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The University of Southampton

LING6012 Critical Appraisal of Language Teaching Methodologies

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to give a detailed overview of Communicative Language Teaching.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • issues of planning in language teaching (pan-national frameworks, national and local curricula, syllabus) and implementation
  • major language teaching approaches and methods, especially those within the communicative approach
  • Links between theory and practice, teaching and pedagogic principles.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate problems and issues in language education, which most directly suit your professional and academic milieu;
  • Assess the value of a range of methodological approaches to particular contexts;
  • Evaluate language teaching materials in terms of pedagogic principles and their underlying theoretical rationale;
  • Select and evaluate relevant academic publications and discuss them critically; Analyse and critically assess language teaching in relation to language learning;
  • Reflectively reassess your individual experience in language teaching and learning.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicate about language teaching and learning in a range of formats and registers, spoken and written, for a range of audiences;
  • Identify, select and use a wide range of professional/ authentic materials from different sources;
  • Access theoretical and research materials and assess relative strengths and weaknesses;
  • Monitor your own progress and evaluate your understanding of key concepts;
  • Develop and maintain module notes and bibliography;
  • Use information technology where appropriate.


After providing an overview of general learning theories, the core of this module will focus on the methodologies of teaching foreign languages, with English being used as the most frequent, but not the only, example. Modern approaches and methods will be discussed in the light of their theoretical underpinnings, including their conceptualisations of language and language learning. A clear focus will be given to Communicative Language Teaching and its developments, including Task-Based-Language Teaching and Content and Language Integrated Learning. The elements of planning a module, including discussion of curricular issues, will focus on syllabus types and their implementation. Assessment procedures will be discussed in the light of more general issues of standardisation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lecturer and student presentations; • Presentation and analysis of video and teaching materials; • Discussion of pre-read articles and book chapters; • Group activities and exercises. Learning activities include • Reading of key texts; • Presentations; • Video data analysis; • Evaluation of teaching materials.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Widdowson, H.G. (1990). Aspects of Language Teaching. 

Lightbown, P and Spada, N (1993). How Languages are Learned. 

Savignon, S. (Ed) (2002). Interpreting Communicative Language Teaching. 

Carter R. & Nunan D. (Eds.) (2001). Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

Richards, J and Rodgers, T (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Class participation 10%
Written assignment  (4500 words) 90%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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