English, 2013 curriculum - Free topic 2: Foreign language acquisition: Teacher cognition research in language teaching

Course content

Research on teacher cognition in language teaching investigates the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that underlie the planning and practice of language teaching. Instead of only focusing on what goes on in the classroom or the learning effects of particular methods and approaches, teacher cognition research tries to tap into the mental lives of the teachers in order to explore the interplay between teaching experience, theoretical knowledge and actual classroom practices. The research looks at teachers’ reflections in relation to for example grammar teaching, literacy training, communicative language teaching, and teachers’ planning and on-line changes of plans. Teacher cognition studies also investigate the effect of teacher training, teacher identity and the role of previous learning experience on teaching practices with a focus on the potential conflicts teachers may experience in relation to competing demands and expectations.

The focus on the knowledge and the mental processing that guides language teaching calls for a range of different research approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, that can uncover the often implicit knowledge behind the complex process of language teaching. The course will explore some of the issues studied and the different methods used in teacher cognition research with some examples from the Danish research context.

Classes, with particular emphasis on reading primary and secondary texts, oral discussion and developing proficiency in English.

Course material will be based on Barnard, R. & A. Burns (2012) (red.) Researching Language Teacher Cognition and Practice. Multilingual Matters and a number of empirical research articles.

For some of the participants the course might provide inspiration for research projects in relation to their thesis ('speciale').

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 176,75
  • English
  • 204,75