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Unit information: Learning Resources in TESOL in 2018/19

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Unit name Learning Resources in TESOL
Unit code EDUCM5908
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Matt Kedzierski
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit explores the interface between TESOL learning resources, curriculum design, teaching methodologies and second language acquisition theories by critically examining the theoretical orientations and practical needs that underpin the design and adoption of such resources. Students will develop the skills needed to critically and systematically evaluate text and ICT-based learning resources and to plan and develop such resources as effective input for learning in a range of classroom contexts.

The unit also engages with debates about the role of instructional materials in reproducing and challenging dominant ideologies that influence the selection and sequencing of activities, thematic content, linguistic models and modes of assessment. As such, the unit helps develop a critical understanding of the complex ways in which the social, economic and policy context shape the content and conditions of production of learning resources for TESOL.

Drawing on existing SLA theories (SLL: EDUCM5904), approaches to foreign language pedagogy (PCT: EDUCM5902), and the analysis of language as the object of study in the TESOL classroom (ALT: EDUCM5901), the key aims of this unit are:

  • To develop professional, theoretical and research perspectives in relation to the design and appraisal of learning resources for TESOL.
  • To explore ways in which learning resources may be adapted and supplemented to facilitate successful mediation between such materials and diverse groups of language learners.
  • To develop awareness of the relationship between the social context of language learning and the types of linguistic and thematic content embedded in instructional and self-study materials for TESOL.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will have developed an understanding of:

  • Systematic approaches to evaluating text and ICT-based learning resources at macro and micro levels.
  • The ways in which learning resources may be adapted and supplemented to meet the needs of learners in a variety of contexts of learning.
  • The role of internet resources in self-directed and teacher-directed learning.
  • The interface between learning resources, curriculum design, pedagogy, theories of learning and technology.

By the end of this unit, students will have developed skills in:

  • Identifying and critiquing rationales for the selection and sequencing of activities, thematic content, linguistic models and modes of assessment in TESOL instructional materials and self-study resources.
  • Evaluating learning resources for TESOL at macro and micro levels.
  • Designing tasks and materials for learning in theoretically robust and practically relevant ways.
  • Applying analytical frameworks to the design of tasks for learning.
  • Adapting and supplementing published materials for language learning.

Teaching details

  • Lecture input
  • Online learning support (Blackboard)
  • Presentations,
  • Small group work,
  • Seminars or workshops,
  • Action research,
  • Simulations,
  • Individual tutorials and supported self study.

Individualised and supervised studies to include on-line discussion, supervision and directed reading

Assessment Details


A negotiated assignment of 4,000 (or equivalent) exploring professional aspects of Language Learning Resources informed by both current perspectives in the literature, and the developkment needs of a specific curricular context


An outline proposal of 4,000 words (or equivalent) for an empirical research study addressing a current theoretical or curricular issue in Language Learning Resources, including a focussed literature review, research questions and procedures for data collection and data analysis.

Reading and References

  • Gray, J. (Ed.) (2013) Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Harwood, N. (2010) English language teaching materials: theory and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge university Press.
  • McDonough, J. and C. Shaw (2013) Materials and methods in ELT: a teacher's guide. Wiley-Blackwell. 3rd Edition.
  • McGrath, I. (2016) Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2nd Edition.
  • Mishan, F. and A. Chambers (2010) Perspectives on language learning materials development. Oxford: Peter Lang.
  • Richards, J. C. (2001) Curriculum Development' in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tomlinson, B. (Ed.) (2013) Developing materials for language teaching. London: Bloomsbury. 2nd Edition.
  • Tomlinson, B. and H. Masuhara (2010) Research for materials development in language learning: evidence for best practice. London: Continuum.