Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

At a time of rapid ongoing change as a result of globalisation, internationalisation and developing information communication technologies, effective English language skills are of increasing importance. Educational institutions, therefore, require teachers and allied professionals with specialist knowledge and skills in teaching English language to learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) and/or speakers of other languages (TESOL). In this unit students will explore theories of first and second language acquisition (SLA) and of the nature of language as a meaning making resource. Students will examine a range of current pedagogical approaches for English language teaching and assess their consistency with outcomes of recent SLA research. Students will apply their understandings of SLA theory to the design and justification of contextualised teaching and learning experiences which develop English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, writing and viewing, the aim of this unit is to support students in developing the required specialist knowledge, understanding and skills for English language teaching.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify various theories about second language acquisition by reflecting critically on the nature of language and the ways in which the theories are reflected in different teaching methods (GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 1.3) 

LO2 - Construct a personal theoretical framework for teaching English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) learners (GA4, GA8, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.4) 

LO3 - Evaluate and apply contextualised teaching and learning experiences to develop the listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing skills of EAL/D learners (GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 3.1, 3.3, 4.1) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

1.2  Understand how students learn (Highly Accomplished)

1.3  Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds (Highly Accomplished)

1.4  Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (Highly Accomplished)

3.1  Establish challenging learning goals (Highly Accomplished)

3.3  Use teaching strategies (Highly Accomplished)

4.1  Support student participation (Highly Accomplished)


Topics will include: 

  • Theories of first language acquisition, 
  • Theories of second language acquisition (SLA) including: differing proficiency domains developed through different pathways (BICS/CALP) 
  • common underlying proficiency 
  • comprehensible input, output 
  • context-embedded learning 
  • Pedagogies for English language teaching  
  • Pedagogies and practices consistent with SLA theories 
  • Context-embedded language teaching 
  • Curriculum cycle  
  • Linguistic scaffolding techniques 
  • Student participation models 
  • Preparation for practice teaching, including:  
  • Strategies for interpreting student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice to improve learning outcomes 
  • Seeking and applying constructive feedback from supervisor to reflect on and improve English language teaching practice. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode and will be supported by a unit LEO (learning environment online) site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum. The unit will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning and assessment.  

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, and assignments etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skill related to teaching strategies for TESOL.  

In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit or participate in the first two assessment tasks. The first task, a written assignment, focuses on developing a personal theoretical framework for the teaching of English to EAD/D / TESOL students; the second task is a teaching portfolio demonstrating the application of SLA theology and pedagogical practices for a specific English learner.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Written Assignment 

Develop and justify a personal theoretical framework for the teaching of English to EAL/D/TESOL students 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Assessment Task 2 

Teaching Portfolio 

Develop a Teaching Portfolio that demonstrates the application of SLA theory and derived pedagogical practices for a specific English language learner(s) and context 



GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (2016). English as an additional language or dialect: Teacher resource. Retrieved from 

de Courcy, M., Dooley, K., Jackson, R., Miller, J., & Rushton, K. (2012). Teaching EAL/D learners in Australian classrooms. Primary English Teaching Association Australia Paper 183. Retrieved from 

Hertzberg, M. (2012). Teaching English language learners in mainstream classes. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia. 

Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

Renandya, W., & Widodo, H. (2016). (Eds.). English language teaching today: Linking theory and practice. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 

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