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TESOL Methods - EDU00044M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Bill Soden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module is designed to develop knowledge of and explore the application of the methodology of teaching English as a second/foreign language. It is based on the premise that language use is best understood in a discoursal environment.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22
B Spring Term 2021-22
O1 Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • To examine the nature of each of the four language skills from a discourse perspective;

  • To introduce students to the current teaching methods and approaches (genre based, task based, and content based);

  • To develop links between what teachers and learners do in class and what applied linguistic research tells us about how second language acquisition takes place;

  • To develop an understanding of interactional competence and the means to develop it among L2 learners;

  • To develop a reflective approach to teaching through classroom observations.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

Students who complete the course successfully should be able to:

  • exhibit knowledge of the current methods employed in the field of TESOL;

  • articulate the rationale, purpose, and strength of various methodological approaches to English teaching;

  • apply the methods studied in class to the teaching of both oral and written skills in a language classroom;

  • develop materials and curricula that enhance accuracy and fluency in a language;

  • analyse their own performance as teachers.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Engage critically with academic and language teaching publications;

  • Formulate critical and balanced arguments orally and in writing;

  • Participate in groupwork and problem-solving activities;

  • Undertake and report short, empirical data collection and analysis work appropriately;

  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management;

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

Module content

Course Outline - (week by week)

Week 2 - A framework for Teaching and Learning: Understanding key concepts, traditional approaches and methods

Materials for language teaching are constantly changing and they reflect an eclectic approach to language learning and methodology. This session reviews traditional methods and approaches in language teaching and considers the implications for teachers of the ‘post methods’ era. It also presents a discourse-processing framework for language teaching and learning (Celce-Murcia) as an important basis for focus on teaching skills in later weeks of the course. The seminars explore this framework in more depth while also providing discussion of various methods and approaches in the history of ELT.

 Week 3 - The evaluation of language teaching materials

The lecture looks at materials design and evaluation. It examines how methodology and content of materials can be evaluated in terms of their appropriacy to a specific language teaching context. It aims to provide students with the means to carry out a detailed analysis of language materials as a support for the process of materials design itself. In the seminars, students will apply evaluation frameworks to specific materials and further discuss issues that surround production and evaluation of teaching materials.

Week 4 - Grammar and Vocabulary

The somewhat controversial role of grammar teaching has received more attention in recent years. Likewise, there has been a renewed interest in the nature of vocabulary and its role in learning and teaching. This week’s lecture will review different types of grammar and recent research on the teaching of grammar and vocabulary. The link between grammar and vocabulary will be explored, along with systematic and incidental approaches to teaching vocabulary. The implications of a ‘lexical approach’ in ESOL will be considered. Seminars will look at approaches to teaching grammar in methods and in materials, and will also consider the teaching of key aspects of vocabulary such as compounding and collocation.

Week 5 - Listening

The lecture examines the nature of the listening process, paying particular attention to the role of the phonological knowledge in listening. It also discusses effective listening strategies and proposes a pedagogical model for second language listening. The seminar analyses listening activities in terms of listening skills they develop and how the activities fit into the model proposed in the lecture.

Week 6 - Reading

Written texts open up a world of literature and culture for the language learner. The lecture outlines higher- and lower-level processes of reading, assessing their importance to successful reading. It reviews the current state of research relating to ‘effective reading’ and it explores the relationship between reading and vocabulary. Seminar tasks focus on learners’ reasons for reading in a second language, reading skills that different types of texts can develop, and what reading activities can be introduced during certain lesson stages.

Week 7 - Writing

This session presents process and product approaches in second language writing, and acquaints students with the theoretical underpinnings of contrastive rhetoric and its pedagogical implications. It examines the critical question: In what ways do rhetorical forms of writing in English resemble those in other languages? There will also be a consideration of the role of teaching grammar in writing classes.

Week 8 - Speaking

This session focuses on exploring the nature of spoken language and which is involved in the ‘speaking skill’. The session will consider potential difficulties that language learners have with speaking in another language and some of the strategies they use to deal with them. It will also present activities that are used to teach speaking and will focus on ‘awareness raising’ in order to help learners ‘notice’ language.

Week 9 - Culture in language teaching and learning

EFL/ESL teachers are encouraged to teach language and culture as an integrated whole. Despite the fact that modern syllabi systematically emphasise the importance of developing intercultural competence in the language classroom, recent literature reveals that there is still lack of good practice and insufficient attention to the intercultural dimension in teacher education. With this in mind, the purpose of this session is fourfold: (1) to define what intercultural competence involves, (2) to discuss what role foreign/second language teaching has in learners’ acquisition of that competence, (3) to present a wide range of materials and activities that promote the development of intercultural competence and (4) to analyse appropriate modes of assessment of intercultural competence in the classroom.

Week 10 - Using technology to enhance teaching

In various teaching contexts, technology has become an integral part of educational essentials, and books and pencils are now increasingly replaced by laptops and tablet computers. This session aims to familiarise students with the possibilities of using the technology such as computer, mobile phone, iPad, Facebook, for their teaching and learning purposes. The session will also demonstrate some of the ways of how the use of technology can empower teachers and learners to foster the development of the English language skills.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3,500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The summative assessment for this module will consist of a 3,500 word essay.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3,500 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 meeting with a module tutor to discuss assessments.

You will be provided physical written feedback on assignment report sheets as well as them being readily available on the VLE. 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

Bleistein, T., Smith, M. K., & Lewis, M. (2013). Teaching speaking: TESOL International Association.

Bloch, J., & Wilkinson, M. J. (2013). Teaching digital literacies: TESOL International Association.

Christison, M. A., Christian, D., Duff, P. A., & Spada, N. (Eds.). (2015). Teaching and learning English grammar: Research findings and future directions. New York: Routledge.

Crawford, W. J. (2013). Teaching grammar: TESOL International Association.

Day, R. R. (2013). Teaching reading: TESOL International Association.

Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. L. (2011). Teaching and researching reading (2nd ed.). Harlow, England: Longman/Pearson.

Hughes, R. (2010). Teaching and researching speaking. London: Longman.

Hyland, K. (2009). Teaching and researching writing. London: Longman.

Lessard-Clouston, M. (2013). Teaching vocabulary: TESOL International Association.

Murphy, J. (2013). Teaching pronunciation: TESOL International Association.

Nemtchinova, E. (2013). Teaching listening: TESOL International Association.

Rost , M. (2011). Teaching and researching listening. London: Longman.

Tomas, Z., Kostka, I., & Mott-Smith, J. A. (2013). Teaching writing: TESOL International Association.

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.