An Exploratory Study of Recent Trends in ELT Master’s Programs: Insights from the stakeholders




English language teaching, Formative research, Master's program, Teacher education, Professional development


This article reports on a mixed-methods research study in five English Language Teaching Master’s programs in Colombia. The purpose was to identify research problems as well as the strategies of intervention that M.A candidates and alumni dealt with in their theses. This study identified prevalent research methods, techniques, and instruments. The data collection methods included documentary analysis, four focus groups with students, four informal talks with the faculty, four interviews with the coordinators of the programs, and surveys with graduate students, professors, thesis advisors and administrators of these programs. Results suggest a preference for action research on issues of language skills, curriculum design, cognitive and affective factors. Pedagogical innovations dealt with ICT, ELT methods, and language learning strategies. Another result indicated that program participants considered the master’s as the most enriching professional development opportunity they have had. This study makes a call to local and national governments to continue funding continued graduate education and to make it a policy independent of partisan agendas.


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Author Biographies

Margarita Maria Lopez-Pinzón, Universidad de Caldas, Colombia

is currently  the Director in the Master’s Program in English Didactics from Universidad de Caldas. She has extensive experience in teaching graduate and undergraduate courses and has been doing educational research for several years. She  has shared her research findings in different events around the country and abroad.  Co-author of articles, books and academic papers related to qualitative research, professional development and classroom research in ELT

Odilia Ramirez-Contreras, Universidad de Caldas, Colombia

has been a research professor in the Master’s in English Didactics Program in Universidad de Caldas and a public school principal in Manizales for the last 10 years; she has extensive experience and interest in teacher education, mainly in the areas of EFL teaching, language research and curriculum design and implementation. 


Luisa Fernanda Vargas-Orozco, Escuela Normal Superior Sagrado Corazón, Colombia

has been an English teacher in different public schools for nine years. She holds a BA in Modern Languages and a MA in English Didactics from Caldas University. She has been working in ELT for more than ten years and has extensive experience in teaching English to children and teenagers.


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How to Cite

Lopez-Pinzón, M. M., Ramirez-Contreras, O. ., & Vargas-Orozco, L. F. . (2021). An Exploratory Study of Recent Trends in ELT Master’s Programs: Insights from the stakeholders. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, (22), 21–50.


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