DED 608 Current Issues in Psycholinguistics and Language Learning and Teaching
Department: Doctor of Education/ Doctor of Philosophy in Education
Module Description: This module involves the study of research into language acquisition and resulting TESOL methodology. Current research into how languages are learnt and the implications for language teaching methodology are examined. It provides students with the opportunity to reflect on and re-assess a wide range of recent and traditional approaches to the teaching of second languages such as audiolingualism, task-based approaches, and Communicative Language Teaching. Students will critically examine such methods from the point of view of recent psycholinguistic and applied linguistic frameworks with specific reference to research into learning different contexts.
Thus the module examines the psychological and psycholinguistic processes underpinning different approaches to second language teaching. In particular, it examines the differences between first and second language acquisition/learning processes and the effects that these differences have had on instructional processes in second language classrooms. The language acquisition/learning process is examined from a range of perspectives: a) the language knowledge learners bring to the acquisition task, b) how learners process spoken and written language input, and c) the kinds of input which help maximise acquisition. The role that Contrastive Analysis has played in learning of phonological skills will also be examined and will allow for the specific problems faced by first language Arabic speakers of English will be highlighted and discussed. Students will be specifically encouraged to reflect upon the ‘Communicative Approach’ and task-based problem-solving approaches in relation to research evidence and different cultural contexts and within their own learning/teaching contexts.