Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module LANG41815: Teaching Young Learners

Department: Durham Centre for Academic Development

LANG41815: Teaching Young Learners

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap
Tied to Q3K207, Q3K807


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • none


  • at the end of this module, students will:
  • understand the various roles and challenges faced by teachers of young learners (aged 4-18), focusing particularly on the high school age range and high school teaching contexts (11-18) and/or the situation in primary education and/or private language schools
  • understand the key principles involved in the effective teaching of young learners
  • be familiar with a range of teaching methods potentially appropriate for teaching young learners
  • have considered ways of optimising learning through the use of extra-curricular resources and opportunities
  • be familiar with relevant testing procedures and approaches available to teachers of young learners (including exams)
  • have an understanding of evaluation procedures for teaching programmes involving young learners and ways of making adjustments within the constraints of organisations and educational contexts


  • this module focuses on key issues facing teachers in any context involving the teaching of English (as a foreign, not second, language) to young learners.
  • broadly speaking, these issues relate to syllabus-planning, materials selection, methodology and the wider psycho-social and technological environment of teaching young learners.
  • a particularly important aspect of the course will be to familiarise participants with resources and methods available to them both in the UK and abroad

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • key characteristics of the student population (young people aged 14-18) and typical teaching contexts
  • constraints typically experienced by teachers teaching young learners and options available to resolving these
  • an understanding of the range of teaching methodologies suitable for language teaching
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various teaching methodologies suitable for teaching young learners
  • ability to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various teaching materials suitable for teaching young learners
  • ability to plan lessons with the specific needs and potential of young learners in mind
  • ability to plan appropriate assessment for young learners
  • ability to appropriately evaluate teaching and learning outcomes in young learner contexts
Key Skills:
  • ability to read and understand primary texts in language pedagogy
  • ability to apply various principles of classroom management
  • ability to plan appropriate and effective classes taking account of significant issues affecting young learners (eg the role of feedback and correction; pacing; learner-centredness)
  • ability to source and evaluate materials and authentic resources available for the teaching of young learners in the light of theories of language acquisition
  • ability to understand principles of course design, testing and evaluation for contexts in which young learners are taught

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

  • lectures will introduce the principles of teaching young learners and give students an opportunity to explore and discuss key issues, opportunities and teaching skills (primarily relating to materials and methods)
  • the seminar will provide an informal setting for discussing first drafts of assignments

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 weekly 2 hours 18
Seminars 2 2 hours 4
Preparation and Reading 128
Total 150

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Text on a key topic of relevance, 300-500 words.

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