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Unit information: Pedagogy and Curriculum in TESOL in 2016/17

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Unit name Pedagogy and Curriculum in TESOL
Unit code EDUCM5902
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Isaacs
Open unit status Open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces the frameworks which inform an exploration of teaching methodology and curriculum/materials development and evaluation in TESOL. It provides opportunities to investigate the factors which affect teaching, learning, and assessment in the classroom, including the role of language, the roles of teachers and learnerssituated within educational systems, and the roles of learning and interaction in the development of teaching methodology. Personal reflection on and a critical evaluation of participants’ own pedagogical assumptions will be guided by a historical perspective on how views about teaching and learning have evolved over time, linking these back to theories of second language acquisition, instructional syllabi or materials, and to empirical research on fostering the development of learners’ language proficiency. Strategies and techniques for targeting the four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), including through the use of integrated tasks, will feature in the content coverage, with consideration of both individual differences among learners, and contextual factors that come into play in different instructional settings and which could lead to differential learner attainment. Pervading the unit is an examination of how teaching and learning activities link to classroom assessment (including the use of corrective feedback) curricular goals, and instructional materials and techniques.


  • To recognise and build on participants’ language learning background and professional experience in the field of TESOL/applied linguistics
  • To develop professional, theoretical, and research perspectives in relation to language teaching, learning, and curriculum development
  • To promote an ability to adapt and evaluate pedagogical techniques or instructional materials and to critique classroom-based research designed to investigate their effectiveness

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, participants will have developed their understanding of:

  • factors affecting teaching, learning and assessment in the TESOL classroom;
  • the role of language, learning and interaction in the development of methodology for TESOL links to second language acquisition theory and research, and implications for educational stakeholders;
  • issues and considerations guide pedagogical planning in terms of syllabus test, or task design, including educational policy and resource implications;
  • the range of options available in terms of goals, methods/approaches in language teaching

By the end of the unit participants will be able to:

  • to reflect on professional practice in TESOL;
  • critique curricular or instructional materials and policy decisions relevant to English language teaching.

Teaching Information

  • Lecture input
  • Online learning support (Blackboard)
  • Presentations,
  • Small group work,
  • Seminars/workshops,
  • Tutorials.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment:

The formative assessment for this unit will consist of the instructors' oral and written feedback on students' work including through tutorials, guiding comments on assignments, and informally through classroom discussions or following presentations. Peer and self-reflection with respect to understanding and critiquing pedagogical assumptions and identifying the theoretical principles or theories that underlie them or policies that support/perpetuate them will be encouraged.

Summative assessment:

The summative assessment for the unit will consist of a 4000 word assignment which encourages reflection on aspects of language teaching and/or learning with which the participant is familiar and with reference to the relevant research literature. This will consist of a critique of current practice in a particular instructional context with which the participant is familiar, a proposal for a pedagogical or curricular innovation, and a discussion of practical implications, including the feasibility of implementation.

Reading and References

Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). Essex: Longman.

Bygate, M., Skehan, P., & Swain, M. (Eds.). (2001). Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching, and testing. Harlow, UK: Longman.

Ellis, R., & Shintani, N. (2014). Exploring language pedagogy through second language acquisition research. London: Routledge.

Hedge, T. (2002). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques and principles in language teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (Eds.). (2013). How languages are learned (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nation, I. S. P., & Macalister, J. (2010). Language curriculum design, New York: Routledge.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. (2001) Approaches and methods in language teaching, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2015). Pronunciation Fundamentals: Evidence-based perspectives for L2 teaching and research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.