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The University of Southampton

LING6013 Current Issues in Language Teaching Methodology

Module Overview

After a brief historical overview of the origins and development of English language teaching, we investigate a range of contemporary curriculum models and teaching approaches. General and specific-purpose approaches to ELT are compared and contrasted, and the principles underpinning the selection of materials and the design and implementation of effective schemes of work and individual lessons are reviewed. Through a series of practical workshops we then explore the teaching and learning of a variety of language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and knowledge areas (e.g. grammar, vocabulary).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • how to develop on existing knowledge on language teaching gained in previous academic study, including LING 6012, and practice
  • issues of implementation and adaptation to diverse contexts of LT methodologies
  • how to design a small research project that aims to investigate a pedagogic intervention and to inform teaching practice on the basis of empirical data
  • the applications of applied linguistic concepts such as genre and corpus linguistics to the teaching of modern languages
  • 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 course notes and bibliography;
  • Use information technology where appropriate.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse current trends in language teaching methodology and critically assess their applicability to diverse contexts
  • mediate between applied linguistic concepts and language teaching applications
  • Select and evaluate relevant academic publications and discuss them critically;


Building on existing knowledge of language teaching methodologies, the core of this module will focus on current issues in language teaching methodologies and so address more specialised or advanced areas. Key points will address the implementation and adaptation of methodologies in the light of a discussion on critical pedagogy and the postmethod condition. The application of discourse and genre theories as well as of corpus linguistics to language teaching will be explored, both in relation to traditional, as well as web-based forms of texts. A further key point will address specific learner groups, e.g. English for Specific or Academic Purposes.

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; - Analysis of policy documents relating to teaching

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2004). Understanding Language Teaching: From Method to Postmethod. 

Knapp, K & Seidlhofer, B (Eds) (2009). Handbook of Foreign Language Communication and Learning. 

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

Widdowson, H.G. (2003). Defining Issues in Language Teaching. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback - Evaluation of participation; - Evaluation of understanding of set reading


MethodPercentage contribution
Class participation 10%
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Research project  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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