You will study the following core modules
Language Teaching Methodology
This module gives an overview of the development of, and current approaches to, English Language Teaching (ELT) methodology, including the teaching of grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening. The module also includes a practical introduction to classroom-based research. The module will introduce you to a wide range of ideas and allow you to reflect on your own teaching experience. At the same time, in covering such a large area, the module also lays down the groundwork for a number of other modules which you may wish to go onto study.
Syllabus and Materials Design
The module considers the problem of reconciling syllabus and materials design with what is known about the process of language learning and examines the attempts that established approaches to syllabus design have made to solve this problem. The module goes on to propose a more radical solution involving the establishment of a pedagogic corpus, the use of task-based methodology, and the development of analytical exercises.
This is a very practical module designed for practising teachers. It demonstrates that a syllabus is a lot more than simply a list of items at the start of a handbook. The module demonstrates that a syllabus typically reflects: beliefs about language and how language works; beliefs about how we learn, or maybe acquire a language; and the way culture influences teaching and learning situations.
The module introduces you to a variety of different types of syllabus such as the traditional grammatical syllabus, the lexical syllabus, the functional-notional syllabus, and the task-based syllabus. You are encouraged to look at a range of teaching situations and consider how different types of syllabus can be used to meet the needs of different types of language learner. The later parts of the module look at materials development, evaluating material and how to adapt course books so the content is ‘lifted off the page’.
You will also choose one optional module from a range which typically includes:
This module covers the main theoretical concepts and research findings underlying the description of the grammar of the English Language and the implication these have for the teaching of grammar in the classroom.
In this module you will consider:
- Prescriptive and descriptive grammars
- Research into the benefits of teaching grammar explicitly
- How the methodologies we employ influence the way we teach grammar
- How grammar is represented in the language syllabus
- The debate relating to the use of authentic texts in language teaching
- The nature of spoken English and how its grammar differs of that of written English
Teaching Languages to Young Learners
This module is designed to introduce you to the various considerations that need to be taken into account when teaching languages to young learners. As well as considering ‘what is a young learner?’ the module content deals with a range of theoretical and practical aspects, including: language in the young learner classroom; teaching grammar and lexis; materials and resources; classroom management; young learner assessment; course-books and syllabus; and teaching young learners with special needs.
The module refers specifically to teaching English to young language learners, but much of the content is also applicable to other contexts where you might be teaching other languages to children.
English Language Teaching Management
This module examines issues of innovation and change in English Language Teaching (ELT) management, including managing change, teacher development and the design and evaluation of teacher training programmes.
It introduces you to the inherent complexity of change and isolates some general characteristics that seem important in all types of change, though their application will vary according to context. This module also looks at strategies of change and the importance of culture in change; it also focusses upon the importance that change has to the survival of an institution. Additionally we consider teacher training (TT) within an educational context, because teachers will be key implementers (or even instigators) of change, so the role of TT in innovation is central.
This module considers the purpose of language testing and aims to provoke some thoughts on the subject of measurement. It will cover the principles of testing, including testing terminology and some elementary statistics in order to equip participants with the critical skills necessary for the evaluation of language tests and, more generally, claims made in research articles based on statistical analysis of data. Topics covered include:
- What tests are and why we need them?
- What constitutes a valid and efficient test?
- Testing the skills of reading and writing
- Different measures of correlation
- Understanding and evaluating issues related to testing
Please note that the optional modules listed on the website for this programme are intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.