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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Postgraduate Course: Language and the Learner (EDUA11248)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is suitable for both practising teachers and for non-teachers who have an interest in the teaching, learning, acquisition and use of languages. The course gives students the opportunity to develop further their understanding in the following areas:

- current research on language teaching and learning
- current approaches to language teaching and learning
- first and second language acquisition
- changing social and cultural contexts of language practice and language education
- multicultural and multilingual literacies and practices

The course aims to give students the opportunity to develop from an individual perspective their theoretical and practical understanding of language learning and teaching. To achieve this, the course will emphasise:

- the processes involved in acquiring and learning a first and second language
- factors which facilitate and inhibit effective language learning;
- teacher/learner perspectives on language learning;
- the social and cultural contexts of language learning;

Course description Outline of content

Individual sessions will present a variety of approaches to language learning and teaching, exploring how these may shape language education policies and practices, and affect, also, the learning of the individual.

Topics include:
Theories of first language acquisition
Theories of second language acquisition
The distinction between language learning and language acquisition
Language learning processes and strategies
Critical analysis of current research studies in SLA
Educational and cultural contexts of language learning
Multicultural literacies
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs -
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment is two-part:

a) a paper taken under test conditions, requiring answers from different sections (but with choices within each section) (40%)

b) a 2,000-word written assignment (60%)
Feedback Students are given personalised written feedback under the categories of:
Knowledge and understanding of concepts
Knowledge and use of the literature
Critical reflection on theory and practice
Application of theory to practice
Constructing academic discourse
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Language and the Learner2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. evaluate critically a range of current theories of first and second language acquisition and learning
  2. demonstrate an understanding of how these might influence first and second language teaching
  3. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of language classroom teaching practices in the light of such theories
  4. investigate and evaluate multicultural literacies and linguistic practices
  5. demonstrate critical awareness of strategies which enhance language learning in a range of learning environments
Reading List
Benson, P. 2001. Teaching and Researching Autonomy. Harlow: Longman Pearson.
Cook, V. 2001. Second Language Learning and Teaching. Hodder Education.
Entwistle, N., Skinner, D., Entwistle, D. and Orr, S. 2000. Conceptions and Beliefs about "Good Teaching": an integration of contrasting research areas. Higher Education Research and Development, 19, 1, 5-26.
Fisher, R. 2005. Teaching Children to Learn, Cheltnam: Nelson Thornes Ltd
Kumpulainen, K. and Wray, D. (Eds) (2002) Classroom Interaction and Social learning. London: Routledge Falmer.
Lantolf, J. (Ed.). 2000. Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mercer, N. 2000. Words & Minds: How we use language to think together. London: Routledge.
Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. 2004. Second Language Learning Theories. Second edition. London: Arnold.
Robinson, P. and Ellis, N. 2008. Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. London: Routledge.

Journal articles:
Benson, P., 2007. 'Autonomy in Language teaching and learning'. Language Teaching 41 (1): 21-40.
Cotterall, S., 1999. 'Key variables in language learning: what do learners believe about them?' System 27: 493-513.
Ehrman, M. E., B.L.Leaver and R. L. Oxford, 2003. 'A brief overview of individual differences in second language learning'. System 31: 313-330.
Ellis, N. 2005. At the interface: Interactions of implicit and explicit learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27; 294-356
Ellis, R., 2005. Principles of Instructed language learning. System 33: 209-224.
Goldschneider, J.M. and DeKeyser, R. 2001. Explaining the "natural order" of L2 morpheme acquisition in English: A meta-analysis of multiple determinants. Language Learning, 51; 1-50.
Johnson, K.E., 2006. 'The Sociocultural turn and its challenges for second language teacher education'. TESOL Quarterly 40 (1).
Lightbown, P. 2000. Classroom SLA research and second language teaching. Applied Linguistics, 21(4); 431-462.
Pahl,K. and Rowsell,J. 2005. Literacy and Education Understanding the New Literacy Studies in the Classroom. Paul Chapman Publishing
Rayner, S., 2007. A teaching elixir, learning chimera or just fool's gold? Do learning styles matter?' Support for Learning 22 (1).
Robinson, P., 2001. Individual differences, cognitive abilities, aptitude complexes and learning conditions in second language acquisition. Second Language Research 17 (4)
Rodrigo, V., S. Krashen and B. Gribbons, 2004. The effectiveness of two comprehensible-input approaches to foreign language instruction at the intermediate level. System 32: 53-60.
Shor, Ira. 2008. What is Critical Literacy? In Journal for Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice, 4 (2)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 8 lectures and 8 two-hour workshops
KeywordsLanguage,learning,first language acquisition,second language acquisition
Course organiserDr Aileen Irvine
Tel: (0131 6)51 6145
Course secretaryMrs Moira Ross
Tel: (0131 6)51 6206
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