Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module LANG2171: English Language Teaching

Department: English Language Centre

LANG2171: English Language Teaching

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to provide students with the research and theory-informed knowledge and tools to compare and evaluate various approaches and methods in language teaching, with a particular focus on English
  • to develop principled awareness and understanding of English language teaching practices and procedures, such as classroom management, grammar teaching and error correction
  • to link methodological insights, approaches and methods to students' own knowledge and experience of language learning
  • to develop awareness of underlying philosophies, the politics of English in the world and the methodological implications of a global perspective on practice and pedagogy
  • to have students begin to develop principled ways of choosing and designing classroom materials
  • to encourage students to consider whether teaching might be a suitable future career


  • this module explores the theory and practice of English language teaching. It will therefore be of interest to students who are considering a short or longer career in language teaching. This might include, for instance, MLAC students heading towards or returning from a Year Abroad
  • the module provides knowledge and methodological awareness that will help prepare students for further training and/or a first job in English language teaching after graduation
  • this knowledge will be transferable to a number of different teaching contexts, and thus the module will appeal to students from any discipline interested in classroom practice and questions of pedagogy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • understanding of underlying philosophies, methodological implications and practices of a range of mainstream and alternative approaches to language learning and teaching
  • awareness of global and political perspectives on English language teaching
  • appreciation of theory-informed options in methodology, syllabus design and language teaching methods
  • knowledge of the roles of teachers and learners in language learning and of the ways these vary across different methods and approaches
  • understanding of group dynamics and their impact on learning classroom management options, and the role of teacher talking/instructions during classroom-based interaction
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will be able to:
  • make informed decisions about syllabus content and materials selection in language learning and teaching
  • critique published language learning materials from a theory and research-informed perspective
  • make context-sensitive decisions about appropriate methods of instruction for a given group of learners
Key Skills:
  • collection, organisation, evaluation and analysis of complex data and information from varied sources, in a structured and systematic manner
  • critical thinking and argumentation
  • independent learning
  • critical self-awareness (reflexivity)
  • written presentation using appropriate language and conventions

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

  • contact sessions will be a combination of teacher-fronted lectures, experiential and student-led work
  • lecture-based content will provide an overview of key approaches to English language teaching theory and practice, enabling students to begin forming principled links between the two. This input will also create a firm foundation from which students' own reading and thinking can proceed
  • experiential sessions will ask participants to engage actively with ELT methods and approaches as 'language students' themselves, before then reconsidering these as prospective teachers. In this way learners develop an appreciation of (eg) student needs, teacher roles and how theory is borne out in the classroom. An experiential approach also encourages a critical and reflexive approach among students, developing further understanding and heightened awareness of the need for 'principled practice', a central notion on this course
  • summative essays will require students to integrate ELT session discussions, experience and lecture insights with wide reading and personal reflection. The first essay will require students to link and critically assess what they have learned in their first term to their own experience of being language learners. The second asks students to focus in detail on one aspect of module content that was personally or professionally interesting or important to them

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 9 weekly 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 162

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Reflective Essay (term 1) 2,500 words 50%
Essay (term 2) 2,500 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

drafts of the summative assignments

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