This Graduate Diploma provides a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study. Students will typically have completed three years of higher education but still need further academic study before they can begin their chosen Masters course. The modules on this course examine major areas related to second language acquisition and learning, and the principles of teaching English as a foreign language. Topics include: the relationship between learning a first and second language; language aptitude; language teaching methods and techniques; and materials and testing.
Modules and Options
The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.
Core: ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES (EAP) 1
Core: ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES (EAP) 2
Core: ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES (EAP) 3
Core: RESEARCH METHODS
Teaching and Assessment Methods
A: Knowledge and Understanding
A1 : Improve language accuracy and fluency to B2 level
A2 : Recognise and use appropriate lexical and discourse structures in Applied Linguistics
A3 : Understand the concept and importance of critical thinking in an academic context
A4 : Practise a range of basic research skills and understand research methods, both quantitative and qualitative
A5 : Develop knowledge and understanding of the major conceptual and theoretical foundations, and current issues, of Applied Linguistics
A6 : Analyse and reflect upon the basic principles involved in current EFL teaching, including such areas as methods, syllabuses, materials, classroom management, lesson planning and testing
All modules are taught through informal lectures, seminar discussions, tutorials and student presentations, with both peer and tutor feedback.
EL935 will give students the opportunity to lead sessions and discuss their own areas of research interest.
Wherever possible, input in the EAP modules will be based on material provided by academic module teachers.
Assessment will be based on class presentations, written assignments and examinations.
Assessment tests both basic understanding of concepts and issues and a range of approaches and interpretations.
A1 is assessed in all modules via either short or extended written assignments or through vivas and presentations.
A2-A4 outcomes are assessed via extended projects in EL933 and EL935 and via extended essays in LG227. These are designed to examine students' ability to produce an extended piece of writing which demonstrates the ability to present a coherent argument based on a range of sources drawn from key texts in the target academic discipline.
A5 is assessed by means of the coursework requirements of LG227 and A6 is assessed via coursework requirements of LG228.
B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
B1 : Use language accurately and appropriately, using a variety of lexis, grammatical structure and communication strategies
B2 : Demonstrate an awareness of the language and discourse structures in Applied Linguistics
B3 : Synthesise information from a variety of sources with appropriate acknowledgement and integrate this into presentations or written work
B4 : Evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data as appropriate
B5 : Create a structured argument based on appropriate research methods
B6 : Adoption of a critical approach to study
B7 : Develop the ability to be reflective, independent learners and to organise their time in an efficient and effective manner
B8 : Demonstrate understanding of major conceptual and theoretical foundations and current issues of Applied Linguistics
Intellectual/cognitive skills B1 - B8 are practised in discussion and presentations, as well as through assessed written work. Students are given advice in tutorials on research skills and have the opportunity to analyse model assignments. The ability to develop a coherent argument, supported by evidence, is practised in group discussion and is also a requirement of all assessed written work.
All of these skills are taught and re-enforced continually by a variety of methods - classes involving pair and group work, individual tutorials, taped lectures and student-led workshops. Input ranges from print to audio and video materials. Students also use interactive web-based teaching materials. Oral presentations are video recorded and students are given group and individual feedback, from peers and tutors.
B5 - B7 are addressed explicitly in classes and included in oral or written feedback.
B1 is assessed in every module.
B2 is assessed specifically in LG227 and LG228.
B3 is assessed in EL931, EL932, EL933, LG227 and LG228.
B4 is assessed specifically in EL935 but also indirectly in EL933, LG227 and LG228.
B5 is assessed in EL931 and EL932 by two end of module examinations on knowledge of grammatical structures, listening and note-taking, and there is an integrated English for Academic Purposes skills examination covering reading, vocabulary and writing. B5 is also indirectly assessed in EL933, EL935, LG227 and LG228.
Coursework for the portfolio in EL931 and EL932 also requires demonstration of learning outcomes B1 - B5.
B1 - B8 outcomes are assessed via extended research projects in EL933 and EL935. These are designed to examine students' ability to produce an extended piece of writing which presents a coherent argument based on a range of sources drawn from key texts in the target academic discipline.
B6 and B7 are indirectly assessed in all modules.
B8 is assessed by means of the coursework of LG227 and LG228.
C: Practical Skills
C1 : Demonstrate a range of academic skills, including effective note-taking, accurate listening skills and active participation in class discussion
C2 : Find relevant information from a variety of sources including books, journals and the Web
C3 : Read and evaluate sources critically and offer views based on evidence
C4 : Present an argument in oral presentations and by planning, drafting and revising written assignments in an appropriate style, referenced according to academic conventions
EL931-3: students practise these skills using audio and video materials. They are also expected to make notes during classmates' presentations. They are then required to write up a selection of these notes at a later date, to check their accuracy and effectiveness. Emphasis is placed on pair and group work and student participation - this is explicitly addressed in tutors' reports and students are encouraged to discuss these reports in tutorials.
EL932, LG227 and LG228: students select texts from a variety of sources for class discussion - these texts are then read for content and also critically evaluated for the quality and reliability of the evidence they contain and the structure of their argument. There is also some analysis of the varying requirements of specific academic genres.
LG227 and LG228 practise these skills in assignments and presentations. EL933 preparation for project work in plenary sessions and in 1:1 tutorials and feedback on process, editing and drafting.
All of these skills are also practised, both directly and indirectly, in all other course modules.
C1-C4 are directly or indirectly assessed on all modules. Assessment is based on a mixture of oral and written assignments which test the students' ability to implement these skills effectively.
D: Key Skills
D1 : A fundamental and explicit aim of the programme is effective communication in English; orally, through class participation and presentations, in writing and in critical reading.
D2 : Students perform a variety of word-processing operations and use the Internet for research. Students use PowerPoint for presentations. They also communicate with tutors by email e.g. sending drafts of work as attachments.
D3 : Making and interpreting graphs and tables, for presentations and for written assignments.
D4 : Identification and evaluation of various source materials, analysis of tasks and working out objectives and priorities.
D5 : Pair and group work are an integral part of the programme, and peer evaluation is also built in. There are opportunities for group projects in some subject modules.
D6 : Students are encouraged to keep both learner diaries and records of their own learning and to work independently, showing organisation and time management and an ability to respond constructively to feedback.
Addressed in all EL modules
There is a continuous emphasis on effective communication. Awareness of audience and appropriate linguistic and discourse choices is a focus of all work, especially in writing.
Students are trained in the use of PowerPoint for presentations and in using the Internet for research purposes.
There are EAP classes which introduce the interpretation of tables and students use graphic materials in and assignments where appropriate and some tasks are based on problem-solving e.g. through the use of case studies. These skills are also used in EL935.
D4 & D5
In all classes, students are expected to work in pairs and groups on a variety of information- and opinion-gap tasks and analysis of texts. In presentations students give and receive peer feedback, both oral and written. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning, especially in individual tutorials. Reflective tasks are also part of the portfolio requirement.
D1-D6 are assessed as an integral part of class work and assignments.
All modules: Students are required to word-process their work and to use PowerPoint for oral presentations. Peer evaluation and feedback are also an important part of the informal assessment of students' performance.
D6: EL931 - EL933 include reflective tasks in the portfolio of assessed work.