Learning, Teaching and Researching - 1st semester


By the end of this UC students will:
- be able to identify factors differentiating second language learners
- be able to identify factors which contribute to effective language learning
- demonstrate an ability to evaluate needs, styles and preferences of language learners
- be able to identify and understand the importance of factors such as first language influence and the age of onset of learning on second language development
- demonstrate an ability to reflect on their beliefs, attitudes, experiences of language teaching and researching teaching through a process of reflective writing
- understand the importance of educational research which involves the teacher as an investigator of their own practice
- be able to design appropriate data collection tools to find out about learners´ second language learning
- be able to design and implement small-scale qualitative research

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Margarida Martins (UAberta)


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Bell, J. Doing your Research Project. 4th Edition. New York: Open University Press, 2005.
Brown, J. D., & Coombe, C. (Eds.). The Cambridge Guide to Research in Language Teaching and Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Dörnyei, Z. Research Methods in Applied Linguistics: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methodologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Dörnyei, Z. The Psychology of the Language Learner. Individual Differences in Second Language Learning, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005. Ellis, R. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Lightbown, P.M. and Spada, N. 4th Edition. How Languages are Learned. Handbooks for Language Teachers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Teaching method

The teaching-learning process to be developed takes place in a virtual environment (e-learning, with recourse to the Moodle platform) covering two separate teaching modules:
1) Reflecting on teaching and learning;
2) Researching learning and teaching.
The learning methods used combine individual study with collaborative work. Students are required to carry out individual reading and research work and to develop a critical reflection on the course materials. Collaborative work is to be conducted in discussion forums, in which students are expected to participate by presenting the conclusions of their reflection on the course material, debating specific questions or topics, and presenting and discussing their own course work and that developed by other course participants.

Evaluation method

Individual written assignments and participation in Forums discussions.
Continuous assessment assignments account for 60% of the assessment for the Seminar (30% Module 1 and 30% Module 2).
1 Final Research report accounts for 40% of the Seminar marks.

Subject matter

Seminar 1 explores the roles of the learner, the teacher and the researcher in English Language Teaching and Learning. It addresses the needs and attributes of learners - factors that differentiate language learners, and looks at skills and tools to evaluate the needs of a language learner. The Seminar also explores core areas of research in Second Language Acquisition. It focuses on features of language learner development and ultimate attainment by investigating the influence of language input and the role of formal instruction. The role of the teacher is addressed through a process of reflective enquiry involving reflection on English language teaching experience, practice and beliefs. Reflective writing is used as a technique to develop this awareness. Researcher competence is developed which includes skills for designing data gathering tools, analysis and interpretation of findings that are necessary for small scale research.


Programs where the course is taught: