Modules

Induction (Formatively assessed residential module)

This module precedes a cohort’s first assessed module, and takes place in July or August.  In this module students build a learning community that will continue as an online community, acquire skills in academic reading and writing, carry out a knowledge and skills audit, acquire the basics of quantitative & qualitative data analysis, develop skills in accessing the diverse electronic resources available to Oxford students and in managing their references, develop skills in using the virtual learning environment (VLE), and complete a formatively assessed assignment.

Learning and teaching of vocabulary

Outcomes: students will develop an understanding of the major issues and concepts in the field of vocabulary learning and teaching; will understand what it means to know a word or a multi-word unit; will be aware of the empirical evidence for how second language words are learnt, stored and retrieved; will be able to judge what the lexical requirements are for efficient university study in a second language; will have a thorough understanding of word frequency and how this relates to the use of corpora in language teaching; and will develop skills in designing and implementing programmes of vocabulary teaching for their students based on needs analysis for groups of learners.

Materials and assessment in language learning

Outcomes: students will develop an awareness of the critical literature in the field of materials evaluation and design; will focus on needs analysis as a prerequisite both of materials evaluation and of materials design; will develop criteria for evaluating language teaching materials in general, and materials for university settings in particular; will acquire skills in evaluating materials at micro- and macro-levels. Students will develop an understanding of the major concepts and issues in the field of language assessment; will be aware of issues such as validity, reliability, impact, washback effect, rating procedures and the social aspects of language testing and how these can be taken into consideration in both the development of summative assessment instruments and in preparation of students for standard tests, with regard to the needs of particular groups of students.

Sociolinguistics and language teaching

Outcomes: students will develop an awareness of language in its plurality, to accurately understand how language is used in global contexts. There is a large focus on English, examining the implications of World Englishes research on the teaching of grammar in university contexts. It also looks at language spread, language contact and language change, including linguicism and linguistic genocide. It examines the impact of English on the teaching and learning of other Modern Foreign Languages. Students will learn about globalization, and the internationalization of higher education, and the implications for English language teaching in contexts where students need to learn the language as a lingua franca, of for use in English medium instruction.

Individual and group differences in language learning

Outcomes: students will develop an awareness of the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the study of individual and group differences in second language learning, a broad knowledge of the empirical evidence for differences, and an ability critically to evaluate studies in the area.   Differences explored will include aptitude, gender, personality, first language, culture, styles, strategies and motivation.

Listening and reading processes in language learning

Outcomes: students will develop an understanding of the mechanisms and processes involved in reading and listening to a second or foreign language; of how these modes of accessing meaning are similar, and how they are different; of the characteristics of a selection of genres of academic writing and speech that affect second language learners’ access to them; and of how language teachers can facilitate learners’ abilities to listen to and read languages.  Understanding of needs analysis based on informed analysis of spoken and written texts within the student’s context, and skill in the implementation of needs analysis, will be developed within the context of curriculum and materials design for reading and listening.

Developing second language speaking and writing

Outcomes: students will develop an understanding of the mechanisms and processes involved in speaking and writing in a second or foreign language; of how these modes of expression are similar, and how they are different; of the relationship between fluency, complexity and accuracy; of the characteristics of a selection of genres of academic speech and writing; and of how language teachers can facilitate learners’ abilities to speak and write in their learned language, with focus both on needs analysis for curriculum design, based on informed analysis of spoken and written texts within the student’s context,  and on development of materials at lesson and unit level.

Research Methods (Formatively assessed online module)

Research methods will be explored in an embedded fashion through analysis of the research methods used in the research literature and through tasks that are set in relation to that literature.  This formatively assessed module will supplement that learning.  It will explore in more depth the range of experimental designs and methodologies for data collection and analysis used in applied linguistics research.  Students will also acquire practical experience of using software for data analysis.  Research groups of students may be formed to undertake a very small research project, which may be formatively assessed.

Page last modified: September 4, 2017