EL7001 - Issues and trends in English language teaching

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What will I learn on this module?

This 30 credit module aims to explore English language teaching (ELT), and language teaching and learning more generally, from an applied linguistics perspective. It provides a broad overview of some of the key questions and dilemmas within ELT, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT practitioners and for classroom practice.

On this module, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates in second language pedagogy, linking your own teaching and learning experiences to theory and the research literature. Areas examined include classroom interaction and management; language teaching methods and the emergence of a Postmethod era within ELT; the attributes and attitudes which learners bring to the language learning classroom; and the social and institutional contexts for English language teaching.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through weekly interactive lectures and seminars. Key themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures, supported by seminars that allow further group working, discussion and debate. All topics and debates within the module will be supported by reference to relevant literature, which you will read outside of class to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the field.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback on your ideas and understandings throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessments will also provide an opportunity for learning, the feedback from assessment 1 providing you with comment and ideas which you will be able to develop as you prepare and submit assignment 2.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Interactive lectures and seminars will develop both your academic knowledge of key issues and trends in ELT, and your ability to reflect on and position yourself in debates and issues within the field. Your academic development is also facilitated through engagement with the weekly readings, and also discussing theoretical and practical concerns with your tutor and peers.

The module handbook provides details of weekly topics, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture/seminar materials are available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and workshops, in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and by appointment, and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have regarding any aspect of the module. Formative feedback will be given in an on-going basis throughout in-class activities. You will also submit a 500 word plan of your theoretical essay (assignment 2) which you will receive tutor feedback on.

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your studies. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes monitoring your ongoing academic progress, helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development, and directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. the Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. Additional language support is also available from the ESAP programme offered by the language centre.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key debates within ELT and the possibilities open to language teachers and other language teaching professionals (e.g., policy-makers, curriculum designers, educational managers) within these debates.
2. Articulate an understanding that classroom language learning results from the outcomes of complex pedagogic and social discourses within the L2 classroom.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Reflect critically the ways in which your decision-making and practice may be informed by theory and research, and thus on the relevance of the theoretical literature to their own professional contexts and working practices.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Demonstrate the ability to critically apply, interpret and present module knowledge, and critical reflections upon this knowledge, both orally and in writing.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will present your ideas during interactive lecures and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers on any perspectives you share. Such formative will enable you to test and form your own understanding of key issues in English language teaching.
2. 500-word essay plan.
This formative assessment will aim to ensure you organise your ideas and material for the assessed essay, by selecting relevant resources to help you answer the question they have chosen. The plan will be submitted and feedback provided via email, supported by a one-to-one meeting with the module tutor as necessary. The rationale for this is to enable you to road-test ideas before committing yourself to an argument or position.
Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments

1. 1500-word Analysis of classroom discourse

You will be provided with a transcribed extract of classroom discourse. You will analyse, in writing, the discourse, identifying key elements of classroom interaction and management, features of the spoken discourse, and the nature of the learning opportunities which consequently arise.

This assessment draws upon ideas covered in the first few weeks of the module. The assignment will be supported by formative tasks in class, but you will not submit a plan to the module tutor in advance of submission for this highly structured task.


2. 3500-word essay
You will write an essay in response to a set of questions provided by the module tutor. You will be expected to demonstrate a clear engagement with the larger themes and debates of ELT, focusing specifically on those identified in the essay title. The aim here is to ensure you get to grips with theoretical positions and concepts, and identify your own position towards ideas and debates within the field.


The analysis of classroom discourse and essay assessments will be part of the learning process, and address all five MLOS.
Feedback will be provided using the Programme template and comments on the scripts.

Pre-requisite(s)

none

Co-requisite(s)

none

Module abstract

This 30 credit module aims to explore English language teaching (ELT), and language teaching and learning more generally, from an applied linguistics perspective. It provides a broad overview of some of the key questions and dilemmas within ELT, focusing on the implications of these debates for ELT practitioners and for classroom practice.

On this modules, therefore, you will engage critically with current key debates in second language pedagogy, linking your own teaching and learning experiences to theory and the research literature. Areas examined include classroom interaction and management; language teaching methods and the emergence of a Postmethod era within ELT; the attributes and attitudes which learners bring to the language learning classroom; and the social and institutional contexts for English language teaching.

You will thus reflect critically upon social and historical trends within applied linguistics and English language teaching, recognising the complexity and diversity of ELT classrooms around the world, establishing your own ‘sense of plausibility’ about pedagogic practice and theory in relation to your own (current or future) professional context.

Your studies during this wide-ranging module may also help you identify aspects of the language learning classroom which you find particularly interesting. This may form a basis for studying them further during your MA dissertation.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 28 months part-time
3 other options available

Department Humanities

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start January 2020

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