module specification

LN7006 - Linguistics and Language Teaching: the Description of Language and its Pedagogic Applications (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Linguistics and Language Teaching: the Description of Language and its Pedagogic Applications
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Oral Presentation: analysis and evaluation of a language test
Coursework 60%   Essay-type course work
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Autumn semester LMET Distance Learning Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Linguistics & Language Teaching (LN7006) is a core module that offers a professional and theoretical training in core areas of linguistics, principally the description of language. It goes on to consider how, or to what extent, the science of linguistics can be applied to the teaching of language. Students are encouraged to develop a general understanding of a range of different areas of linguistics, and to develop critical awareness and gain in-depth and advanced knowledge and understanding of at least two areas of linguistics in particular. By examining the core concepts and theoretical principles of language and linguistics, students will be introduced to the different ways knowledge of linguistics and critical language awareness can assist language teachers and their learners.

The module adopts a combined theoretical-practitioner approach to the topics to bring students from a range of different professional backgrounds and experiences to a core advanced level that is needed over which the more technical and professional concepts of the second semester can be built.

Module aims

This module aims to enrich students/teachers’ understanding and knowledge of technical concepts and areas in language and linguistics and to familiarize them with how this knowledge and critical awareness contributes to and/or is used in language teaching. By exploring the relationship between theory and practice and highlighting the importance of teachers’ role in enhancing teaching and learning, the module aims to broaden teachers’ horizons to the crucial role of teachers’ knowledge of language teaching in language classroom and to provide them with an opportunity to become autonomous in expanding their knowledge of linguistics when it is needed. The module aims to

1)  Introduce and discuss technical terminology and apparatus of linguistics and to demonstrate how language awareness and knowledge of linguistics can help teachers in their language teaching

2) Develop students’ critical language awareness, deepen their knowledge of different areas of linguistics, and expand their disciplinary understanding so as to enhance their practice 

3) Provide students with opportunities to develop critical understanding of how linguistic theories guide language teaching techniques and strategies

4) Demonstrate how complex insights from current theories and debates in linguistics can be used as classroom applications and implications


The module will cover areas such as

An introduction to linguistics and its role in language teaching , critical language awareness, language typology, phonetics & phonology, morphology, lexicon & Lexical Approach , pragmatics, syntax and corpora in language teaching

Learning and teaching

The module uses a combination of face to face lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive tasks and formal students’ presentations. A range of individual, pair and group activities are used while students are engaged with the lecture topics and seminar tasks.
The lectures all include elements of blended learning, are interactive in nature and students are encouraged to contribute to the discussions. The seminars are student-centred incorporating their reading, teaching and learning experiences or their presentations.
Use of technology is an inherent characteristic of this module. Active use of Weblearn for lectures, seminars, readings, seminar tasks, important links to resources, and discussion board is consistently and continually practiced. Working with online resources such as The British National Corpus or the BBC Languages website are central to the purpose of the module.
Learning occurs in dependent, guided and independent modes as students receive guidance and advice both face-to-face and via emails and/or weblearn.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Describe and analyse language in terms of its principal components - e.g. phonology, morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics.

2.   Relate these core areas of theoretical linguistics to the applied field of language teaching at an appropriately postgraduate level.

3. Apply their language awareness and linguistic knowledge to identify and comment upon language problems their students encounter in classroom

4. demonstrate an enhanced understanding of theoretical and disciplinary debates in linguistics and language teaching

Assessment strategy

There are two assessed components in this module, a 12-minute individual presentation and a 2500-3000 word coursework/essay. The presentation component encourages students to choose one area of linguistics and to deepen their knowledge in this area by reading on the topic, and to develop skills in evaluating and analyzing the problems teachers experience in their teaching with regard to this particular area of linguistics. Drawing on their learning and teaching experiences, they are expected to provide examples of how this knowledge and skill will help language teachers to teach more effectively.

The second component constitute 3 options the students can choose from. This assignment aims to provide the students with an opportunity (1) to explore a theoretical area of linguistics and language teaching to engage with the disciplinary debates in this area, (2) to provide a technical description, comparison and contrast for a language with which they are familiar with that of English, or (3) a piece of discourse analysis analysing a conversation between two/more native-speakers of English.

The first assignment serves both summative and formative purposes because detailed oral and written feedback provided to the students help them with their performance and learning on the course.
Both components are marked by at least two members of staff; Oral presentations are all video recorded for second marking and moderation purposes


Aijmer, K. (2009). Corpora and language teaching. Amsterdam: Benjamins
Blakemore, D (1992): Understanding Utterances : an Introduction to Pragmatics. Blackwell.
Cameron, D (2001): Working With Spoken Discourse. Sage Publications, London.
Carter, R & McCarthy, M (1997): Exploring Spoken English. Cambridge University Press.
Finch, G (2003): How to Study Linguistics : a Guide to Understanding Language. Palgrave Macmillan. (2nd edn.)
Fromkin, V & Rodman, R (1998): An Introduction to Language. Harcourt Brace College Publishers. (6th edn.)
Graddol, D, J Cheshire & J Swann (1994): Describing Language. OUP.
Hinkel, E & Fotos, S (eds) (2002): New Perspectives on Grammar Teaching in Second Language Classrooms. Erlbaum Associates.
Pennington, M C (1996): Phonology in English Language Teaching: an International Approach. Addison Wesley Longman.
Roach, P (2000): English Phonetics and Phonology: a practical course. Cambridge University Press.
Schmitt, N (2000): Vocabulary in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.
Trask, R L (1997): A Student’s Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. Arnold.
Trask, R L (1999): Language: The Basics. Routledge. (2nd edn.)
Wardhaugh, R (1995): Understanding English Grammar: a Linguistic Approach. Blackwell.
Widdowson, H G (1996): Linguistics. Oxford University Press.
Yule, G (1996): The Study of Language. Cambridge University Press. (2nd edn.)

Online Resources:
Selected E-Books
Aarts & McMahon (2006): The handbook of English linguistics
Coulthard & Johnson (2010). The Routledge handbook of forensic linguistics
O’Keeffe & MacCarthy (2010). The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics
O’Keefe, A., McCarthy, M. & Carter, R. (2007). From Corpus to Classroom (also in print)
Wray (2006). Projects in linguistics

Selected Journals
Language Awareness
ELT Journal
Language & Linguistics
Linguistics & Education
Journal of Pragmatics
The Linguistic Journal