Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Language Centre


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to Q3K307


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Have a full understanding of the practices, underlying philosophies and methodological implications of a range of mainstream and alternative teaching methods
  • Be able to critically evaluate the full range of existing teaching methodologies
  • Be able to make informed decisions through abstracting and synthesizing information about pedagogical theory for syllabus content and materials selection within specific pedagogical contexts.


  • This module explores the practices, underlying philosophies and methodological implications of the rang of mainstream and alternative teaching methods that exist currently as a first step towards putting these principles into practice. It also situates current methodology in a historical context. The course places emphasis on the roles of teachers and learners in language learning and how these can vary accros different methods. With this sound background in pedagogic principles, teachers are able to make informed decisions about syllabus content, method of instruction and materials at a level appropriate to a particular classroom situation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Full understanding of the range of teaching methodologies suitable for language teaching
  • Understanding of the abstract philosophies underlying various teaching methods
  • Full working knowledge of how current methodological practices have evolved out of earlier methodologies
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various teaching methodologies
  • Mastery of the most appropriate methodologies for a particular context
Key Skills:
  • Ability to read and understand primary texts in language teaching methodology
  • Ability to understand qualitative and quantitative data

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The lectures will present a range of past and current teaching methods, syllabus design and selection of materials, focusing on underlying philosophies to enable the student to enhance their own teaching ability. The tutorials will provide a forum for discussion of teaching methods and critical evaluation of these methods. In the final assessment the student will demonstrate an ability to organize complex material to sustain a logical argument and to relate teaching methodologies to their own teaching practice. The final assessment will be characterized by a clarity of style and purpose that follows the expected conventions of academic writing.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly in Term 1 2 hours 20
Tutorials 10 Weekly in Term 1 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 120
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Word Essay Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
word essay 2,500 words 100%
Component: Syllabus Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
syllabus 100%

Formative Assessment:

Summary presentations of teaching methodologies. Reflective journal based on past and present learning experiences.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University