MA Educational Leadership

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Language Learning and Technology

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC70061
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course unit comprises the exploration of a range of technologies (computer software, video material, generic tools such as the Internet, word processing) used in language teaching and learning with reference to both classroom practice and self-access application. Topics covered include:
- Second language learning and the development of electronic literacy
- The nature of reading in a digital world and the development of reading skills through the use of computer-based tasks and the WWW
- Technology and task and text authenticity
- Computer based and networked writing development
- Language learning and Web 2.0
- Synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated communication for language learning
- The role of video texts (analog and digital) in language learning
- The impact of technology use on learner talk
- Computers and data driven learning


This unit aims to:

- To foster an awareness of developments in technology assisted language learning and its relationship to language teaching and learning and broader educational research.
- To develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the role(s) of technology in language teaching and learning in the light of relevant research, theory and issues of debate.
- To enable students to develop the necessary skills and understanding to use a range of technologies in their practice.
- To enable students to critically evaluate the potential and specific application of technology with respect to different contextual factors: learner profiles and needs, predominant methodological paradigms, technological setting, cultural setting.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the unit, students should be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding:

- understand the relationship between methodological approaches to the teaching of a second language and the use of technology;

- understand how technology use relates to the development of second language and digital literacies;
- understand the impact of emerging technologies on second language teaching and learning.

Intellectual Skills:

- critically engage with research into technology and second language teaching and learning;
- critically analyse factors that impact on the application of technology in specific language learning contexts and apply these to their own practice;
- determine effective use of technology in relation to classroom modality (single computer, computer lab, independent learning contexts eg home or self access)

Practical Skills:

- use a range of technologies to support language learning and teaching;
- evaluate existing practices in using technology in particular language teaching settings;
- create language learning tasks that appropriately exploit specific technologies in particular teaching scenarios.

Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities:

On successful completion of this course unit, participants should have developed:

- enhanced skills in academic literacies including academic presentation, information processing (on- and offline) and online networking
- enhanced skills in using information and communication technologies (ICT)
- enhanced skills in interpersonal and intercultural communication
- enhanced skills in team work and collaborative practice
- an appreciation of the value of reflection in professional practice
- enhanced metacognitive strategies with regard to study skills and further professional development

Teaching and learning methods


Class-contact sessions will consist of a mixture of teaching and learning modes principally hands-on workshops and seminars. The course unit Blackboard space acts as a repository of learning materials for use both within and beyond face-to-face sessions. Other tools such as a wiki and blog are also used to mediate learning activities at different points. Course unit participants will also be invited to consult the tutor on a one-to-one or small group basis and to make use of an online course unit forum.


Distance input is provided via Blackboard. This provides a combination of materials designed for printing and online work. Discussions and group tasks are facilitated through the use of online communications tools. At various points other tools are used as a focus for specific activity eg a wiki and a class blog.

Assessment methods

An assignment which addresses:

(1) Description of a teaching context and technology provision. Identification of a technology focus for exploration arising out of a consideration of the teaching context described

approx 500 words

(2) A review of research into the use of technology identified in part (1), identifying potentials and challenges from the research. up to 2500
A practical demonstration of understanding of how the technology identified might be applied in the context outlined in (1), taking account of the findings outlined in (2). This might be a teaching plan and associated materials for 1-2 hours of teaching, or equivalent materials for online or self access work, or an outline of a series of lessons/tasks that illustrate the effective integration of the chosen technology/technologies. Lesson plan and/or teaching materials with brief commentary highlighting salient features

approx 500 words

Feedback methods


Recommended reading

These are useful general reads, and are referred to in different parts of this course unit as well as other technology units.

Beatty, K. (2010) Teaching and Researching Computer Assisted Language Learning (Second Edition), Longman
Chapelle, C. (2001) Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: CUP'
Ducate, L. and Nike Arnold, N. (Eds.) (2006). Calling on CALL: From Theory and Research to New Directions in Foreign Language Teaching. CALICO
Levy, M. & Stockwell, G. (2006). CALL dimensions: Options and issues in computer-assisted language learning. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum
Sherman, J. (2003) Using Authentic Video in the Language Classroom. Cambridge: CUP

This online journal is referred to frequently during the course unit, and is a useful source to browse for pre-course reading:

Language Learning and Technology, available

The following journals are also referred to and participants should keep a regular eye on these:

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, System, British Journal of Educational Technology, Computers and Education, and the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 25
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 30
Tutorials 2
Work based learning 34
Independent study hours
Independent study 35

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gary Motteram Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit is typically taken as a core unit by both MA Educational Technology and TESOL and MA TESOL students.

NB: It is advised to contact the tutor if you wish to take this unit as an option as availability may be limited.

Pre-requisites: Use of technologies such as email, the Internet and applications such as word processing for personal use is assumed.

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