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

Postgraduate Course: Language and the Learner (EDUA11248)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 Indicative outline of content

This course analyses language education and learning theories and their underlying ideologies from different perspectives over a period of time to the present day. It takes a critical look at how different theories define processes which impact on meaning-making and language(s) development, multicultural communication and literacies. It also explores a range of factors, including investment, identity and interculturality, which influence how learners learn and use other language/s.

Theories of Language Learning and Implications for Language Education

Lecture 1: The landscape of language learning theories and implications for language education today/Language in Education
Lecture 2: Social, cognitive, cultural and linguistic resources for language learning [i]/Language for Education
Lecture 3: Social, cognitive, cultural and linguistic resources for language learning and meaning-making [ii]/Language through Education

Language Learning in Context

Lecture 4: The Multilingual Turn
Lecture 5: Towards pluriliterate global citizens

Factors which influence how learners learn and use other languages

Lecture 6: Identity and Investment in language learning
Lecture 7: Intercultural language learning
Lecture 8: Roundup, Formative and Summative Assessment Instructions
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 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  445
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 20/09/2021
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 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 70% essay
30% blogs
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
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. evaluate critically a range of current language theories
  2. demonstrate a critical understanding of how these inform language education
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural and cognitive implications of bilingualism and mutilingualism
  4. investigate and evaluate pluriliteracies and linguistic practices
  5. demonstrate critical awareness of how language is used in a variety of social and language-learning environments
Reading List


Blommaert, J. (2010). The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Byram, M. (2008). From Foreign Language Education to Education for Intercultural Citizenship: Essays and Reflections. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Canagarajah, S. (2014). Translingual practice: Global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations. New York: Routledge

Dasli, M., & Díaz, A. R. (Eds.). (2016). The critical turn in language and intercultural communication pedagogy: Theory, research and practice. Milton : Taylor and Francis.

Dervin, F. (2016). Interculturality in Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Díaz, A. R. (2013). Developing critical languaculture pedagogies in higher education: Theory and practice. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Ellis, N.C. & Robinson, P.J., 2008. Handbook of cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition, New York ; London: Routledge.

Garcia, O. & Li Wei (2014). Translanguaging. Language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gee, J.P. (2014). An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method (4th Edition). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Holliday, A. R. (2019). Understanding intercultural communication: Negotiating a grammar of culture (2nd ed.) London: Routledge.

Kramsch, C. (2009/2015). The multilingual subject. Oxford: OUP.

Kramsch, C. and L. Zhang. (2018). The Multilingual Instructor. Oxford University Press.

Lantolf, J. (Ed.). 2000. Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

May, S. (2014). The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL and bilingual education. New York: Routledge.

Mitchell, R., Myles, F. and Marsden, E. 2019. Second Language Learning Theories. Fourth edition. London: Routledge.

Phillipson, R. (2009). Linguistic Imperialism Continued. London: Routledge.

Risager, K. (2006) Language and Culture: Global Flows and Local Complexity, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


Atkinson, D. (2019). Beyond the Brain: Intercorporeality and Co¿Operative Action for SLA Studies. The Modern Language Journal, 103(4), 724-738.

Bell, P. K. (2017). Explicit and implicit learning: Exploring their simultaneity and immediate effectiveness. Applied Linguistics, 38(3), 297-317.

Bourdieu, P. (1977). The economics of linguistic exchanges. Social Science Information, 16, 645-668.

Byram, M. 2003. On being "Bicultural" and "Intercultural". In G. Alved, M. Byram and M. Fleming (Eds). Intercultural Experience and Education. Clevedon. Multilingual Matters: 50-66.

Darvin, R. & Norton, B. (2016). Investment and Language Learning in the 21st Century. Langage et société, no 157(3), 19

Davies, A. 2004. The native speaker in Applied Linguistics. In A. Davies and C. Elder (Eds.). The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Oxford. Blackwell: 431-450.

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.

Jenkins, J., Cogo, A., & Dewey, M. (2011). Review of developments in research into English as a lingua franca. Language Teaching, 44(03), 281¿315.

Johnson, K.E., 2006. 'The Sociocultural turn and its challenges for second language teacher education'. TESOL Quarterly 40 (1).

Guilherme, M. (2007). English as a Global Language and Education for Cosmopolitan Citizenship. Language & Intercultural Communication, 7(1), 72-90.

Halliday, M.A.K. (1993). Towards a language-based theory of learning. Linguistics and Education 5, 93-116.

Kramsch, C. 2019. Translating experience in language teaching research and practice. Applied Linguistics 1¿23.

Long, M. H. (2020). Optimal input for language learning: Genuine, simplified, elaborated, or modified elaborated?. Language Teaching, 53(2), 169-182.

Mohan, B., & Beckett, G. H. (2003). A functional approach to research on content-based language learning: Recasts in causal explanations. The Modern Language Journal, 87, 421-432.

Mühlhäusler, P. (2000) Language Planning and Language Ecology, Current Issues in Language Planning, 1:3, 306-367, DOI: 10.1080/14664200008668011

Norton Peirce, B. (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29 (1), 9¿31.

Ortega, L. (2011). SLA after the social turn: Where cognitivism and its alternatives stand. InD. Atkinson (Ed.), Alternative approaches to second language acquisition (pp. 167¿80). New York: Routledge.

Poehner, M. E., & Infante, P. (2017). Mediated development: A Vygotskian approach to transforming second language learner abilities. TESOL Quarterly, 51(2), 332-357

Ryan, S. and Dornyei, Z. 2013. The long-term evolution of language motivation and the L2 self. In A. Berndt (Ed). Fremdsprachen in der Perspektive lebenslangen Lernens. Frankfurt. Peter Lang: 89-100.

Scarino, A & A. J. Liddicoat (2016) Reconceptualising learning in transdisciplinary languages education in L2 Journal Vol 8 (4)

Shor, Ira. 2008. What is Critical Literacy? In Journal for Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice, 4 (2).

Swain, M. and Lapkin, S. 2013. A Vygotskian sociocultural perspective on immersion education. Journal of Immersion and Content-based LanguageEducation, 1:1, 101-129.

Taguchi, N. (2015). Instructed pragmatics at a glance: Where instructional studies were, are, and should be going. Language Teaching, 48(1), 1-50.

The Douglas Fir Group et al., 2016. A Transdisciplinary Framework for SLA in a Multilingual World. The Modern language journal (Boulder, Colo.), 100(S1), pp.19¿47.

van Lier, Leo (2011). Green Grammar: Ways of Languaging. Taiwan Journal of TESOL, 8(2), 1-21.

Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30, 1024-1054.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 8 lectures and 8 two-hour workshops
Keywordslanguage education,meaning-making,literacies,interculturality,sociocultural contexts
Course organiserDr Madeleine Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)51 6044
Course secretaryMiss Hanna Albrecht
Tel: (0131 6)51 6012
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