Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE ELT 2 Language Awareness and Teaching Literature

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Languages and Humanities Education

DESCRIPTION Language Awareness:

Intending teachers require linguistic knowledge and analytic skills if they are to operate professionally as teachers of English in Maltese secondary school. As teachers of language in particular, it seems seems axiomatic that for any teacher of a language, a sound knowledge of their subject matter should be a prerequisite, available at a moment’s notice, according to the needs and levels of their individual learners. The study-unit will engage participants in tasks and activities to develop their understanding of the nature of language and how language works with a view to developing a range of skills and abilities to enhance the linguistics development of secondary school learners.

Teaching Literature:

The teaching of literature is considered as the internalisation of language and the reinforcement of points previously learnt by the students. Literature is seen as a genuine language context, a focal point for the students in their own efforts to communicate and a source for motivating students to learn English. This study-unit will engage participants with various forms of literature, particularly those pertaining to secondary schools, with a view to developing strategies for the successful teaching of literature appreciation and study in schools.

Study-Unit Aims:

Language Awareness:

This study-unit seeks to enable student-teachers to attain an explicit knowledge of the language through guided research into a core underlying system, in order to teach effectively, to anticipate and respond to learning problems, to interpret course book materials and adapt these, and to deal satisfactorily with errors.

Teaching Literature:

This study-unit aims to offer opportunities for critical explorations of theoretical and research issues related to the teaching of literature at secondary level. It also aims to explore a variety of approaches to literary theories and emerging issues and questions in the field of English Language Arts teaching.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

Language Awareness:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Learn about linguistic systems that constitute language;
- Reflect on their own language awareness;
- Define, use and list categories and terminology required during their professional career, when using course books and grammars;
- Learn about and critically respond to descriptions of language found in course books and other published material (pedagogical grammar) both in terms of their descriptive accuracy and their usefulness to learners.
- Reflect on and discuss best practices to deal with grammar from a pedagogical perspective;
- Demonstrate an ability to extend beyond the ‘rules’ being laid bare so that these take into consideration pedagogical implications and classroom application of these rules and systems;
- Learn about different approaches to teaching grammar and reflect on these;
- Examine and reflect on students’ errors as a means of feedback to their own teaching practice.

Teaching Literature:

Through the exploration of a range of texts and poems in various media during the lectures, students will be able to:

- critically respond to theoretical, research and practical issues related to the teaching of literature at secondary level;
- based on readings, discuss a variety of approaches to literary theories and understand the emerging issues and questions in the field of English Language Arts teaching;
- apply this knowledge to the diverse needs of learners;
- reflect on and discuss their own experience of literary experience with a range of texts in various media;
- demonstrate through self-reflection on personal experiences how they have enhanced and extended their understanding of literary experiences and responses;
- demonstrate familiarity with a range of literary texts, curricular materials and interactive teaching strategies through discussions on set readings, class activities, presentations and reflection on practice.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Language Awareness:

- Learn about their own knowledge of grammar by carrying out tasks individually and in pairs/ groups;
- Demonstrate an ability to differentiate between various strategies, activities and resources which best complement their language teaching;
- Choose the best strategy to teach various language components and complement them with the most appropriate activities and resources;
- Demonstrate speaking and presentation skills as they discuss best practice and present examples of best practice.

Teaching Literature:

- Design a scheme of work for teaching literature and plan lessons accordingly with appropriate aims and objectives;
- Plan literature lessons using the stories, novels, poems, plays that they are teaching. The lessons and texts are to be perceived as a possibility of internalizing the language, reinforcing points previously learnt, a genuine language context and a focal point for their pupils in their efforts to communicate;
- Create and use various strategies, activities and tools that complement their lesson plans;
- Demonstrate speaking and presentation skills as they participate in class activities and seminar discussions;
- Demonstrate the ability to choose and to use a variety of texts and materials related to pedagogical issues in the teaching of literature;
- Describe a particular focus on a related research area of personal interest.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Recommended reading for Language Awareness:

Main Text:

- Thornbury, S. (2017) About Language CUP.
- Harmer, J., (2012) Essential Teacher Knowledge Pearson ELT.
- Parrott M., (2010) Grammar for English Language Teachers CUP.
- Swan M., (2009) Practical English Usage, Third Edition OUP.
- Thornbury, S., & Meddings, L. (2009) Teaching unplugged: Dogme in English Language Teaching. Surrey, England: Delta.
- Thornbury, S., (2004) Natural grammar: the keywords of English and how they work. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 97 listings in Worldcat.
- Thornbury, S., (2006) An A-Z of ELT: A Dictionary of Terms and Concepts Used in English Language Teaching. Oxford, UK.: Macmillan Education.
- Thornbury, S., (2006) Grammar. Resource books for teachers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.[8] 97 locations in Worldcat.
- Thornbury, S., (2015) How to teach Grammar Pearson Education ESL.
- Thornbury, S., and Underhill, A. (2001) Uncovering Grammar. The Teacher Development. Oxford: Macmillan Heinemann English Language Teaching.

Recommended reading for Teaching Literature:

- Beers, K., & Probst, R.E. (2012) Notice & Note:Strategies for Close Reading Heinemann
- Beers, K., & Probst, R.E. (2017) Disrupting Thinking: Why how we read matters Scholastic Inc.
- Hall, G. (2005) Literature in Language Education. New York: Palgrave.
- Appleman, D. (2010) Adolescent Literacy and the Teaching of Reading: Lessons for Teachers of Literature National Council of teachers of English.
- Beach, R.W. et al (2016) Teaching Literature to adolescents Routledge (
- Lazar, G. (2012) Literature and Language Teaching CUP.
- Lockwood, M. (Ed) (2011) Bringing Poetry Alive: A guide to Classroom Practice Sage Publications.
- Naylor, A. & Wood, A.B.( 2012) Teaching Poetry: Reading and responding to poetry in the secondary classroom. Routledge.
- Paran, Amos (2008) The role of literature in instructed foreign language learning and teaching : An evidence-based survey. Language Teaching, 41 (4). pp. 465-496.
- Pike, M. (2003) ‘Popularising Poetry’ Chapter 11 in Pike, M. Teaching Secondary English Paul Chapman Publications.
- Sacks, A. (2014) Whole novels for the whole class Jossey-Bass.
- Showalter, E. (2012) Teaching Literature. Blackwell Publishing.

A reading pack will be made available.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: First cycle degree and 70 ECTS in English, of which 25 ECTS must be in Language and Linguistics, and 25 ECTS in Literature.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria Mifsud
Doreen Spiteri

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.