Didactics of Foreign Language – Field of study catalogue MU
Didactics of Foreign Language
“Understanding the world through foreign language learning.”
The study programme of Didactics of Foreign Language offers a deeper understanding of the processes of foreign language teaching and learning. It develops and cultivates analytical abilities that are currently required in the area of education. The interdisciplinary character of the didactics of foreign languages arises from its close relationship with a range of other disciplines, especially to philosophy, pedagogy, general didactics, psychology, language acquisition, culture studies, literature studies and many others. The students will be acquainted with modern approaches to learning and teaching foreign languages on the basis of theoretical knowledge of the abovementioned auxiliary sciences and will be systematically prepared for independent research activities and analytical expertise. Thanks to its interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary character the research aims to explain institutionalized foreign language teaching from different perspectives and on the basis of empirically verified results it develops new impulses for more effective processes of foreign language learning and teaching.
The study programme is offered to Master’s degree holders in the fields of Lower Secondary Foreign Language Teaching or Secondary Foreign Language Teaching, Primary Foreign Language Teaching with a specialization in a foreign language or for those who studied a Master’s degree programme in philology and also a complementary study programme in pedagogy. The programme aims to provide future researchers and experts in the decision-making spheres with a high-quality education specialized in English, German, French or Russian languages.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of educational theories and is able to analyse and interpret the issues related to the theory of school, the theory of curriculum and the theory of teaching
- understand complex issues of language acquisition and is able to evaluate implications of the theories of language acquisition for educational practice,and to apply the acquired expert knowledge in research into teaching and learning a foreign language
- understand methodology of research in foreign language didactics
- apply a number of research methods and procedures, prepare, implement and interpret research in foreign language didactics independently and creatively
- show awareness of the possibilities of researching a foreign language curriculum and its design with regard to modern didactic concepts and requirements of modern society in the field of language education
- understand classical and modern linguistic disciplines, especially in the areas relevant for foreign language didactics (pragmalinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics)
- interpret specific relationships of culture and language and to apply the knowledge in research related to foreign language teaching
The graduates can work as researchers in pedagogical research institutes, national and international institutions, as university teachers, teacher educators, consultants in the field of language education, writers or evaluators of foreign language coursebooks, other teaching materials or curricular documents, or policy-makers in language education.
The standard length of studies is eight semesters. The required number of credits that students have to gain is 240. The required courses that constitute the basis of the discipline make up 220 credits (including 70 credits for didactic, linguistic and pedagogical and psychological courses, 120 credits for the Dissertation Thesis course and 20 credits for the Expertise in Research Field course; 10 credits for Foreign Language at level B1 for Doctoral Studies). The remaining 20 credits can be gained in selective or elective courses that the students register for during their studies depending on the focus of their dissertation. The students follow the rules given in the Study Catalogue posted on the website of PdF MU and IS MU.
During the standard length of study students are required to teach at secondary school or university (2 – 4 lessons a week). Students whose dissertations are based on empirical research are expected to register for the course of Field Research that involves teaching practice. The other students are strongly recommended to register for the course of Field Research as well.
The state doctoral examination consists of two parts:
1. interview and
2. dissertation thesis defence
The graduate has to prove the expertise and ability to carry out independent and creative work in the field.
1. The interview
The first part of the interview is a discussion of the theses of the dissertation that present the major part of the intended dissertation. The second part is a discussion focussing on (1) knowledge and orientation in pedagogy and methodology of educational research, (2) in linguistics, (3) in foreign language didactics and methodology of research in foreign language didactics and specialized areas relevant for the dissertation.
2. Dissertation thesis defence
The studies in the doctoral degree programme are aimed at the completion of a dissertation thesis which should according to para. 47 of the Higher Education Act "show the ability of the candidate to carry out independent activities in the area of research or development, or independent theoretical and creative artistic activities".
Acceptable dissertation theses are original scientifically theoretical, historically comparative, methodological and empirical works, or a work that combines the abovementioned types in an appropriate manner.
The procedure of the State doctoral examination follows the Study and examination regulations available at http://www.rect.muni.cz/statut/studrad_new.htm (catch V, article 30-33).