A process of reading, online discussion, evaluation and reflection is used to enable students to consider how significant methods and approaches to language learning relate to their own teaching context. In addition students will also read and discuss articles on current trends and issues in English language teaching today and reflect on how these impact on their teaching situation. Students will explore the premise that foreign languages are posited in-between cultures and display an educational potential to develop intercultural competence. They will also examine alternative educational approaches such as CLIL and TBL which offer different perspectives on foreign language teaching and learning as well as its potential to influence best practice in this area.
On completing the seminar students will be able to:
a) demonstrate an ability to reflect and critically examine the major methods and approaches to language learning and relate these to practical approaches towards teaching the four skills, grammar and vocabulary .
b) demonstrate an ability to reflect on current trends and issues and consider future implications for their teaching context.
c) understand factors which bring about change in educational approaches and how they may prepare themselves for new professional challenges as English language teachers;
d) develop knowledge and understanding of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and Task Based Learning (TBL)
e) understand the social, cultural, and linguistic factors involved in the process of intercultural communication;
f) examine and discuss critically texts related to the topics in debate.
This seminar explores the key theories which underpin practice and approaches to the practice of EFL. It considers current communicative approaches and alternative approaches and methods and how these influence practical approaches to teaching the four skills, grammar and vocabulary. Moreover, it explores the influential factors which have given rise to CLIL and broadened its variety and scope across educational contexts. In addition current trends and issues, and how these may impact classroom practice are explored, in particular the theoretical concept of 'interculturality', implementation principles and key concepts, such as the concept of culture, stereotypes and ethnocentricity, Byram’s 5 ‘savoirs’ , and intercultural citizenship education.
Byram, M., Holmes, P., and Savvides, N. (2013). Intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education: Questions of theory, practice and research. Language Learning Journal 41(3): 251-253.
Carter, R., & Nunan, D.(Eds.). (2001).The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge University Press
Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford University Press.
Jackson, J. (ed.) (2012). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication. Routledge.
Meddings, L., & Thornbury, S. (2009). Teaching unplugged. Viva-Delta.
Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Thornbury, S. (2018). About language. Cambridge University Press.
The teaching-learning process to be developed in this course unit takes place in a virtual environment (e-learning, with recourse to Moodle platform) and will be conducted in two separate teaching modules:
1) Methods and Approaches
2) Language and intercultural competence
The learning methods combine individual study with collaborative work. Students are required to carry out individual reading and research work and to develop a critical reflection on course materials. Collaborative work conducted in discussion forums, in which students are expected to participate by present the conclusions of their reflection on the course material, debating specific questions or topics, and presenting and discussing their own course work and that developed by their classmates. Assessment is continuous, and based on the quality and pertinence of forum discussions and on the works (individual and group) presented for discussion and evaluation.
4 assessed mini-tasks (40%);
Online participation (20%);
A final written assessed task (3,500-4,000 words, 40%).