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Course overview

Digital technologies have revolutionised how we teach and learn languages. They open a wealth of opportunities to interact with people and resources in the target language. 

Your professional profile is likely to be:

  • Language teacher with at least one year's teaching experience (from any sector) 
  • Learning technologist working in the field of modern languages
  • Teacher through the medium of English as a second language 

With a specific focus on language learning and teaching, you will cover: 

  • pedagogical and practical aspects of new learning technologies
  • the importance of these technologies to education

Digital technologies will play a vital role in your on-course communication as well as being central to the learning itself, but no prior experience of the field is necessary.

By choosing part-time distance-learning  you will be able to pursue your academic and professional interests alongside your life commitments. You will receive regular support from your tutors and from your distance-learning community.

Why choose this course?

5th in the UK

for research power in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Work from home

Distance learning permits you to work from home and fit study around other life commitments

Career development

The course is specifically designed to support career development

Course content

This part-time programme is taught over two years and entirely online.

You will take 180 credits in total: 120 credits from taught modules and 60 from a 12-15,000 word dissertation.

You will begin with one core 40-credit module in the first semester to provide you with sound insights into the role of digital technologies in your language teaching practice. You will study a further four 20-credit specialist modules chosen from a selection.

Modules

Introduction to Digital Technologies for Language Teaching 40 credits

This module will provide you with the necessary background to gain sound insights into the topics of the Digital Technologies for Language Teaching programme. You will cover a wide range of technologies and their use in teaching and assessment, and in so doing, get to know your online community. This introduction will also assist you in making an informed choice about which specialist modules are of most relevance to your teaching practice.

This module provides an introduction to several commonly used digital tools and places them within the context of language teaching and learning. You will cover the following topics:

  • The online learner
  • Digital wisdom
  • Social media and interactive applications
  • Virtual learning environments
  • Virtual worlds
  • Virtual identities and digital presence

Activities will be delivered online by:

  • Interactive web-based materials
  • Online discussions
  • Reflective tasks
  • Self-directed learning and research
  • Tutoring including email and Skype
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 06 October 2020.
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 20 credits

This module provides you with an introduction to prevailing theories of second language acquisition (SLA). You will take an interdisciplinary approach and will be encouraged to consider SLA from linguistic, psychological and social perspectives. This will assist you in developing your digital technologies for language teaching, informed by current theoretical underpinnings.

You will cover the following topics: 

  • The linguistics of second language acquisition
  • The psychology of second language acquisition
  • Social contexts of second language acquisition
  • Acquiring knowledge for second language use
  • Second language learning and teaching
Integrating Technology in Course Design and Assessment 20 credits

In this module, you will develop knowledge and acquire key skills for integrating technology into your course design.

This module is divided into two parts:

Part one 

You will enter a critical discussion on approaches to the role of technology in language teaching course design. You will discuss technical and media solutions in the context of their effectiveness in the various approaches.

Part two 

You will now reflect on the role of assessment and feedback in course design and their impact on the learning process. You will consider different theoretical and practical approaches. You will also develop skills to critically evaluate forms of assessment, to reflect on your current practice, and design and implement assessment procedures.

You will be assessed on the design of a technology-enhanced course that you can deliver in your own setting. 

 

Game-based learning 20 credits

This module will introduce you to game-based learning, and specifically to its possibilities and limitations for foreign language teaching. You will gain a player perspective through the gamified structure of the module. 

Digital games have been of pedagogical interest to teachers and researchers since the first commercial releases of edutainment products. Since then, the gaming market has flourished, and the theoretical framework surrounding the educational use of video games has expanded hugely. Experiments and case studies have highlighted good practice and practical guidelines.

The specialist content of this module includes:

  • The educational potential of digital games
  • An overview of game-based learning theory
  • Gamification for language teaching and learning
  • The role of the teacher versus the role of the game
Research Methods for Language Professionals

This module introduces you to key theories and applications of research methodologies. You will be guided through the module step by step, using representative examples of research throughout. The module provides you with thorough preparation for your dissertation, including support for writing your own project proposal. 

You will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to Applied Linguistics research
  • Literature review 
  • Different research approaches
  • Design research questions
  • Principles of qualitative research 
  • Principles of quantitative research
  • Collecting and analysing the data
Advanced Language Teaching: technology-enhanced creative writing in a foreign language 20 credits

This module demonstrates how technology-enhanced creative writing can be used to encourage experimentation and development beyond the core linguistic skills in language learning.

Creativity is an inherent condition of language learning and teaching. Using creative writing activities in the foreign language classroom has proven to have benefits for both learners and teachers. The activities aid the learner beyond the purely linguistic aspects (improvement of the four skill areas - listening, speaking, reading and writing) to incorporate creative (transferrable skills) and personal development (increased confidence and motivation).

Technology enhances the creative experience in foreign language learning by providing safe platforms for experimentation. With an emphasis on telecollaboration, your students will use these tools to develop their storytelling skills, allowing feelings of ownership and freedom to emerge through the sharing process, and thus increasing their motivation for language acquisition.

You will work with a variety of platforms including:

  • Social media platforms
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Audio and video materials integrated with the spoken and written word
  • Teleconferences and virtual forums
  • Open mic sessions and performance

You will also work with various text forms including:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Flash fiction
  • Autobiography
  • Scriptwriting
Telecollaboration in Language Learning

The module considers language learning within the context of the emergence of global digital culture.

Its themes include:

  • learning 2.0
  • multiple literacies
  • intercultural learning
  • language educator 2.0
  • telecollaboration as an educational culture

Students will consider the trajectory and implications of Web 2.0 technologies for language learning, collaborate to improve a Wikipedia page related to the area of telecollaboration and assess and evaluate their own and the group work.

Students design/run a small-scale telecollaborative activity, getting hands-on experience which enhances their understanding on these issues.

They will be supported in applying the concepts of Telecollaboration 2.0 and will be offered practical guidance on the effective use of Web 2.0 technologies for telecollaboration.

The module has three sections:

  • Weeks 1-4 - the module discusses how web 2.0 technologies transform formal education, the growing need for new literacies and to negotiate with people from different cultures, and the role of the language teacher in the continuously changing society/education system.
  • Weeks 5-9 - suggests a framework of telecollaboration in language learning through examining the origins of telecollaboration, learning environments for telecollaboration, case studies in the field, and assessment issues.
  • Weeks 10-12 - explores telecollaboration under the prism of informal education, lifelong learning, online communities, and online privacy and safety.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 06 October 2020.
Digital Technologies for Languages Dissertation 60 credits

You will write a 12-15,000 word piece of independent research related to your studies and practice. 

In consultation with the Course Director and other appropriate members of staff, you will choose a topic or project to research independently. Your dissertation will have a strong focus on the use of digital technologies for language teaching. You will receive support and feedback throughout your research and writing.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 06 October 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Tutorials
  • Discussion group

Course materials and teaching are all delivered online over 'Moodle', our virtual learning environment. You will have access to many online resources, including: 

  • e-books 
  • textbooks 
  • articles 
  • teaching notes 
  • recorded materials 
  • links to further reading and resources 
  • online communications channels (i.e. Microsoft Teams) 

You will also have your own module tutor for each module that you take. They are there to support you with the academic content and your academic development. 

How you will be assessed

  • Essay
  • Dissertation
  • Formative assessment
  • Project work

Your work will be assessed in a variety of ways depending on the module. Some modules will be assessed through a piece of written work, for other modules you will be asked to engage in practical projects. Your course tutors provide detailed comments on assignments. 

Towards the end of your studies, you will complete a 60-credit dissertation. This is a major piece of independent research, and you will be allocated a supervisor who is a specialist in your chosen area. 

Your dissertation supervisor will provide advice and guidance to help you select your area of study, and offer close supervision and support as you complete your research. 

Contact time and study hours

There will be weekly online group tutorials lasting 1-1.5 hours each.

One to one tutorials are available on demand for all taught modules.

There is a minimum of 8 one to one supervisions during the dissertation semester.

In addition you will need to complete related reading, research, reflection and contribute to discussion forums. 

 

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) – applicants typically have Qualified Teacher Status or a minimum of one year of approved teaching experience (or equivalent)

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification All
Home / UK To be confirmed in 2020
International To be confirmed in 2020

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

You will need access to a computer and the internet. All teaching materials are available 24/7 via Moodle and the online library. 

Funding

 

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Career progression

The average annual salary for postgraduates from the School of Cultures, Languages and Areas Studies was £21,855*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Tuesday 06 October 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.