LING 410: Trends and Issues in Language Teaching Methodology

Course Aims and Objectives

The purpose of this module is to help you to become familiar with and critically evaluate the effects on ELT teaching methodology of a number of recent developments in applied linguistics for language teaching. In some cases, these have taken the form of re-conceptualisations of existing ideas, such as the emergence of the 'Post-method Condition' as a challenge to the notion of a single 'best' or 'right' method. Others have occurred as a result of developments in our understanding of how both the wider educational environments and the classroom learning contexts in which ELT occurs can be conceptualised. In addition, because of the increasing rate of change in language teaching ideas, how innovation is approached in language teaching methodology has become an increasingly important issue. 'Critical theory' has also begun to exert a strong influence on the landscape of ELT methodology in recent years. This course therefore explores the bases of these developments, examines the procedures by which underlying concepts have been translated into practice, and discusses some of the emergent professional issues.

Course Content

  • Course introduction
  • Methods & methodology
  • Context and methodology - 1: the wider environment
  • Context and methodology - 2: the classroom environment
  • Innovation in methodology
  • Critical theory and methodology
  • Course conclusion


5,000 word written assignment.

Recommended reading

Coleman, H. (ed.) (1996). Society and the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Holliday, A. (1994). Appropriate methodology and social context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. (1999). Second language teaching & learning. Boston, Mass.: Heine & Heine.

Markee, N. (1997). Managing curricular innovation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. & T. S. Rodgers (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching. (2nd edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. & W. A. Renandya (eds.) (2002). Methodology in language teaching: An anthropology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Widdowson, H. G. (2003). Defining issues in English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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