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Language Description, Materials and Methods

  • Module code: LG7002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This core module describes the nature of language and, in particular, explores how the systems of grammar, lexis, phonology and discourse underlie language. Language systems form the basis on which students then go on to explore the selection, creation and sequencing of language learning materials. Students will be given the opportunity to write their own materials and so understand the processes, production and adaptation of materials to language learning contexts. Examples from languages other than English may be used in order to show how the basic principles of linguistic analysis can be applied to different languages. Overall this module develops the metalinguistic ability needed by a language teacher, and will allow students to apply this ability to a language classroom. This module also provides an overarching perspective on how materials relate to language learning, syllabus design, teaching approaches and research. A unique feature of this module is that it is coupled with micro teaching and class observations. Therefore this module serves as a foundation on which students can research and plan their language teaching and put materials into practice in a classroom context.

Aims

  • To provide students with a description of language and the tools to analyse phonological, semantic, grammatical and discourse elements in language;
  • To develop a critical understanding of the nature of language and the capacity to apply this understanding in the evaluation and design of language learning materials;
  • To relate materials design to the wider contexts of language learning, syllabus design, teaching approaches and research;
  • To provide students with class observation and micro teaching opportunities to enable them to apply their understanding of language, learning and pedagogy.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Describe language, and its relationship to learning and teaching, and apply language analysis tools to spoken or written texts/materials;
  • Critically analyse language teaching materials informed by insights from linguistic theory;
  • Design language learning materials for a specific context;
  • Demonstrate how language learning materials operate in the wider context of language learning, syllabus design, teaching approaches and research.

Curriculum content

  • Lexis: lexical semantics, vocabulary teaching and testing;
  • Grammar: sentence structure and its constituent parts: phrase structure; parallelism, subordination, the relationship between form and function;
  • Key phonological terms; the English segmentals; aspects of the English intonation system and issues relating to teaching phonological models.
  • Discourse: discourse types, pragmatic meaning, speech acts, schema theory;
  • Analysis and evaluation of materials
  • Adaption of course book materials
  • Supplementation: worksheets (consciousness raising and practice, accuracy, fluency and complexity, practice and testing)
  • Authentic materials
  • Systematising materials design
  • Materials and learning, culture, syllabus, approach, research.
  • Micro-teaching and class observation

Teaching and learning strategy

Teaching will take the form of interactive lectures, micro-teaching sessions and tutorials. Students will have the opportunity to put into practice their language awareness and their materials design through micro-teaching sessions throughout the second part of the module. Tutorials will be embedded into the course to support students' learning.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Interactive lectures, micro-teaching Tutorials 33 12
Guided independent study Observation of language classes Directed reading, study, and assignment preparation 10 245
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed formatively and summatively. Formative development tasks are provided for each session of lecture/interactive seminar/workshop/micro-teaching, and are also provided to individual students in tutorials, according to the student's own needs. Formative tasks could be multiple choice questions with feedback, micro-teaching and an appendix of language learning materials. Summative assessment is through coursework (100%) typically consisting of language analysis tasks (30%); critical reflection on lesson observations (1,000  words: 10%); essay / project on materials rationale (3,000 words: 60%)

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Describe language, and its relationship to learning and teaching, and apply language analysis tools to spoken or written texts/materials; Formative: multiple-choice questions; summative: language analysis tasks, lesson observation reflection and essay / project.
2) Critically analyse language teaching materials informed by insights from linguistic theory; Formative: appendix of materials, lesson observation reflection; summative: essay / project.
3) Design language learning materials for a specific context; Formative: appendix of materials; summative: essay / project.
4) Demonstrate how language learning materials operate in the wider context of language learning, syllabus design, teaching approaches and research Formative appendix of materials; summative: lesson observation reflection and essay / project.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Language Analysis Tasks 30
Coursework Critical reflection on lessons Critical reflection on lesson observations 10
Coursework 4000 to 5000 word essay 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Parrort, M. (2000) Grammar for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tomlinson, B. (2012) Applied Linguistics and materials development. London: Bloomsbury Academic

Bibliography recommended reading

Cook, G. (1989) Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2003) Teaching language : From grammar to grammaring. Boston: Thompson Heindle.

McGrath, I. (2002) Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Mullany, L. and Stockwell, P. (2010) Introducing English language, London: Routledge.

Roach, P. (2009) English phonetics and phonology: a practical course. 4th edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Underhill, A. (2005) Sound foundations. Oxford: Macmillan.

Yule, G. (2003) Explaining English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Yule, G. (2006) The study of language. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harwood, N. (2010) English language teaching materials: theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McDonough, J. and Shaw, C. (1993) Materials and methods in ELT.Oxford: Blackwell.

McGrath, I. (2002) Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh: Edinbrugh University Press.

Tomlinson, B. (2003) (ed) Developing materials for language teaching. London: Continuum.

Tomlinson, B. (2012) Applied Linguistics and materials development. London: Bloomsbury Academic

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