ATS3816 - The social context of language learning - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Louisa Willoughby


Dr Louisa Willoughby

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Current enrolment in 3rd year level LOTE study and at least one of ATS2681, ATS2683Not offered in 2019, ATS2676 or ATS2653.

Students who do not meet these requirements but have studied one or more languages to a high level of proficiency are encouraged to contact the course coordinator to see if they can take the unit by permission.


In the innovative unit students explore issues in the teaching and learning of languages, and reflect on their own language learning experience. Students design and carry out a research project in an area of language learning of interest to them, and engage in detailed discussion in weekly seminars. The unit brings together students from a range of language backgrounds and explores the motivations people bring to second language learning and the effect of different learning environments. A key focus is developing students' awareness of career options using languages and developing skills of interest to employers, such as project design and management, data analysis and report writing.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe different approaches to formal and informal language learning and the merits and pitfalls of each approach
  2. Discuss the effect that social factors, such as gender, friendship groups and societal attitudes can have on language learning
  3. Reflect on their own language learning motivation, style and achievements
  4. Explore how institutions such as schools and universities make decisions about how to structure their language programs
  5. Understand key language issues facing multilingual/ multicultural societies
  6. Be familiar with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying language learning
  7. Conduct a small independent research project in an area of their own choosing


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study