PhD English Language Teaching options
Year 1, Component 02
Research project LG699-7-SP and/or subject specific option(s) from list
Can sounds be analysed in terms of their constituent components of voicing, place and manner of articulation? Which features of sound are relevant for distinguishing word meanings? Is there a set of universal constraints on the way that sounds are related to mental representations? Acquire a solid understanding of phonological analysis, and apply that understanding to new data in a variety of languages.
How do children develop phonologically? And how does this change if they have delayed or disordered speech? Examine how phonological theories have been applied to first language data. Apply the knowledge you gain to sample data sets of child speech.
Why do speakers of English initially think that sentences like “The horse raced past the barn fell” are ungrammatical? Why are sentences like “The mouse the cat chased stole the cheese” more difficult to understand than “The mouse stole the cheese and the cat chased the mouse”? Learn about the principles of sentence and discourse processing that guide language understanding. Conduct experiments testing how speakers respond to structurally different types of sentences.
What do you know about semantics? Wish to understand this key component of modern linguistics? Study formal semantics, working on examples and exercises that use logic in the analysis of natural language semantics. Examine the main topics on word and sentence meaning in contemporary semantics.
This module focuses on how language testing and assessment have developed in educational settings, by looking at the types and purposes of tests and the processes involved in test design and administration. It also considers high-stakes testing and language exams.
Additionally, the module covers key concepts and principles of language testing and the theoretical foundations and practical implications surrounding testing of language skills within general English and English for Specific/Academic Purposes (ESP/EAP).
Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics
How do you respond to learner questions about language? What do you understand about the nature of language? Build the linguistic vocabulary and analytical tools needed to talk about the English language effectively and accurately in second language learner classrooms.
What psychological factors impact on second language learning? Study a range of cognitive variables that influence people's success when learning a second language. Undertake your own piece of research into a variable of your choice, eg learning style or language learning aptitude, and gain useful experience for your future Masters project in the process.
What are the main phenomena of syntax and how can we describe and explain them? Study the properties of syntactic categories, subjects, complements and adjuncts, raising and control sentences, and long distance dependencies. Learn the importance of precise and explicit descriptions, of dealing with the full range of relevant data, and of accommodating different kinds of languages.
The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the main approaches and methods used in English Language Teaching (ELT). You will study the different theoretical and historical contexts of language teaching and look at how these different approaches and methods have shaped pedagogy, practice and course design. You will explore key aspects of teacher development such as professional identity, teacher language and teacher psychology and look at the different ways in which these influence and shape teaching practice.
How does language change over time, vary across communities, and what do social alignments help explain about language variation and change? Explore the relationship between sociolinguistic theories and social groupings. Examine current sociolinguistic debates regarding language variation and change.
Wish to undertake psycholinguistic experiments? Work as a group on designing and preparing your own psycholinguistic research. As a team, collect and organise your experimental data. Use descriptive and inferential statistics to analyse your findings. Produce your own report that discusses your theoretical and methodological outcomes.
This module will introduce students to the fundamentals of Teaching English to Young Learners, referring to children and adolescents. You’ll become familiar with theories surrounding language acquisition among children and the different aspects of their psychology in instructed classroom settings. You will also consider how young learners' language skills could be assessed and tested.
We will look at theories of language learning that broadly take a usage-based perspective and compare and contrast these with more traditional formalist approaches in order to highlight changes and new points of emphasis in current theorising in the field.
We will consider the role of explicit (conscious) and implicit (non-conscious) knowledge and processes in additional language learning and how these interact with characteristics of the individual learner, the learning context, and the linguistic input that constitutes the learning target. Importantly, we will look at the influence of these factors across the lifespan to pinpoint if and how language development differs in children, younger adults and older adults. We will capture current research trends that move beyond the traditional sample population of educated young adults and include hitherto under-researched groups such as third-age learners and low-educated learners.
What are research methods? What are the differences between quantitative and qualitative research? Learn more about the research tools available for studying applied linguistics and TEFL. Examine each available research method in-depth. Build your understanding, while preparing for your MA dissertation or other future research projects.
Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis
The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the theoretical foundations of pragmatics and conversation analysis. You will be introduced to the study of meaning and explore how what is said is not necessarily what is meant, by investigating aspects of utterance interpretation and of language use. By the end of the module, you will be familiar with a range of issues and debates in contemporary pragmatics and be able to apply your knowledge of these to a variety of problems in the investigation of language use in interaction.
Teaching, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking in TEFL/TESOL
The module aims to explore some of the different ways in which theories have shaped and informed the different approaches to the teaching of reading and writing in English Language Teaching (ELT). By studying these ideas you will deepen your understanding of the different ways in which reading and writing is understood and conceptualised, and give you a theoretical platform from which to consider, and reflect upon, your own experiences and approaches to teaching reading and writing.
Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures
This module will acquaint you with some of the existing approaches and issues in intercultural communication, balancing theoretical insight with advanced practical skills. You will investigate communication patterns in different cultures and languages including illocutionary force, indirect speech acts and politeness and look at how cultural norms, values and conventions influence linguistic choices across languages and cultures.
What factors determined the varieties of English which evolved in Wales, Scotland and Ireland? How can you tell a New Zealander from an Australian? Investigate the different accents of English spoken outside England. Understand how English changed as it spread across the globe.
During this module you have the opportunity to gain hands on experience teaching real students. You will be able to have individual tutorials for advice on lesson plans and materials prior to teaching your own classes.
Reflect on your experiences as a teacher and consider how you could optimise your teaching to meet your learners’ needs and your own. This module will include small-group discussions and input sessions, so you really have the opportunity to reflect on your individual practices and career.
English for Specific Purposes: Traditions and Practices in Language Teaching
What is English for Specific Purposes (ESP). and who teaches it? Is English for Academic Purposes the same as ESP? Engage in the current debates and practices within the broad field of ESP. You will explore the connections between such fields as EAP, Discourse Analysis and use of Copora in ESP and look at the ways in which these areas of the field of English Language Teaching have emerged and developed over time and across educational contexts. exploring the different academic traditions from which these approaches draw.
Do you want to explore in some depth a research question that has emerged from one of your modules? Are you keen to do some independent research? Survey the existing literature on a topic that has intrigued you. Prepare the ground for your MA dissertation, under the watchful eye of a supervisor.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.