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Doing a PhD (TESOL field) with no relevant undergrad or postgrad experience

I have a BA and MA in music, but have more or less left it behind. I am now a CELTA-qualified English teaher for a prestigious school.

I would like to go into ELT research, and am thinking about embarking on a PhD. I have a research proposal which I've already discussed at length with a professor. He was interested in the proposal itself, but we didn't discusss my application.

How realistic would it be for me to pursue a PhD in TESOL with my lack of academic experience in the field?

EDIT: Sorry about the typos. I am suffering from exhaustion. I feel like the walking dead at the moment.
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by Gabrijel
I have a BA and MA (music), and later changed direction, and went into ELT. I got my CELTA about 4 years ago. i work full-time as an EFL teacher for a prestigious school.


I would like to go into ELT research, and am thinking about embarking on a PhD. I have a research proposal which I've already discussed at length with a professor. He was interested in the proposal itself, but we didn't discusss my application.

How realistic would it be for me to pursue a PhD in TESOL with my lack of academic experience in the field?


Probably depends on exactly what the research project is. If it's something where your experience as an EFL teacher is relevant background (e.g. research into pedagogical issues) I imagine it's not an issue as that experience is relevant. If you wanted to go into e.g. the linguistics side of things and second language acquisition (focusing on English) then you may be expected to have some recent academic background in linguistics (for background in things like syntax theory and similar).

Have you looked into the possibility of doing a second masters degree in this new area?
Original post by Gabrijel
I have a BA and MA (music), and later changed direction, and went into ELT. I got my CELTA about 4 years ago. i work full-time as an EFL teacher for a prestigious school.


I would like to go into ELT research, and am thinking about embarking on a PhD. I have a research proposal which I've already discussed at length with a professor. He was interested in the proposal itself, but we didn't discusss my application.

How realistic would it be for me to pursue a PhD in TESOL with my lack of academic experience in the field?


Think of it in a different way, the subject matter may be different, but are the research techniques similar, or is the research method based on your teaching practice? If you can make this connection, then the subject change isn't so much of an issue.
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
Probably depends on exactly what the research project is. If it's something where your experience as an EFL teacher is relevant background (e.g. research into pedagogical issues) I imagine it's not an issue as that experience is relevant. If you wanted to go into e.g. the linguistics side of things and second language acquisition (focusing on English) then you may be expected to have some recent academic background in linguistics (for background in things like syntax theory and similar).

Have you looked into the possibility of doing a second masters degree in this new area?


Many thanks for the response. I may have to, yes. I'm weighing up my options.

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