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Module QXL-4413:
EFL Theory

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Jessica Clapham

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to survey and critically assess current research and approaches to the study of TEFL.

The module aims to explore aspects of TEFL by examining a wide range of contexts in which language teaching and learning takes place. The main focus is to provide the necessary knowledge and strategies to critically reflect on the teaching of English in multilingual settings in a theoretical context and to equip students with the necessary framework in readiness for entering the classroom.

The lectures will provide students with an overview of key issues and the tutorials will examine and critically evaluate research studies in multilingualism, and foreign language teaching. Students will be expected to prepare work in order to critically engage in discussions in tutorials.

Course content

This module provides an overview of TEFL theory by examining a wide range of contexts in which language teaching and learning takes place.

Topics will include the following:
1. The use of English within a global context.
2. Language awareness in the classroom.
3. English teaching methodologies in the classroom context.
4. Analysis of teaching English to speakers of other languages based on research articles and DVD material: affective factors and classroom interaction.
5. Implementing and evaluating curriculum change.

Assessment Criteria


C (50%):
The answer must involve the critical analysis of existing research into TEFL and/or research from a Foreign language Learning perspective .
The answer must show evidence of some background study of primary sources going beyond material discussed in lectures.
The answer must be relevant to the research topic chosen.


B :
Critical reflection and a review of literature must be presented, organized, and analysed with care and an appreciation must be shown of some of the problems involved with preparing a review of literature.
The answer must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding.
The answer must show evidence of background of primary sources.
Assertions must be supported by reference to a theory and/or empirical research.
The answer must show evidence of analytical thinking.
The answer must have a coherent structure that is adhered to in the most part; relationships between successive parts must be generally easy to follow.


A :
Critical reflection and a review of literature must be evaluated in a logical manner.
The answer must have an originality of exposition and understanding; the author’s own thinking should be readily apparent.
The answer must show clear evidence of extensive reading of primary sources.
The answer must show a clear line structure in which each successive stage is explicitly linked and the reader is explicitly told why these parts are relevant to the study.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will be able to critically analyse a variety of different approaches to the study of foreign language learning.

  2. Students will be able to critically analyse the process of foreign language learning.

  3. Students will be able to analyse in detail a range of methods and methodologies used in TEFL and the principles underlying them;

  4. Students will be able to analysing teachers’ perceptions about syllabus design, lesson planning and delivery;

  5. Students will be able to critique the factors underlying curriculum development.

  6. Students will be able to present a detailed knowledge and critically discuss key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the study of TEFL.

  7. Students will be able to critique research into the factors affecting TEFL.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Research Article Critique (1200 words) 20
Presentation 10
Research Project Proposal (4200 words) 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.


One 2 hour lecture per week for 11 weeks.


One seminar per fortnight (5 over the 11 weeks).

Private study

Directed Reading - students are given required reading each week (of about 2 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.


Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies to an advanced standard.
  • Oral presentation skills & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in oral form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies, to an advanced level.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse and interpret data accurately and to draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate to an advanced standard a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect upon, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.
  • Knowledge of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) theory and practice - students will demonstrate familiarity with core terms, issues, principles, aspects and best practices related to the teaching of English as a foreign language.
  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Understanding of the nature and organisation of language - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Co-requisite of:

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: