Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

LING6012 Critical Appraisal of Language Teaching Methodologies

Module Overview

This module is for experienced teachers only (at least 2 years + teaching practice) as it draws extensively on students’ theoretical and practical knowledge of language teaching methodologies in specific national and institutional contexts with particular learner groups. The aim of this module is to give a detailed overview of different methods and approaches to language teaching, along with their theoretical underpinnings regarding language, learning, and pedagogy. We investigate a range of contemporary approaches to curriculum and syllabus design and their implications for language classrooms. Students will be familiarised with different ways to evaluate course-books and to design teaching material appropriate to specific learner groups and contexts.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • major language teaching approaches and methods, especially those within the communicative approach
  • issues of planning in language teaching and implementation (different forms of curricula, syllabus and their relation to course material and assessment)
  • Analysis and evaluation of course-books
  • Links between theory and practice, teaching and pedagogic principles
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.
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.


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, learning and pedagogy. A clear focus will be given to Communicative Language Teaching and Task-Based-Language Teaching. A range of contemporary approaches to curriculum and syllabus design will be discussed, alongside different approaches to course-book evaluation material design.

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

Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. 

Walsh, S. (2013). Classroom Discourse and Teacher Development. 

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

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

Gray, J. (ed.) (2013). Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials. 

McGrath, I. (2016). Materials evaluation and design for Language Teaching. 

Thornbury, S (2001). Uncovering grammar. . 



MethodPercentage contribution
Abstract and Presentation 20%
Written assignment 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings