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 and intercultural skills are of increasing importance. Educational institutions, therefore, require teachers and allied professionals with specialist knowledge and skills in language, culture and communication. In this first unit in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) specialisation, students will examine the interface between language and culture and the ways in which this may be manifest in multilingual environments. With particular reference to English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) learners, students will consider those elements that constitute language as social action and explore aspects and models of communication that both empower and disempower the individual in educational contexts and other environments. Links between ideology, power and language will be studied, together with concepts of class and gender. In relation to this theoretical framework, students will also explore the relationship between the teaching of English as an additional language/dialect and the explicit teaching of culture as a means of increasing both curricular access and broader opportunities for equitable social participation by EAL/D speakers. Therefore, the aim of this unit is to support students in developing the required specialist knowledge, understanding and skills in language, culture and communication in preparation for the other TESOL specialisation units.

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 the ways in which language encodes cultural meanings – in general and for students with diverse backgrounds (GA1, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 6.2, 6.3 [all at HA & Lead levels) 

LO2 - Articulate the links between ideology, power and language (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 6.2, 6.3 [all at HA & Lead levels] ) 

LO3 - Critically evaluate linguistically and culturally appropriate resources (including digital and other multimodal resources) for teaching language and culture (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.4, 3.6, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 [all at HA & Lead levels])  

LO4 - Investigate and communicate the consequences of the information revolution for the development of English as a global language and the teaching of English as an additional language/dialect (GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.4, 3.6, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 [all at HA & Lead levels])  

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

1.3 students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

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

2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

2.2 Content selection and organisation (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

2.6 Information and communication technology (ICT) (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

3.4 Select and use resources (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

3.6 Evaluate and improve teaching programs (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

6.3 Engage with colleagues and improve practice (Highly Accomplished/Lead)

6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning (Highly Accomplished/Lead)


Topics will include: 

• Culture encoded in language 

  • sociocultural influences on language including: registers, dialects, standard, regional and individual varieties of language  
  • intercultural and cross-cultural communication 

• Relationships between language and power and ideology 

  • issues of culture, ethnicity, class and gender  
  • concepts of critical literacy and multi-literacies 

• Linguistically and culturally appropriate resources for teaching English 

  • principles for selection/design of resources 
  • evaluation of digital and other multimodal resources 

• The information (ICT) revolution and English as a global language 

  • English and the world wide web 
  • varieties of English across the globe 

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. Students will study readings and other online learning materials and participate in online discussions and other independent/collaborative learning experiences on- and off-line. 

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 language, culture and communication  

The first task (40%) focuses on the relationship between learning language and culture and the second assignment (60%)applies knowledge to design, select and evaluate resources for teaching students with EAL/D. The second task (60%) requires students to develop and/or implement and action plan that enhances students’ learning skills, social and emotional capability, relationships and engagement in learning. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Extended written task 

Students will write an essay on the relationship between learning language and culture – and the impact of this on the teaching of English as a global language  


LO1, LO2, LO4 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, 


Assessment Task 2 

Written Assignment 

Students will design/select and evaluate resources for teaching students with EAL/D  


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5,  

GA8, GA9, 


Representative texts and references

Kubota, R. (2013). ‘Language is only a tool’: Japanese expatriates working in China and implications for language teaching. Multilingual Education, 3(4), 1-20. 

Liddicoat, A., & Scarino, A. (2013). Intercultural language teaching and learning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.  

Malcolm, I. G. (2013). The ownership of Aboriginal English in Australia. World Englishes, 32(1), 42-53. 

Obaidul Hamid, M. (2014). World Englishes in international proficiency tests. World Englishes, 33(2), 263-277. 

Obaidul Hamid, M., Nguyen, H. T. M., & Baldauf, R. B. (2013). Medium of instruction in Asia: Context, processes and outcomes. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 1-15.  

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2013). Today’s indigenous education is a crime against humanity: Mother-tongue-based multilingual education as an alternative? TESOL in Context, 23(1/2), 82-124. 

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. & Heugh, K. (2012). (Eds). Multilingual education and sustainable diversity work: From the periphery to center. New York: Routledge 

Recommended Journals  

International Journal of Multicultural Education 

Language, Culture and Curriculum 

Language and Education 

Language and Intercultural Communication 

Multicultural Perspectives 

Prospect: An Australian Journal of TESOL 

TESOL Quarterly 

TESOL in Context 

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