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Language Education

Aims of the programme

This programme aims to allow students to engage with the range of language issues faced by teachers and learners in diverse educational settings. It is designed to equip students with the academic and professional skills to negotiate the challenges and opportunities presented by language in school and society, including literacy development amongst diverse socioeconomic groups, increasing cultural and linguistic diversity, bilingualism and multilingualism, second language acquisition. The Language Education programme provides an integrated perspective on language that is grounded within the broader field of education. Overall the strand aims to ensure a theoretically grounded understanding of language development and use through integrating oral and written language.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is aimed at teachers practising in the primary sector who wish to extend their theoretical knowledge in the area of language in light of new curriculum specifications (e.g. the Aistear Framework and the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy). Furthermore, it is aimed at language teachers at post-primary level involved with proposed curriculum specifications for English, Irish and Modern Foreign Languages. Individuals engaged in policy and planning in education and language, in Ireland and abroad, will also be interested in the course, as will graduates in the areas of education, language, and linguistics.


The taught component includes four modules, each including 25 hours of direct contact time. Each module includes twelve two-hour lectures in Trinity College on weekday evenings during term. The programme can be studied on a one year full time basis, or on a two year or three year part-time basis. The research component involves carrying out a research project and writing a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor.

Course Modules

1. Integrating Language will provide students with a comprehensive overview of issues pertaining to language and language education.  This core, baseline module explores key issues and concepts in language. It aims to offer a theoretical perspective, encouraging students to reflect on what language is, from a developmental point of view. Given the breadth and range of research in the field, the module will aim to examine how competing theoretical approaches to language have accounted for language development phenomena in first and second languages.

2. Researching Language will allow students to build upon the expertise developed in the Integrating Language module and will allow them to investigate how research in language and language education generates theory and informs policy and practice. A key focus of the module will be on the appraisal of approaches to research and on the application of critical awareness to the design of research projects.

3. Bilingualism and Multilingualism will develop the foundational knowledge gained in the core modules and situate it within the global context of bilingualism and multilingualism. It will allow students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with using more than one language under the conditions of globalisation. Students will develop an awareness of the nature of bilingualism and multilingualism and will engage with and assess educational models for bilingual/multilingual individuals.

4. Embodying Language: This module provides an introduction to embodiment in language education and research. It aims to encourage discussion on the theoretical and practical aspects related to researching the role of play, emotions and creativity in learning. The module encourages students to cultivate a variety of research methods related to embodiment, drawing on different art forms - including drama in education, storytelling, dance, music, visual arts, media and digital arts.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A blend of lectures and seminars. The seminars will include activities that engage the students in group work and cooperative learning. Student participation in class debates and discussions will feature, for instance students will read prescribed materials before class and class discussion will be based on the topics in the assigned readings. Learners will experience a flexible approach to teaching and learning, facilitate by experts in the field.

Further information

For enquiries about course content contact Noel Ó Murchadha ( / + 353 1 896 3197). For all other enquiries, including information on how to apply, please contact Keara Eades/Catherine Minet (+353 1 896 3568/1290).
Note: prospective students should realise that this information is as accurate as it can be at the time of production but will not reflect changes to the programme which might have been made at a later stage.

Last updated 2 May 2017