Social and Individual Variables in Language Learning and Teaching ENGLANG5122

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces students to current thinking within applied linguistics on the effect of variables such as motivation, attitudes, demographic profile and identity on both language learners and teachers. Students will explore the interrelation between social and individual variables and critically evaluate seminal and ground-breaking work in this field over the last 60 years. Students will be introduced to a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and discuss the relevance and robustness of these, individually or in combination, for research into their own chosen area.


10 x 2hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Oral presentation (10 minutes) - 25%

Written assignment (4,000 words) - 75%

Course Aims

This course aims to: 

 Introduce students to the key theoretical issues in learner and teacher variables in language education and to outline the evolution of research into social and individual variables over the past 60 years

 Enable students to identify and define complex social and individual variables relevant to language learning and teaching  

 Provide practical skills training in research design and implementation through a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Critically analyse the theoretical and methodological trajectory of research into social and individual variables in language learning and teaching over the past 60 years  

Evaluate the key findings from selected seminal studies in the research area and relate these to their experiences or areas of interest

Interpret and interrelate the results of qualitative and quantitative analysis of real-life data

Identify and articulate future directions for research in language learning and teaching  

Identify, critique and apply a range of appropriate methodologies for researching social and individual variables in language learning and teaching 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.