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Language for Education - EDU00018M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Emma Marsden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This is a core module on the MA in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching and the MA in Applied Linguistics for English Language Teaching and is taught as a combined cohort.

Professional requirements

As per the requirement of entry to the MA in Applied Linguistics programmes, course participants should have a minimum one year’s teaching experience by the time they join the course.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

  • To introduce selected language concepts, theories and elements which are relevant to language teaching and learning, but which do not always figure in traditional language courses
  • To introduce the idea that language and discourse structures can be (a) motivated, meaningful or purposeful and (b) flexible or fuzzy, rather than fixed or black and white
  • To introduce ways in which language structure is used, with other concepts, to create meaningful discourse and interactions

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Be aware of language-related and social topics that are important, but currently problematic, with respect to second language education.

  • To demonstrate an awareness of how the structure of English relates to the teaching and learning of English.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Engage critically with academic and language teaching publications

  • Formulate critical and balanced arguments orally and in writing

  • Participate in group work and problem-solving activities

  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management

  • Word-process, use a concordancer, manage files, use e-mail, VLE and the Web

Module content

Course outline

  • Applied linguistics and language education: how one affects the other
  • The sounds of language
  • Lexicogrammar and corpus linguistics
  • Conversation analysis
  • Pragmatics
  • Text, context and schema
  • Register and genre
  • Language learning and interlanguage
  • Revision and Assignment Planning

Course details

Applied linguistics and language education: how one affects the other

This session will outline the nature and goal of applied linguistics and show how it occupies a middle ground between basic linguistic disciplines and the world of professional practice.

The sounds of language

This session begins by reviewing English sounds and their categorisations (phonetics) and their systematic occurrences (phonology), as well as the sound patterns above the individual segments (prosody). Consideration is then given to the educational impact of topics such as the fact that people hear syllables not segments. The importance of the neural link between articulation mechanisms, quiet rehearsal and (a) interpreting speech and (b) grammar will be noted. A selection of sounds/ syllables of relevance to the English teacher will be examined.

Lexicogrammar and corpus linguistics

This session will explore the relationship between lexis and grammar and consider how the use of corpora has provided important insights into language description and changed our perceptions of language use. It will also discuss the impact this had had on the compilation and development of learner dictionaries and on language teaching materials.

Conversation Analysis

The session will explore a number of important features of conversations and how people structure them. The session will cover turn taking, changing topic and repairing conversations. It will also explore more generally how people manipulate conversations in order to achieve particular purposes. The session will, finally, examine why a purely observation-based Conversation Analysis is rarely adequate for examining classroom talk.


This session will discuss meaning in context, emphasising the importance of shared knowledge and presupposition in everyday communication, in order to bridge the gap between sentence meaning and speaker meaning. Speech acts, co-operation, relevance and politeness will be considered.

Text, context and schema

This session will provide an introduction to written discourse analysis and discuss what is meant by ‘text’ and why it is worth studying. It will also consider what is implicit in our understanding of texts.

Register and genre

This session will introduce two far reaching concepts in text and discourse analysis and show how they are central for explaining how texts vary according to their social purpose, why they are being produced, who is involved in the interactive process and how they are being produced.

Language learning and interlanguage

This session will explore research into learner language development and interlanguage. Focus will be given to the expression of modality in novice and expert written academic texts in a variety of genres, and discuss the implications that learner research (particularly corpus-based research) has on teaching and learning.

Revision and Assignment Planning

The final session will bring together all the elements covered on the module and look to prepare participants for their assignments.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The module will be assessed by an essay of 3500 words (=/- 10%) on a topic related to the module content, and demonstrating the learning outcomes.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback in a range of ways throughout this module. This will include oral feedback in class, responses to posts on the VLE discussion board and written comments on work. You will have the chance to obtain feedback on your writing during the module, and you will have a short one-to-one meetings during set office hours with your module tutor to discuss questions about assessments and other queries.

You will be provided physical written feedback on assignment report sheets. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Indicative reading

Jones, R.H.(2015). Discourse Analysis. A resource book for students. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Mullany, L. & Stockwell, P. (2015). Introducing English Language. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Schmitt, N. (Ed.) (2010). An introduction to Applied Linguistics (2nd ed.). London: Arnold.

Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.