Department of English Language  Pedagogy

School of English and American Studies - Eötvös Loránd University

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Methodology lecture series and exam

List of DELP courses and course descriptions (pdf)



Methodology lecture series and exam (2019-2020)




This series of lectures is to enable trainee teachers to

-    develop and expand their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of current principles and practices of English language teaching, focusing particularly on theories of language learning and teaching, the English language as a system, and general pedagogy

-    acquaint themselves with scholarly study that has relevance for language teachers, and increase their ability to interact effectively with a variety of professionals

-    adopt a principled and reflective approach to teaching




Christopher Ryan

Dwarves sitting on the shoulders of giants: A (very) short history of ELT

People have been teaching English as a foreign language for hundreds of years, and it’s worth wondering what we can learn from our predecessors in the profession. You may already have asked yourself some of the following questions:

”Has ELT always been like this?”

How revolutionary is all this Communicative Language Teaching stuff?”

Have the aims of ELT changed at all?”

Why shouldn’t I teach the way I was taught?”

This lecture offers an overview of the main currents in ELT over the past five and a half centuries, which may suggest a few answers.




Frank Prescott

Classroom Cultures: From Coral Gardens to Learning Networks

Interest in the language classroom as a culture in its own right can be traced back to Breen’s 1995 article in which he compares the richness and complexity of classroom life to a coral garden. The interest in and study of the life of the classroom has been further explored by researchers such as Prabhu, Allwright and more recently Rose Senior. This lecture will give an overview of the research on the complexity of classroom culture and its implications for authentic communication and look at the status of the language classroom in the 21st century following the advent of the digital revolution. The emphasis will be on the opportunities offered by the life of the classroom for meaningful interaction and creating engaging activities for students


Uwe Pohl

Have you got the energy? Teacher energies and learning groups

As communicative language teachers, we value classroom experiences that are energising and engaging for our students. Yet we often find ourselves grappling with lessons or parts of a class where there is a distinct lack of dynamic group interaction. This lecture will take a closer look at the group encounter as a kind of variable energy field, in which the personal energy of the teacher is crucial and where the different energy flows need to be monitored and managed.


Uwe Pohl

No fluent fools - The role of culture in ELT

Hungarian learners of English do not just study a foreign language. Inside and outside the classroom they also encounter cultural phenomena that are different from their own – an experience that can be exciting, confusing or irritating. What is more, the ultimate goal of learning any language other than one's own is the ability to interact appropriately and effectively with members of other speech communities and cultures. This lecture will examine the background to intercultural education in the classroom and raise some issues of particular relevance to Hungarian school contexts.


Andrea Thurmer

Multicultural education

Multiculturalism exists in many forms depending on the nation, region, and even local communities. Multicultural education reflects those differences within communities and within classrooms. Despite this, the practice of Multicultural Educations is based on very specific fundamental principles of teaching and learning. This lecture will focus on such fundamental principles, clarify a number of related concepts and pedagogic strategies as well as address the varying degrees by which all of these can be introduced into the classroom setting.



Révész Judit

The Lexical Approach or the sad story of the dead rabbit

Is language really a huge substitution table where we simply have to fill the slots with vocabulary items of our choice? Is it really their grammatical prowess that makes good language learners so fluent? Is grammar the most important way vocabulary is organized? Are vocabulary notebooks the best idea to store vocabulary? The Lexical Approach represents a major paradigm shift in our thinking about language and more importantly about how languages are learnt and how they are to be taught. Besides presenting the theory, the lecture will also look at the methodological implications of this new way of thinking.


Veljanovszki Dávid

A square peg in a round hole? – Spoken genres in the ELT classroom

Communicative language teaching prizes speaking activities modelled upon real life interactions and serving meaningful communicative purposes. Thus, the language classroom could be seen as a true reflection of real life speaking situations. Through reliance on the most essential tools for describing the main properties of these spoken exchanges, you will be invited to appreciate the diversity of oral genres typically found in classroom contexts, ranging from closely scripted speech events, such as oral presentations and debates, to more spontaneously constructed instances of communication (pair/group discussions, teacher-initiated responses, student comments, etc.). There will be a brief overview of the structural features of the most common spoken genres. Questions such as what makes a fitting and assessable contribution as well as how the related skills, awareness may be taught and developed will also be addressed. 




Szesztay Margit

The teacher as preacher, the teacher as facilitator

Recent approaches to ELT have required the teacher to take on new roles. In addition to the more traditional roles of passing on information and giving explanations, for example, teachers need to tap into the potential of the group and to coordinate various pair, group and whole class activities. When student-to-student interaction becomes the main source of learning, the teacher acts more like a facilitator of the learning process, rather than being the fountain of knowledge. But what exactly does this mean in practice? … This will be the main focus of this lecture.


Lázár Ildikó 

Upgrading the system: Alternative approaches to assessment

As EFL teachers, we give feedback to our students and assess their progress. But what exactly do we assess, why do we and how do we go about it? It is very important to make conscious and well-informed decisions about our choices between direct and indirect, holistic and analytic, formative and summative, continuous and one-off assessment methods as well as self- or peer-evaluation and assessment by the teacher. The lecture will invite you to think about possible drawbacks of traditional assessment practices and will also introduce current alternative assessment methods ranging from learning diaries to portfolios.




Major Éva & Szabó Éva

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em: ICT methodologies in the language classroom

Technology in language teaching is not new, but as access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become more widespread, the use of rapidly changing new tools in education will inevitably result in changing normal ELT practice as well. On the other hand, it is quite difficult for teachers to see how to exploit these tools in their own classroom. The lecture will give an overview of using current technology and tools in the language classroom, from websites through emails, blogs and wikis to e-learning, illustrating each application with short examples. The key questions will be: How can a teacher integrate ICT tools in his/her teaching? What are the key issues to be considered when a teacher decides to apply ICT tools? How can a digital immigrant (like most of us teachers are) live up to the expectations of a digital native (like most students are nowadays)?


Lázár Ildikó 

Learn to change – change to learn: Continuous professional development

The aims of this lecture series include enabling trainee teachers to develop and expand their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of English language teaching and general pedagogy as well as adopting a principled and reflective approach to teaching. We would all be upset if 19th century principles and methods ruled in our schools and classrooms but are we open and ready to unlearn some 20th century rules and practices we were taught by? Are we ready to  change our ways of thinking about language education in order to develop? Learning can be a continuous blow to one’s self-esteem and that’s why we learn to change and change to learn.




This exam aims to assess your knowledge and understanding of some of the issues addressed by methodology lecture series and will take about 90'. Electronic copies of the lecture handouts and required readings will be made available weekly via moodle.

In the exam, you will be asked to give a short explanation (5-8 lines) of key terms or issues gleaned from the lectures, handouts and readings. This might mean explaining an ELT concept, listing characteristic features of a term or a combination of both. In each case the task rubric will specify what is required.




 Sample items and answers

1. Explain what is meant by THE HOLY GRAIL OF LANGUAGE TESTING (L9)

With tests, teachers want to measure language proficiency. This is very difficult to measure, which is why they need tools (a testing method) to be able to do this. But, at the same time, these tools affect the result of the tests written by test candidates.


The language teaching operation consists of three stages: In the presentation stage certain linguistic elements are introduced. In the practice stage the new elements are consolidated by means of drills and exercises. In the production stage, the same elements are applied in the form of communicative activities.


  • the representation of culture is as important as the language learning tasks
  • the tourist-consumer viewpoint has been replaced by teaching students intercultural communication skills
  • provide a realistic picture of a target culture, i.e. presents people from different regional, social and ethnic backgrounds
  • gets students to compare the other society to their own
  • encourages learners to observe, reflect on and participate in the target culture and prepares them for visits to that culture as well as other cultures


 In writing your answers to the test items you will be expected to express yourself in your own words, concisely and coherently. A maximum of 3 points will be awarded for each explanation on the basis of the following criteria:


 3 points:

Description is correct, detailed and phrased appropriately. Shows full understanding of the key term or issue.

 2 -1 points:

Description shows familiarity with the substance of the key term but is not detailed and/or is

phrased inappropriately.

 0 points

Understanding of the key term cannot be ascertained from the description. ‘Dump truck’ answers and/or examples given without making clear how they are supposed to be understood.





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