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Learning Through Language - EDU00028I

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Volha Arkhipenka
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

The module will explore principles of first and second language teaching and learning, as well as the nature of talk and the role it plays in teaching and learning.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module will explore principles of first and second language teaching and learning, as well as the nature of talk and the role it plays in teaching and learning. While drawing on some theoretical, methodological and policy issues, this module will have a strong practical component, aiming to develop students' understanding of needs-based learner-centred teaching in various educational contexts. It will draw on recent research into the field.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • introduce a number of theories of educational development in relation to language and learning
  • critically examine and reflect upon contemporary issues related to first and second language teaching and learning in various educational contexts
  • develop a theoretical and practical understanding of learner-centred teaching methodologies
  • develop an understanding of the centrality of talk in the teaching and learning process
  • become more aware of learner needs and critically reflect on appropriate ways to address these needs
  • learn how to plan and deliver a teaching activity

Academic and graduate skills

  • Develop skills of communication
  • Become proficient in searching for sources
  • Develop the skills to critically analyse issues and ideas
  • Learn to plan and deliver short teaching activities
  • Engage in short presentations to the whole group
  • Contribute to a reflective class blog
  • Carry out an analysis of talk data to critically examine the role of oral language in learning.

Module content

The module has 22 class meetings (9 in the Autumn Term weeks 2-10; 9 in the Spring Term weeks 2-10; and 4 in the Summer Term weeks 1-4). These will involve tutor-led input lectures, small group activities, class debates, peer teaching and student presentations using a range of materials. Each class will require the students to do preparatory readings and to complete follow-up activities. Preparatory readings will take the form of academic papers, reports and related documents. Follow-up activities will include learning logs, reflective tasks and other activities.

An outline of the sessions week by week:

Autumn Term

  • Contemporary issues and principles in second language teaching and learning
  • First versus second language learning Second language teaching methods
  • Teaching languages to young learners
  • Teaching languages to school students and older learners
  • Testing, assessment and feedback
  • Lesson planning and lesson materials
  • Classroom observation; Qualifications and job opportunities

Micro teaching

Spring Term

  • Learning theories
  • Sociocultural theory Learning and language
  • Classroom interaction
  • Dialogic teaching
  • Teacher questions
  • Teacher feedback Interaction in small groups
  • Analysing classroom interaction

Summer Term

  • Reading week
  • Student presentations
  • Student presentations
  • Overview



Task Length % of module mark
Lesson Plan & Rationale
N/A 40
Report (Analysing Task)
N/A 60

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Assessment weighting:

Autumn: 40%

Spring: 60%

i. Formative; i.e. written work submitted during the module.

In the Autumn term, students will submit the outline of a lesson plan and a 500-word rationale, for formative feedback. It is assumed that it would be a topic the student would choose for their final assignment, though it need not be. The work should be submitted in Class 5 of the module for written and oral feedback to be given in Class 6. The purpose of this task is to provide the basis for constructive formative feedback on the student’s ideas, academic writing skills and critical thinking.

In Spring/ Summer, students will collect and analyse some talk data and receive feedback on their analysis. The mini-investigation will form the basis of the final summative assessment.

ii. Procedural; i.e. seminar performance.

Each student will be expected to undertake preparation for each session, and to play an active role in class tasks and group discussions. Students are expected to undertake preparatory and follow-up reading and to draw on this in class discussions, as well as any homework activities. Students will be allocated to small groups for the final micro teaching session and all students are required to take responsibility for contributing to a good outcome. Ongoing feedback will be provided on students’ participation in these activities and students will also be encouraged to give peer feedback on participation in class activities and micro teaching.

iii. Summative; i.e. final submission of written work to be assessed.

For the Autumn term assessment, students will be expected to submit a 2,000-word rationale for a lesson plan they have created (lesson plan included in an appendix, but not in the word count). The rationale will show awareness of contextual learner needs and will reflect critical understanding of theoretical, methodological and practical issues discussed in class and explored further through the students’ independent reading. There will be opportunities to discuss the requirements for this submission throughout the term and students will be able to use the formative feedback given on the mid-term task when preparing their end-of-term summative assessment. It is essential that students engage with reading and activities for all weeks of the module in order to write a good assignment.

For Spring/ Summer, students will submit a 3,000-word report and analysis of the data they collected for the formative task. Essays should display relevant knowledge of the theoretical and practical implications of the role of talk in classroom learning.


Task Length % of module mark
Lesson Plan & Rationale
N/A 40
Report (Analysing Task)
N/A 60

Module feedback

Written feedback on assignment report sheet and face-to- face feedback in supervisions.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

Brown, H. D. (2006). Principles of language learning and teaching (5th ed.). London: Pearson.
Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). London: Longman.
Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques and principles in language teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (2003). Materials and methods in ELT: A teachers guide (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Scrivener, J. (2011). Learning teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford: Macmillan Education.
Woodward, T. (2001). Planning lessons and courses: Designing sequences of work for the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hardman, F. (2008). The guided co-construction of knowledge. In M. Martin-Jones, A. de Mejia & N.
Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Language and Education (pp. 253 - 264). New York: Springer Publishing.
Mercer, N. & Littleton, K. (2007). Dialogue and the Development of Childrens Thinking: A sociocultural approach. London: Routledge.
Mercer, N. & Hodgkinson, S. (2008). (Eds.), Exploring Talk in School: Inspired by the Work of Douglas Barnes. London: Sage.

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.