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Unit information: Introduction to teaching Modern Languages as Foreign Languages in 2020/21

Unit name Introduction to teaching Modern Languages as Foreign Languages
Unit code MODL20021
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Ms. Q Poetzsch
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit introduces students to key concepts in the teaching of modern foreign languages and develops students’ ability to analyse and reflect on these concepts in the setting of the contemporary modern languages classroom. Students will learn to apply critical theoretical perspectives to practical scenarios (including teaching observation and a practice mini-lesson) by producing a teaching plan and a teaching sequence in groups. They will reflect on their learning by means of a portfolio and reflective writing involving peer and teacher feedback.

The unit aims to introduce students to academic discourse surrounding the teaching of modern languages, now a discrete subject of study within applied linguistics, and to apply this to the challenges involved in becoming a reflective practitioner.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in MFL teaching and learning as an academic discipline;
  2. develop a teaching sequence through the application of key concepts and the creation of teaching materials;
  3. exercise effective communication skills;
  4. analyse and evaluate teaching practice to understand what it means to be a reflective practitioner.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Details

Portfolio of teaching and reflective materials (100%) Testing ILOs 1-5. The content of the portfoliio will be developed over the course of the unit.

Reading and References

Rod Ellis, Language Teaching Research and Language Pedagogy (2012)

David Nunan, Jack Richards & Theodore Rodgers, Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (2014)

Vivian Cook, Second-Language Learning and Language Teaching (2008)

R.C. Gardner & W.E.Lambert, Attitudes and Motivation in Second-Language Learning (1972)

Zoltan Dörnyei & Ema Ushioda, Teaching and Researching Motivation (2011)

Muriel Saville-Troike & Karen Barto, Introducing Second-Language Acquisition (2017)

Sections from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as well as its Companion volume.