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Principles of Language Learning for Language Teaching

  • Module code: LG7001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This core module explores two strands of applied linguistics. The first is to critically explore foundational concepts in second language learning theories. The second is to consider the application of this research to language teaching. Knowledge from one domain feeds forward to inform the other domain, and thus gives this module its unique flavour. Students experience both language learning (in the form of learning a language under a language learning scheme) and language teaching (in the form of micro-teaching sessions), which enables them to map this experience onto the literature, and which further develops their professional practice.

Aims

  • to provide an overview of the key issues in second language learning;
  • to provide an introduction to L2 pedagogy in the context of applied linguistics and language learning;
  • to critically review language teaching theories, approaches and methods;
  • to enable students to evaluate SLA research and its application to language teaching

Learning outcomes

  • critically evaluate linguistic and cognitive perspectives of second language learning;
  • evaluate L2 pedagogy in the light of research into applied linguistics and, in particular, language learning;
  • demonstrate critical understanding of language teaching theories, approaches and methods;
  • demonstrate critical understanding of SLA research and its application to language teaching.

Curriculum content

  • Early SLA theories, models and hypotheses
  • Information processing perspectives
  • Cognition, acquisition and learning
  • Later SLA theories, models and hypotheses
  • Behaviouristic language teaching approaches
  • Communicative language teaching approaches
  • Post method approaches
  • Individual variability in language learning

Teaching and learning strategy

Teaching will take the form of interactive lectures, teacher and student led seminars and micro-teaching. Lectures are designed to disseminate an overview of theories, approaches and methods, while the interactive teacher and student led seminars allow students to discuss and subsequently internalise complex ideas. In addition, students are encouraged to start or continue their study of a foreign language in order to understand SLA processes from a personal perspective. The scheme offers the opportunity to start or continue with the study of a foreign language. The micro-teaching sessions are designed to allow students the opportunity to take risks in teaching practice, and to reflect on their own progress.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and seminars Micro-teaching/workshops Tutorials 44 22 12
Guided independent study Second language learning Directed reading, study and assignment preparation 13 209
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. Typically, formative assessment tasks consist of student led seminars, online tests and micro-teaching. Summative assessment is through  coursework (100%) typically consisting of a critical essay (2,500 words: 50%) on language learning, informed by a learning diary from their second language learning experience, and a critical essay (2,000 words: 40%) on language teaching, and reflective report (1,000 words: 10%) informed by the micro-teaching experience.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Critically evaluate linguistic and cognitive perspectives of second language learning; Formative assessment: student led seminars with peer/tutor feedback and online language aptitude test to feed into essay on language learning. Summative assessment: coursework, typically the critical essay on language learning.
Evaluate L2 pedagogy in the light of research into applied linguistics and, in particular, language learning; Formative assessment: micro-teaching with feedback from peers and tutor. Summative assessment: coursework, typically the critical essay on language learning.
Demonstrate critical understanding of language teaching theories, approaches and methods; Formative assessment: micro-teaching with feedback from peers and tutor. Summative assessment: coursework, typically the critical essay on language teaching and reflective report
Demonstrate critical understanding of SLA research and its application to language teaching. Formative assessment: seminars with peer/tutor feedback. Summative assessment: coursework, typically the critical essay on language teaching.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Essay 1 (Language Learning) 50
Coursework Essay 2 (Language Teaching) 40
Coursework Reflective Report 10
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

Ellis, R. (2008) Second Language Acquisition (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, R. Myles, F. and Marsden, E. (2012) Second Language Learning Theories (3rd ed.). London: Routledge

Hall, G. (2011) Exploring English Language Teaching: Language in Action. London: Routledge

Bibliography recommended reading

Cook, V. (1993) Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. London: MacMillan.

de Bot et al (2005) Second Language Acquisition: an advanced resource book. Abingdon: Routledge.

Ellis, R. (2003) Task-based learning and teaching, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Fotos, S. and Hossein, N. (2007) Form-focused Instruction and Teacher Education: Studies in honour of Rod Ellis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harmer, J. (2007) (4th ed) The practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman.

Howatt, A. P. R.  (2004) A History of English Language Teaching (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D. and Cameron, L. (2008) Complex systems and applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lightbown, P. and Spada, N. (2006) How Languages are learned: an introduction to the main theories of first and second language acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sharwood Smith, M. (1994) Second Language Learning – Theoretical Foundations. London: Longman

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