminars are offered on campus, one at the end of January, to introduce students to the programme and prepare for the first semester's work, and one in mid-July, to prepare students for the second semester's work and the research project done for the research assignment.
For further information please contact the chairperson: Prof. Catherine du Toit (021-808 2063).
The one-year Postgraduate Diploma (Technology for Language Learning) enables successful candidates to plan, design, develop and critically evaluate professional state-of-the-art language learning material using technology, incorporating graphics, sound and video, for delivery either on the Internet/an intranet or on stand-alone systems.
The programme is divided into two theoretical and two practical modules. The modules offer an introduction to the basic concepts and theories of language learning, a study of the relevant literature and an exploration of software necessary to create and edit multimedia content. The fifth module entails the writing of a research assignment based on a research project.
Students have access to a dedicated website with the programme material, assignments and links to resources, as well as an FTP server with e.g. podcasts or screencasts which can be downloaded.
12050 : Theoretical perspectives (Second) Language Acquisition (TeLL) 771 (25 credits)
12051 : Multimedia development (TeLL) 772 (25 credits)
12052 : Theoretical perspectives Computer Assisted Language Learning (TeLL) 773 (25 credits)
12053 : HTML development for Language Acquisition (TeLL) 774 (25 credits)
12850 : Research Assignment (TeLL) 772 (20 credits)
Eight assignments, two for each module, and four test tasks, one for each of the four taught modules, are used as assessment tools in the four structured modules. A research assignment of at least 10 000 words is required for the Research Assignment module.
A language-related Bachelor's degree. Applications from graduate students with other language qualifications will be considered. The University’s RPL policy applies for admission to the course.
The closing date for applications is 20 November of the preceding year. No late applications will be considered.
The preferred way of applying for admission is online. The Postgraduate Student Portal has a big link that takes you to the online application form. Please follow all instructions carefully and ensure that you receive acknowledgement of both your application and submission of the required documents. You are advised to phone admin (021 808 9111) to check that your documentation has been received. Once you have applied online, please inform the Departmental Officer by email as we have had applications disappear mysteriously in the past.
An electronic version of the application form is available in exceptional
cases and on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
A request for a printed application can also be sent by e-mail or standard mail to
The Departmental Officer
Department of Modern Foreign Languages,
Private Bag X1
If applying on paper, the completed admission form plus an application fee and certified copies of qualifications and a complete study record of the Bachelor's degree (transcript from the university where degree was obtained) should be sent to:
University of Stellenbosch
Private Bag X1
Separate from this official application for admission, we request that you send
a motivation of one to two pages why you want to obtain this Postgraduate Diploma, what you intend to achieve with it and also a brief overview of your professional work experience if you are not a recent graduate
This documents should be either emailed or posted to: The Course Coordinator: PGDip (TeLL), Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602.
APPLICATIONS FOR ADMISSION closed for 2018/9
See Section 3: Student Fees of the Calendar for information. The University reviews its fees yearly at the end of December and an increase (linked to the inflation rate) has mostly been the case. The Postgraduate Student Portal of the Postgraduate and International Office also provides an overview of possible fees for postgraduate studies.
As only a few bursaries for postgraduate studies are available from the University and other institutions, it is essential to apply well before November to be considered for most bursaries. Information on bursaries for postgraduate studies can be found on the page Scholarships & Opportunities of the Postgraduate Student Portal.
Students who enroll as full-time students for the PGDip (TeLL) directly after completing their Bachelor's degree at Stellenbosch University and obtained a good mark for their undergraduate studies are urged to apply for the University's Postgraduate Merit Bursary.
Facilities for fulltime students on campus
The Department of Modern Foreign Languages has access to a multimedia classroom for the PGDip in TeLL. The multimedia classroom is located on the 3rd floor of the Arts and Social Sciences Building adjacent to Humarga, the Humanities Computer User's Area. It is accessible to registered TeLL students during teaching hours, when not in use for other lectures in other programmes, and on arrangement with the lecturers after hours.
The classroom houses 10 multimedia student workstations which are connected to a server. Peripherals for printing and writing CD-ROMs are available as well as software for sound recording and image / video capturing and processing.
Being an off-campus student
Learning material, articles and other materials are distributed and maintained online by way of a dedicated website (the TeLL site), while podcasts, vodcasts and larger files are available on an FTP server. A schedule page indicates the topic of each week and links to the relevant pages of the TeLL website. To facilitate access to large files and programs used in the course, we distribute them on DVD as necessary.
Communication with students is mainly by e-mail, Skype and through the TeLL site, sometimes by phone and seldom by standard mail. There is a programme blog for the dissemination of ideas from both lecturers and students and the discussion forum option in Webstudies, the university's LMS, is also used. Depending on size, assignments are submitted by e-mail or uploaded to OneDrive/SUNLearn.
Being an off-campus student requires effort and self-discipline. For this programme one needs a reliable computer and a stable Internet connection. A well-functioning computer is the main tool for this programme and it is essential that one has a working e-mail address and reliable service provider.
To reiterate: it is essential that a student who does not use the facilities of the university ensures that s/he has access to a suitable PC. The Department of Modern Foreign Languages cannot take responsibility for any problems arising from technological malfunction and/or electronic communication problems. As these probelms are certain to happen, students must be able to solve problems on their own. Within the programme lecturers solve problems regarding the content of the course and technical matters pertaining to programs used in the course.
MA in Technology for Language Learning (TeLL)
Course Code: 54143 879 (100% thesis) (120 credits)
Fifth year level module
Duration: minimum of one year
Composition : one module
Students undertake independent research on a theoretical or a more applied topic of technology and language learning. The submitted end product is a thesis (100 - 120 pages) which may include individually researched, planned and tested language learning material using technology.
For the MA the admission requirements are:
- The Postgraduate Diploma in Technology for Language Learning (P/G Dip TeLL) or an equivalent postgraduate degree in language/linguistics; or
- an Hons BA in a language; or
- another qualification which is regarded as equivalent by Senate.
Depending on the applicant's study background and experience, additional work may be required by the Department.
The Department strongly recommends that applicants for the MA in TeLL achieved a mark of 60% or more in their preceding postgraduate studies.
Before formally applying for the Master's course to the Administration of the University, students should consult the Department in order to select a thesis topic at which time a member of staff under whose supervision the thesis could be written can be appointed.
For this purpose, prospective MA students should submit the following information to the MA (TeLL) programme co-ordinator:
- A short motivation (200-300 words) that explains your reasons for wanting to register for the MA (TeLL) and that includes a general field or theme of research and, if possible, pinpoints a specific topic of the thesis.
- A one-page proposal which outlines the proposed research and which answers the following questions about your research: what, why, how, for whom and how long.
- The name and contact details of one of your previous lecturers who could act as a referee for you. If your tertiary studies were completed some time ago, please provide us with a short CV that gives us an overview of your professional experience and work record which should be sufficient to provide us with the background information we require.
- If possible, an essay written in the preceding postgraduate studies.
For information contact Prof. Catherine du Toit (021 808 2063)
After being accepted for the MA (TeLL), each student will write a formal proposal, under the guidance of his/her supervisor. MA proposals should be 8-15 pages in length and include a preliminary bibliography. The proposal should be submitted at the latest by the end of March and will then be presented to the Departmental Research Committee for approval.
You may be advised to attend one of the workshops on “Scientific Writing Skills for Research Proposals” presented by the Language Centre This is especially useful for students who completed their studies some time ago and need to brush up on their academic writing skills.
The Postgraduate and International Office runs a number of support courses and workshops for postgraduate students. Prospective students are also advised to visit this page if you are interested in applying for funding.
Please note that the final decision as to whether or not to admit a student to postgraduate studies lies with the Department.
APPLICATIONS FOR ADMISSION closed for 2018/9
(For international students the date is earlier, please see the Postgraduate Student Portal for further details). You are advised to contact the Department with the above documents well before this closing date.
For information see Section 3: Student Fees of the Calendar. The University reviews its fees yearly in Oct/Nov and an increase (linked to the inflation rate) has mostly been the case. Please contact the University Call Centre (Tel.021-808 9111 or email@example.com) and request information from the Division Student Fees.
The Postgraduate Student Portal of the Postgraduate and International Office also provides an overview of possible fees for postgraduate studies.
As only a few bursaries for postgraduate studies are available from the University and other institutions, it is essential to apply well before November to be considered for most bursaries. Information on bursaries for postgraduate studies can be found on the page Scholarships & Opportunities of the Postgraduate Student Portal as well as from the Postgraduate and International Office.
Students who enrol as full-time students for the MA (TeLL) directly after completing the PGDip (TeLL) or a BHons degree at Stellenbosch University and obtained a good mark for their previous studies are urged to apply for the University's Postgraduate Merit Bursary.
Students structure their MA research programme individually, in consultation with their supervisor and according to the demands of the thesis topic.
A thesis of at least 100 pages should be written and will be assessed by an internal and an external examiner in accordance with the university's rules for an MA.
The programme should ideally be completed in one year, but experience has shown that one and a half to two years is more realistic for students who also work full time. An extension of the studies to two years is possible.
Theses must be submitted for examination by 1 September for the December graduation, or by 1 November
for the March graduation.
Examples of theses completed in the current MA (TeLL) and former MPhil (Hypermedia for Language Learning) course can be viewed on the University library's Repository of Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Also see Student Postgraduate Research for an overview of current and completed research topics.
MPhil (Hypermedia for Language Learning)
Please be aware that this programme has been phased out in line with the HEQC realignment of all MPhil programmes and replaced with the above P/G Diploma and MA programmes. The information below remains for historic reasons and explanation regarding the completed MPhil theses.
Description of the nature of the programme
The programme comprised the study and exploration of computer assisted language pedagogics within the wider field of educational hypermedia and ICT. It familiarised students with relevant concepts, principles and techniques and enables them to critically evaluate, design, create and deliver material for language learning integrating technology. The first year of the two-year degree programme was coursework and students were regarded as off-campus students. Two seminars (January and September) were offered on campus during the first year. In the second year research for the master's was undertaken and the thesis was written.
Examples of MPhil theses can be viewed on the University library's Repository of Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Exit Level: BPhil Arts
Should students not wish to carry on to the second year of study, they were awarded a BPhil Arts after having successfully completed the first year of the MPhil. The course coordinator should be informed of this wish and an application to exit with the BPhil should then be sent to the Chairperson of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages.
Graduate areas of research
Of the candidates who successfully graduated with a Master's, most opted to do applied research topics, i.e. write a thesis with accompanying application/language learning material developed by the student him/herself, but a thesis-only option is becoming increasingly popular.
See Student Postgraduate Research for an overview of completed research topics.
Reasons to enrol
The Technology in Language Learning candidates are shown how to plan, design, develop and to critically evaluate professional state-of-the-art language learning material, incorporating graphics, sound and video, for delivery either on the Internet or on stand-alone systems.
This will position them well for work in the educational sector which has a growing demand for skilled professionals; be it in web material design, development of educational multimedia and maintenance thereof, in electronic publishing, training or in education (GET and FET band and tertiary education). Many of the skills and much of the knowledge obtained are also transferable to other work sectors.
An outcome which the programme also hopes to achieve, is linked to the ever-changing computing environment. By completing the programme and receiving a degree/diploma the understanding is that this is a stepping stone for candidates. We provide the opportunity for life-long learning in the field of educational computing which we expect our students to embrace.
This is why we put a great deal of emphasis on fostering an understanding of computing in general and its function in modern society. We'd like our students to leave us with a vision of the future and an understanding of the contribution educational technology can make to improve the human condition.
To get a feel of what is expected of students and what they can achieve, see the e-theses of some of the MA/MPhil students in the library repository of e-theses.