Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: English Language Centre


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2018/19
Tied to Q3K207
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • at the end of the module, students will:
  • become familiar with a range of techniques and practices that inform the language classroom and be able to demonstrate the practical application of these in their own teaching and lesson planning
  • be able to draw on methodology and theories of language learning to underpin choices made in teaching practice and lesson planning
  • be able to recognise and reflect on the practical application of methods and approaches (particularly mainstream approaches such as Communicative Language Teaching) in a number of lesson types and how these could be applied in their own individual teaching contexts
  • have practiced teaching, delivering lessons appropriate to the needs of a specific context and group of learners and applying pedagogical techniques and methodological approaches demonstrated and discussed on the module
  • be able to design an appropriate lesson plan to fit the needs of a specific group of learners with specific reference to materials, language analysis and rationale for lesson choices and design
  • be able to critically reflect on teaching practice both as observers and as practitioners drawing on literature where appropriate to make links between theory and practice


  • the aim of this module is to provide an introduction to practical classroom techniques in the English laguage classroom for pre-service teachers (or teachers with limited experience)
  • students will be introduced to a range of practical classroom management and teaching techniques, drawing on existing pedagogical literature and language teaching material. This will include, for example; general classroom management, lesson planning, methods, principles and approaches to teaching all four skills, teacher and learner roles and context
  • the module primarily focuses on issues surrounding the practice of English language teaching, paying particular attention to the specific context in which lessons are planned and realised in terms of methodology
  • as 'practice' is necessarily informed by theory, students will be introduced to key literature in the field in order to be able to provide a rationale for methodological choices in a lesson for a specific group of learners. The module thus serves as an interface between the more theoretical components of the MA programme and the 'practice' of teaching, with the aim of informing the student's developing and future practice
  • during the course students are expected to fully participate in a variety of interactive, participatory 'lectures' (sessions) where they will discuss and practise key elements of classroom management or methodology as a means of informing and understanding 'practice'. For example, this may include: giving instructions, presenting vocabulary, staging a reading lesson and reflecting on mini lessons. Students will be encouraged to reflect on how or to what extent issues discussed in the classroom can be adapted to best suit teaching contexts which they are familiar with.
  • in addition to timetabled lectures/workshops, there will be 5 classroom teaching practice sessions each term. All students will have the opportunity to teach a part of a lesson, observe their peers teaching and take part in feedback after each lesson. Teaching Practice (TP) provides valuable initial teacher training, giving students an insight into lesson planning and real classroom practice and helps to develop students into reflective practitioners

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • understanding of the scope of language teaching techniques and methodologies currently available
  • understanding of issues of and techniques for planning lessons (eg classroom management, teaching techniques, application of relevant methods and approaches to fit context)
  • knowledge of lesson plan design based on the range of current techniques in language pedagogy
  • understanding of the importance of reflection on teaching as part of ongoing professional development
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to critically appraise the language teaching techniques and methodologies currently available
  • ability to critically evaluate teaching techniques and reflect on own and other's practice
  • development of pedagogical creativity
  • ability to apply appropriate techniques for lesson planning
  • ability to design lesson plans that fully reflect a critical mastery of the techniques now available
  • ability to design lesson plans that reflect the needs of specific learners and contexts
  • ability to analyse language as appropriate for language teaching purposes as part of lesson planning
  • ability to demonstrate reflection on teaching practice
Key Skills:
  • ability to read and understand primary texts in language pedagogy
  • ability to understand and critically evaluate ones's own performance and that of others

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

  • lectures/workshops will provide background in language teaching, the learner and learning styles, classroom management and lesson preparation. This input will provide the basis for writing the lesson plans that form a component of the assessment
  • seminars/teaching practice sessions will provide an opportunity for students to 'teach', 'observe' and reflect on their own and other's teaching. These sessions will be student-led and will be followed by group feedback where observations on practice will be discussed
  • tutorials/teaching practice preparation provide an opportunity to discuss the planning of the coming week's teaching practice and any difficulties that may arise in the planning stages
  • a number of the tutorial sessions will also be used to provide input on reflection and some will provide input on and feedback from formative assessment

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 weekly 2 hours 38
Teaching Practice 10 5 consecutive weeks each term 2 hours 20
Tutorials (TP Points) 2 (per student weekly) 1 hour 2
Seminars 2 2 hours 2
Preparation and Reading 238
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Lesson Plan and Rationale Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lesson Plan and Rationale 2,500 words (rationale only) 100%
Component: Lessons from the Classroom Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lessons from the Classroom 2,500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative Lesson Plan; reflective extract

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