Mapping the Territory: critical concepts and issues Bilingualism in society
This unit enables a critical exploration of theory and practice and the ways these inter-relate and extend each other, for practice. There is an emphasis on participants exploring (re-looking), analysing and reflecting on theoretical, conceptual and contextual lenses and evidence salient for their own practice settings and professional priorities, to ask challenging questions, and make judgements about what is going on, where they sit, and how they might respond. Typical content might include policy perspective on issues related to bilingualism in the UK and globally, English as an Additional Language (EAL), migration, ethnic diversity, media representations of diversity and the foundations of bilingual development.
Specialist Supported Project: Investigating bilingual development
This unit supports students to undertake a project that has particular relevance to their professional practice. Students identify and explore significant themes, issues or challenges, select a relevant focus for their project, and appropriate approach/tools/methods. The unit enables students to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge through the use of evidence, analysis, reflection and evaluation, as appropriate to their project. The unit provides an introduction to factors that affect bilingual development and EAL, including family settings and school contexts. It will also consider the distinctive characteristics and contributions of bilingual and multilingual speakers.
Shaping the Future: Changing practice in bilingual education
This unit asks students to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within their own practice, to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice. This provides opportunities to work at the leading edge (of thinking/practice) to rethink services or approaches/interventions, to plan forward and/or to consider specific changes and innovations in language education.
Research and Practice
The unit aims to develop a greater understanding of the relevance of research to professional practice. Students examine different approaches to conducting research, and their limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in their own practice area. The unit also explores the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process, especially those particular to practitioner research. As part of the assessment of the unit, students produce a research proposal (that can be taken forward to final dissertation) to demonstrate understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.
This unit is designed to support and facilitate students in planning, conducting and evaluating a significant, practical and coherent (practitioner) research project. Participants finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and will then undertake the research project. Whilst undertaking the project students are offered tutorial support, this constitutes a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. The entire process is supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching the students experience and improving the quality of the final dissertation.