1. Describing Language and Language Skills
This part of the course introduces and reviews knowledge of the terms and concepts common in English language teaching that are used to describe language and its use, and language skills. Candidates need to demonstrate an understanding of concepts and terminology related to:
- Grammar: parts of speech and the forms and use of grammatical structures
- Lexis: types of meaning, word formation, e.g. prefixes, suffixes, compounds, word groupings, e.g. synonyms, antonyms, lexical sets, homophones, collocation and register
- Phonology: symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), phonemes, word stress, sentence stress, intonation and connected speech
- Functions: context, levels of formality, appropriacy, a range of functions and their typical exponents
- Language skills: reading, listening, speaking, writing and their subskills and features of spoken and written texts, e.g. layout, organisation, accuracy, fluency, authenticity.
2. Background to Language Learning
This part of the course looks at factors underpinning the learning of English by speakers of other languages. It focuses on those learner characteristics which distinguish one learner or group of learners from another in terms of their learning and those which affect both what and how a teacher chooses to teach a class or an individual learner. It also tests candidates’ knowledge of aspects of the language learning process and their impact on teaching. Candidates need to demonstrate an understanding of concepts and terminology related to the following and their implications for the L2 classroom:
- Motivation: influences on motivation, the importance of motivation, measures that can increase motivation.
- Exposure to language and focus on form: acquisition, silent period and L2 learners’ need for interaction and focus on form as complements of exposure.
- The role of error: errors and slips, interference and developmental errors and interlanguage.
- The differences between L1 and L2 learning: differences in age, differences in the context of learning and differences in ways of learning.
- Learner characteristics: common learning styles and preferences, common learning strategies, maturity, past language learning experiences and how learner characteristics affect learning
- Learner needs: the personal, learning and (future) professional needs of learners
3. Background to Language Teaching
This part of the course focuses on the pedagogic choices the teacher has at his/her disposal to cater for learner characteristics, learning processes and the differences between L1 and L2 learning. This part also tests knowledge of concepts and terms related to teaching and learning procedures and activities, including assessment. Candidates will learn methods, tasks, activities and terminology related to:
- Presentation techniques and introductory activities: introductory activities such as warmers and lead-ins and common ways of presenting language.
- Types of activities and tasks for language and skills development: the design and purpose of a range of common comprehension and production tasks and activities and teaching terms, e.g. prompting, eliciting, drilling.
- Lesson frameworks for activities and tasks: Presentation, Practice and Production (PPP), Task-based Learning (TBL), Total Physical Response (TPR), the Lexical Approach, Grammar-Translation, test–teach–test and guided discovery
- Assessment types and tasks: purposes for assessment, e.g. diagnostic, placement, achievement, formative, progress, proficiency, methods of assessment, e.g. self, peer, portfolio, informal and formal and the design and purpose of a range of assessment tasks and activities