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APPL8230 – Classroom, Curriculum and Context

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer and course convenor
Jill Murray
Margaret Wood
Xuan Ha
Luke Thompson
Mehdi Riazi
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MAppLing or MAppLingTESOL or MTransInterMAppLingTESOL
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is about language teaching and learning and focuses on internal and external social factors which influence both curriculum and classroom practice. The focus of the unit moves from consideration of individuals in a teaching-learning context, to the classroom as a site of learning and generation of a unique discourse, and then to the influence and impact of broader social and political concerns on curriculum and on all participants in the process. Factors that bring about and impede change are examined and their impact evaluated across a spectrum of learning environments. The focus is on TESOL but teachers of other languages will also find this unit relevant to their professional practice.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: 1. Identify the social parameters, inside and outside the classroom, which define learning contexts and impact on learning
  • ULO2: 2. Establish the link between these social parameters and the constraints and opportunities that exist in different contexts.
  • ULO3: 3.Develop a critical understanding of the range of approaches and methods used in TESOL, the principles underlying them and how, together with historical factors, they influence curriculum and syllabus design.
  • ULO4: 4. Understand how teachers develop beliefs about language learning and teaching and the effect these can have on lesson planning and delivery, and apply this knowledge to reflect on and critically analyse your own beliefs about language learning.
  • ULO5: 5.Make recommendations for lesson and curriculum design in specific teaching- learning contexts
  • ULO6: 6. Discuss and explore ways to promote ethical and sustainable approaches to TESOL in your professional life.
  • ULO7: 7. Apply relevant theoretical models to practice in your own teaching contexts, and evaluate their effectiveness

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Late assignments The policy regarding late assignments has now been standardised across postgraduate Linguistics units but there may be some minor differences in how they are applied, submission times etc. Please read this carefully and ask the convenor if you have any questions. 

For this unit: 

  • Assignments to be submitted through turnitin are due at 11.59pm Sydney time on the due date.  Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 5% of the mark achieved for the assignment for each day after the due date. This will be calculated on a pro-rata basis for the first day, which means that if you have issues uploading your work and you submit shortly after the due time you may not be penalised at all.  From the second day onwards the full 5% will apply. 
  • Late submission of an assignment without an extension will not be permitted after marks have been released to the rest of the class.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation. The discretion of the convenor to grant extensions is limited. 
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration
  • Assignments submitted after the deadline, regardless of the reason, will be marked and returned at a date determined by the unit convenor.

Extensions cannot continue beyond the start of the following semester, and students should be aware that long extensions may impact graduation dates.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


In order to optimise the effectiveness of their teaching and the breadth and depth of their professional knowledge, teachers need an understanding of the micro and macro contextual forces that interact and influence the events in their classrooms. In order to implement and evaluate change at any level, they need to be able understand the roles of stakeholders and the forces that act upon them. This unit examines practice and provides theoretical bases for critical thought and action. It builds a foundation from which research may be undertaken as well as evaluated and applied. It promotes an ethical and sustainable approach to TESOL, and an awareness of its place in the contemporary world.


Teaching and Learning Strategies

This unit is taught through:

  • Course notes (provided on i-learn)
  • Lectures and class discussions
  • Structured reading and reflection tasks
  • Web tasks and discussions  

It is expected that students in this unit will ….

  • Read the essential pre-reading before the lecture/seminars. (Internal students only)
  • Attend all of the lecture/seminar sessions. (Internal students only)
  • Participate in small group discussions and tasks in class.(Internal students only)
  • Participate in web discussions and online tasks.
  • Download and read the powerpoints after each of the lecture/seminars
  • Access other readings from the unit website as well as journals and library resources.
  • Consult with the lecturer about any assessment or other issues that need clarification.

NB: This unit is delivered in blended mode.  Distance course materials are also available to internal students. Space permitting, external students may attend the on-campus sessions if they wish. All students are expected to participate in web discussions and complete online tasks.

Required and Recommended Reading and Learning Material

There are no textbooks for this unit.

Reading material for this course consists of book chapters and some journal articles that can be found on Leganto. Other journal articles can be accessed directly through the library catalogue. Detailed reading lists will be available on the i-learn site, which you can access from Monday Week 1.  Reading guides and questions to consider are provided for the key readings.  

For copyright reasons, some of the items on e-reserve may not be available for the entire period of the course. This means that students must download them when they are available and also that it is no cause for concern if readings do not appear until shortly before the corresponding module is due to commence.


i-learn will be used in the delivery of this unit. 

On campus sessions will be recorded, but they will consist of student discussions and tasks rather than lectures. It is not essential for distance students to listen to these, but they are advised to download the slides available after the lecture sessions. 

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


Lecture date





Defining a social context




Teacher cognition and practice




English in the world




Communicative language teaching: origins and directions after the ‘post-method era’




Approaches to curriculum design




The role of teaching materials: a critical approach

A1 due Monday 6 April



The classroom as a complex system

Friday 10 April - last chance to complete web forums Weeks 1-7






Researching classroom discourse 1




Researching classroom discourse 2




Curriculum innovation




Innovation in teaching: technological affordances




Action research: Teacher initiated change




Review:  Teachers: professional development, research and change

Friday 5 June-  last chance to complete web forums Weeks 8-13.  A2 due Monday 8 June

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

Module timetable and assignment dates. 

Changes since First Published

Date Description
12/02/2020 Details of lecture times and assignment due dates have been added.