LING415: Principles of Language Teaching

(20 credit module)

Course Aims and Objectives

This course aims to: (a) raise your awareness of different options in language teaching, increase familiarity with resources to support your teaching development; and (b) to equip you with a foundational experience and theoretical background for teaching.

This will enable you to:

  1. understand characteristics of effective teaching, and how these characteristics support language learning;
  2. select, evaluate and modify teaching resources (e.g.local textbooks from the home context) as appropriate to purpose and context;
  3. identify and engage in effective practices of scaffolding, modelling and feedback to support learning
  4. develop or adapt tasks that promote language development for a specific context.

The module also equips the participants with a repertoire of practical teaching techniques for the classroom.

The course will alternate between ideas and application. It involves a combination of readings, lectures, discussion, and group work, and includes micro-teaching activities and teaching observation.

Course Content

The following topics will be covered:

  • Language Teaching Approaches – History of the field, concepts of language and learning.
  • Language, Learning, and Teaching
  • Interaction
  • Scaffolding
  • Modelling
  • Teaching the language system – 1  Introducing language – form, meaning & use
  • Teaching the language system – 2  Cohesion, coherence, register, text types
  • Feedback
  • Overview : Language, Learning and Teaching revisited

Recommended Reading

The readings for our course are a selection of book chapters and research articles from a number of different publications. If you would like to prepare before our course starts, you might find it helpful to read a general introductory textbook on language teaching. The following are some examples:

Celce-Murcia, M. (2001) Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd edition) Heinle & Heinle.
Harmer, J.  (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.
Hedge, T. (2000) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford University Press
Richards, J. C. & W. A. Renandya (eds.) (2002) Methodology in Language Teaching.Cambridge University Press
Richards, J. C. & T. Rodgers (2001) Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (Second Edition) Cambridge University Press
Scrivener, J. (2005) Learning Teaching (2nd Edition) Macmillan
Thornbury, S (1997) About Language Cambridge University Press


(a) Three coursework pieces, submitted at various points in the course and worth in total 50%.
(b) A final assignment of 2500 words, worth 50%.


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