Foreign Language Teaching and Learning: Theories and Approaches

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 60

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 40


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module will explore theories and approaches to second language acquisition and learning and their related pedagogies. Theoretical perspectives on language acquisition will be compared compared and implications of SLA theory on processes of second language development will be discussed.

Approaches conducive to the development of learner-centred teaching and learning and learner autonomy provide the backdrop against which the constructs of motivation and agency for effective language learning are explored. Current perspectives in language education on the language learning process related to plurilingual and pluricultural approaches as well as theory and application of new technologies in the FL classroom will also be looked into.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Carry out a comparative analysis of SLA theories and their related pedagogies;

b. Ensure that programmes of teaching and learning are founded on current approaches to teaching and learning and characteristics of effective teaching and learning;

c. Produce guidelines and advice on affordances of digital technology in foreign language teaching and learning, and its use in specific situations of practice and modes of learning;

d. Produce a critical analysis of teaching and learning programmes based on current theoretical perspectives and needs in the FL classroom, including  principles of learner autonomy and plurilingual approaches.


a. Define theories of second language acquisition and learning, distinguish between their underlying principles;

b. Describe implications of SLA theories for the second language classroom;

c. Identify theoretical issues related to second language development processes;

d. Describe the relationship between teacher and learner autonomy and the construct of learner-centred approaches for language learner development;

e. Describe theoretical perspectives on the use of technology in the language classroom and and their implications for practice.


a. Demonstrate the theoretical underpinnings of pedagogical approaches to FL teaching and learning;

b. Prepare a language programme based on current learner-centred approaches to second language development;

c. Apply theoretical principles of technology-assisted teaching and learning to FL teaching and learning programmes;

d. Apply principles for effective use of technology in different language teaching and learning scenarios;

e. Contrast two methods in SLA theories of language addressing theories of language learning, curriculum, learner and teacher roles, instructional materials, classroom techniques and classroom practice.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Portfolio & Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. VanPatten, B. ; Keating, G.D. & Wulff, S. (2020). Theories in Second Language Acquisition. Routledge.
  2. Lantolf, J. P. (2011). The sociocultural approach to Second Language Acquisition.
  3. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2001). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  4. Hampel, R. & Stickler, U. (2015). Developing Online Language Teaching. Research-based Pedagogies and Reflective Practices. Palgrave Macmillan: UK.
  5. Ur, P (2012) A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and Theory. Cambridge University Press
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Atkinson, D. (2011). Alternative Approaches to SLA. Routledge: New York.
  2. Ellis, R. (2008). The study of SLA. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  3. Spada, N and Lightbown, P (2006) How Languages are Learned. ,3rd ed. OUP
  4. Saville-Troike, M (2006) Introduction to Second Language Acquisition . Cambridge University Press
  5. Mitchell, R and Myles, F (2004) Second Language Learning Theories ,2nd ed. Arnold No
  6. Knapp, K & Seidlhofer, B (Eds) (2009) Handbook of Foreign Language Communication and Learning. Mouton de Gruyter.
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