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Unit information: Theoretical Approaches to Language Teaching in 2021/22

Unit name Theoretical Approaches to Language Teaching
Unit code MODL30036
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Q Poetzsch
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Teaching is a multidisciplinary field that draws on findings from education, psychology, sociology and other cognitive and behavioural sciences as well as the subject-specific knowledge from the individual disciplines that are being taught.

This unit will introduce students to some of the most important teaching methods and approaches that are still relevant today, as well as influential thinkers and the impact their work has had specifically on language teaching.

It introduces students to the role of pedagogic research in teaching practice, with a focus on action and evaluation case studies.

This unit is of particular interest for those students who might consider a career in language teaching.

The unit aims:

  • to provide students with a deeper understanding of the historic development of language teaching as a discipline and how earlier influences have shaped modern teaching methodologies and practice.
  • to enable students to recognise the significance of discoveries in other field and their impact on language teaching.
  • to equip them with the tools to undertake research in the discipline.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of current and historical teaching methods and approaches;

2. Apply influential cognitive and behavioural theory;

3. Analyse and evaluate real-life teaching scenarios with the help of theoretical frameworks;

4. Design their own educational research by developing a case study (an essential academic output method of language teaching research).

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including group seminar-style discussion and self-directed exercises

Assessment Information

1 x 15-minute group presentation (25%), testing ILOs 1-2.

1 x 4000-word case study (75%), testing ILOs 1-4.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MODL30036).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.