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Unit information: Teaching Modern Languages as a Foreign Language in 2015/16

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Unit name Teaching Modern Languages as a Foreign Language
Unit code MODL30013
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Langner
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit students will be introduced to the teaching of modern foreign languages. It contains an introduction to different teaching styles and strategies, differences between language learning and acquisition, and the issue of learner variables; students will be enabled to formulate teaching objectives and to find suitable ways of achieving them. We will also deal with various aspects/difficulties of language teaching, such as the use of the target language in the classroom, how to engage pupils actively in lessons as well as how to use resources and technology effectively and appropriately.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching Information

Seminars will include a mixture of presentations, discussions, and practical workshops.

Students will observe practical language teaching in secondary schools in Bristol and (team-) teach one of the lessons they planned for their assignment.

Two seminar hours per week for nine weeks of one teaching block and two shorter but one to one sessions with the tutor to discuss lesson plans and reflect on own teaching. Two sessions in local schools.

Assessment Information

2 x 3000 word essays (50% each)

Reading and References

Norbert Pachler, Michael Evans, Ana Redondo, and Linda Fisher, Learning to Teach Foreign Languages in the Secondary School. A companion to school experience (Routledge, 42014)

Rod Ellis, Natsuko Shintani, Exploring Language Pedagogy Through Second Language Acquisition Research (Routledge, 2014)

Jack C. Richards, Willy A. Renandya, Methodology in Language Teaching. An Anthology of Current Practice (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007)