Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module LANG42715: Fundamentals of ELT

Department: English Language Centre

LANG42715: Fundamentals of ELT

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to Q3K207


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • at the end of this module students will:
  • have an understanding of key concepts relevant to teaching and learning English
  • be able to critically discuss key issues in English language teaching
  • have a working understanding of how theories of language learning and teaching translate into classroom practice
  • have a working understanding of the influence of linguistic theory on language syllabus design and implementation
  • be able to critically evaluate the merits of various language syllabus types
  • have a working understanding of how context may affect views about theory, syllabus design and methodology


  • Fundamentals of ELT classes will examine issues and theories which might inform or influence students’ future teaching (and facilitation of learning). This will help students understand the principles which underlie specific methods and teaching approaches and the design of different types of materials
  • students will therefore gain an introduction to core ideas and issues relevant to second language acquisition, syllabus design and methodology. This awareness is intended to provide students with the background and overview they need to succeed on other modules in term 1 of the MA and on more specialised term 2 optional modules, as well as in their future career

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • understanding of key historical developments and theories relevant to English language teaching
  • understanding of how views of language and theories about language teaching affect syllabus design and teaching methodology
  • understanding of key terms used to refer to English language teaching
  • awareness of issues in English language teaching and learning
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to assess the merits of the most influential linguistic theories informing ELT syllabus and materials design and implementation
  • ability to reflect on own learning experiences with reference to key theories
  • ability to reflect on how theories about teaching and learning might be applied in a specific anticipated teaching context
Key Skills:
  • ability to read and understand primary texts about second language acquisition, curriculum design and teaching methodology
  • ability to discuss or write reflections on methodological issues, demonstrating an understanding of concepts and theoretical frameworks
  • ability to relate theoretical issues to an anticipated teaching and learning context

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

  • the lectures in this module will introduce students to issues in language learning and teaching, linguistic theories and principles underlying syllabus design and methodology
  • discussion interludes during lectures will provide students with opportunities to discuss teaching approaches, which demonstrate theoretical concepts in action
  • demi microteaching, used where relevant, will give students an insight into how some ideas introduced in lectures and through the weekly readings might be realised in practice
  • DUO resources and optional tutorials will provide support for the course assessment and help students research and reflect on how theory relates to practice.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly during term 1 2 hours 20
Tutorials 2 twice 1 hour 2
Preparation and Reading 128
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay Equivalent 3,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

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