Subject Name: Didactis of the English Language
Study: Degree in Primary Education (Bilingual Group)
ECTS Credits: 6
Year and four month period: Third year, 1st four month period
Type of subject: Mandatory


In this subject we will analyze some theories and relevant teaching methodologies related to the acquisition of foreign languages and its implementation in the pre-school classroom.

Through the course we will rethink about English language teaching, analyzing the concepts of multiple intelligences, the different learninf styles as well as the individual differences that will influence in the way our students assimilate the new concepts that we will ease to them.

We will learn as well that learning a new language has its own characteristics and we will know the steps to follow to help our students to communicate in the English language and besides they will learn the culture of the countries where it is spoken.

Practice will have a great importance in this subject, for this reason we will design activities that we can use with our students and we will see numerous examples and resources in the classroom.

Basic competences

  • BC1: Students have shown that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study, starting from the basics of general secondary education, which is usually found at a level that, although supported by advanced textbooks, also includes some aspects that imply knowledge from the cutting edge of their field of study.
  • BC2: Students know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional manner, and possess the skills that they usually demonstrate through the development and defence of arguments, as well as the resolution of problems within their area of study.
  • BC4: Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialised and non-specialised public.
  • BC5: Students have developed the learning skills required to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.

General competences

  • GC2: Promote and facilitate learning in early childhood, from a globalising and integrating perspective of the different cognitive, emotional, psycho-motor and volitional dimensions.
  • GC3: Design and regulate learning spaces in contexts of diversity that address the unique educational needs of students, gender equality, equity and respect for human rights.
  • GC5: Reflect in a group about the acceptance of norms and respect for others. Promote the autonomy and uniqueness of each student as factors of education of emotions, feelings and values in early childhood.

Specific competences

  • SC43: Encourage speech and writing skills.
  • SC44: Know and master oral and written expression techniques.
  • SC48: Address situations for learning language in multilingual contexts.
  • SC49: Recognise and value the proper use of verbal and non-verbal language.
  • SC52: Be able to foster a first approach to a foreign language.

Unit 1. Learning theories and styles: towards the teaching-learning of foreign languages

  • How to study this unit?
  • Piaget: the child and the interaction with the social environment
  • Vygotsky: the importance of social interaction
  • Bruner and the concept of “scaffolding”
  • Gardner and the theory of multiple intelligences
  • The emotional dimension of learning
  • Learning styles
  • References

Unit 2. Teaching-learning foreign languages

  • How to study this unit?
  • Introduction to teaching and learning foreign languages
  • Influence of age on learning a foreign language
  • Influence of the mother tongue in learning a foreign language
  • Individual differences and their influence on the learning a foreign language
  • Bilingual education and multilingual education
  • The English language as an international language or lingua franca
  • References

Unit 3. Learning the spoken English language

  • How to study this unit?
  • The importance of oral language in the process for learning a foreign language
  • Basic principles for the teaching-learning of spoken language
  • Development of oral discourse in children
  • Encouraging interaction in English: classroom cooperation
  • Written language as support for developing spoken language
  • Use of “authentic” materials
  • Non-intimidating atmosphere: verbal and non verbal communication and the teacher’s role
  • References

Unit 4. Learning vocabulary in English

  • How to study this unit?
  • Basic principles for the teaching-learning of vocabulary
  • Word categories applied to vocabulary learning
  • Vocabulary learning and teaching techniques
  • Selecting vocabulary
  • Expanding vocabulary
  • Examples of exercises for working on vocabulary
  • References

Unit 5. Introduction to literacy in English

  • How to study this unit?
  • Literacy process
  • Factors that influence literacy learning in the English language
  • Create a favourable environment for literacy learning in the English language
  • Methods for literacy teaching in the English language
  • Following steps in literacy teaching-learning in English
  • References

Unit 6. Learning of the English language through literary devices and games

  • How to study this unit?
  • Using stories to learn the English language
  • Organising the discussion for stories
  • Using the language from the stories
  • The quality of the stories as a material for teaching a foreign languagen
  • Developing tasks around the story
  • Using songs and rhythms/poems in class
  • Using games to maintain culture. Different concepts of culture in the classroom
  • Games and the moral and social development of children. Theories of Piaget, Kohlberg Mead and Vygotsky
  • References

Unit 7. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

  • How to study this unit?
  • CLIL definition and principles
  • Learning the content: cognitive development
  • Curricular models in CLIL for Early Years and Primary Education
  • Planning CLIL sessions
  • References

Unit 8. Topic-based approach or project-based work

  • How to study this unit?
  • Language learning holistic approach: topic-based approach or project-based approach
  • Class preparation regarding topic-based approach or project-based approach
  • Communication in the topic-based approach or project-based approach
  • Results after a lesson with topic-based approach or project-based approach
  • References

Unit 9. ICT in the teaching-learning of English

  • How to study this unit?
  • Advantages and risks of ICT in the classroom
  • Prepared materials
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • WebQuests
  • Material design: software for language teaching with the Internet
  • References

Unit 10. Formative/informal assessment of teaching-learning of the English language

  • How to study this unit?
  • Introduction to assessments
  • Basic principles of assessments
  • Quality criteria in assessments
  • Planning assessments
  • Different types of assessments
  • Formative/informal assessments types and characteristics
  • References

The different tasks and activities programmed during the semester have been developed with the goal of adapting the learning process to the different capabilities, necessities and interests of the students.

The activities included in the subject are:

  • Work. These are activities of different types: reflection, case analysis, practice, etc.
  • Participation in events. Events are scheduled every week of the semester: virtual face-to-face sessions, discussion forums, tests.
  • Reading commentary. This is a very specific type of activity that consists in the analysis of texts of articles by expert authors in different units of the subject.

In the weekly program you can find the specific tasks you need to complete in this subject.

Download the program

These activities are combined with the following aspects:

  • Personal Study
  • Tutoring. The tutoring class can be implemented through different tools and means. During the course of the subject, the teacher-tutor plans the individual tutoring on specific days for the resolution of academic-oriented doubts through “Consultation sessions”. Supplementing these sessions, students have also available the “Ask your teacher” forum through which they can formulate questions and check the corresponding answers on general aspects of the subject. Due to the very nature of the media used, there are no fixed schedules for the students.
  • Mandatory on-site final exam.

The hours dedicated to each activity are detailed as follows:

Attendance to virtual classes 20 hours
Master classes 12 hours
Basic material study 50 hours
Reading the additional resources 14 hours
Tasks and self-evaluation tests 29 hours
Tutoring 16 hours
Collaborative work, forums, debates, etc. 7 hours
Final exam 2 hours
Total 150 hours

Basic bibliography

The section Basic Bibliography is essential for the course. If any document (reading, article,…) is not available in the virtual classroom, you will have to find it by other means: UNIR bookshop, virtual library…

The necessary texts for the study of this subject had been elaborated by UNIR and are available in a digital format for consultation, download and print in the virtual classroom.

Complementary bibliography

  • Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cano, W. (2013). Manual CLIL para centros bilingües. Logroño: Editorial UNIR.
  • Deffily, D. y Sassman, Ch. (2002). Project-based learning with young children. New Hampshire: Heinemann Educational Books.
  • Harmer, J. (2005). The practice of English language teaching. Londres: Longman.
  • Lewis, G. (1999). Games for children. Oxford Resource Book for Teachers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • McMillan, J. H. (2007). Formative classroom assessment: Theory into practice. New York: Teachers College.
  • Morgan, J. y Rinvolucri, M. (2000). Once upon a time: Using stories in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pinter, A. M. (2009). Teaching young language learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The evaluation system is based on the following numerical chart:

0 - 4, 9 Suspense (SS)
5,0 - 6,9 Approved (AP)
7,0 - 8,9 Notable (NT)
9,0 - 10 Sobresaliente (SB)

The grade is made up of two components:

On-site final exam (60%). At the end of the semester, you need to assist a mandatory on-site final exam. You need to pass the final exam so the grade obtained from the assignments (continuous assessment) is summed up to the final grade of the subject.

Continuous assessment (40%): this type of assessment will be measured through the different assignments you need to complete during the course:

Remember that you can check the points (value) of each assignment in the weekly program.

Take into account that the sum of the grades of the assignments included in the continuous assessment is 6 points. You can do as many as you want to until a maximum grade of 4 points (which is the maximum grade you will be obtaining in the continuous assessment). In the weekly program, you can find the grade of each assignment.

Assessment method Min - Max Score
Participation in forums, classes, etc. 0% - 40%
Task, practice cases and activities 0% - 40%
Self-evaluation test 0% - 40%
On-site final exam 60% - 60%

Milagros Torrado Cespón

Formación académica: Es doctora en filología inglesa, rama de estudios etnográficos y etnolingüísticos, desde el 2011, después de haber realizado el programa de doctorado "Tendencias actuales en los estudios ingleses y sus aplicaciones" en la Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, donde se había licenciado en 2006. Tiene también el certificado de aptitud pedagógica obtenido en esta misma universidad.

Experiencia: Empezó su carrera docente en el Centro Superior de Hostelería de Galicia como asistente de conversación en lengua inglesa. Continuó con una beca de investigación en la USC, donde también impartió docencia. Asimismo, tiene experiencia con alumnos de primaria e infantil. Entró en la UNIR en 2012, donde ha estado de manera interrumpida desde entonces.

Líneas de investigación: Es miembro de ENTELEARN, grupo de investigación de la UNIR, donde ha participado en dos proyectos piloto en el campo de la lingüística de corpus y la detección de errores. Es miembro de Discourse and Identity (USC), donde ha participado con el grupo SCIMITAR en dos proyectos sobre la interfaz gramática-discurso de la lengua inglesa y la construcción del discurso como interacción social.

Studying online means you can organize your study as you wish, as long as you meet the due dates of the different assignments (activities, tasks and tests). In order to help you, we propose the following steps:

  1. From our online platform you will have access to each of the subjects you are enrolled. Apart from this, the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting). In this section, you have available all the documents on how to use the different tools included in the virtual classroom, how a subject is organized and you will also have the possibility to organize your study plan with the tutor.
  2. Do not forget to check the weekly program. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week.
  3. After knowing your work for the week, go to Temas in your virtual classroom. There, you will have access to the study material (theory and practice) from the unit you need to study throughout the week.
  4. Start by reading the Key ideas of each unit, there you will find the specific study material and it will help you understand the most important points of the unit. Afterwards, check out the sections Specially Recommended and More Information where you will find more resources in order to deepen on the topic of the unit.
  5. Devote some time to the practical cases and tasks in the subject (assignments and test). Remember that in your weekly program you find all the information related to the schedule for each assignment and the maximum grade you can obtain in each of them.
  6. We strongly recommend you to participate in the Events of the course (online classes, forums...). To know the precise schedule of the events, you need to check the communications tools in the virtual platform. Your teacher and tutor will inform you on the updates of the course.

In the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you will always find available information on the structure of the units and information on their sections

Remember that in Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you can check how the different tools of the virtual classroom work: email, forum, online classes, sending the tasks, etc.

Please, take into account the following tips…

  • Whatever you study plan is, go often to the virtual classroom so that you are always up to date about the course and you are in contact with your teacher and your tutor.
  • Remember you are not alone: send an email to your tutor if you have any doubt. If you attend the online classes, you can also ask your teacher about the contents of the unit. Also, you can always write your doubts and questions about the contents in the Forum of each subject (Ask the teacher).
  • Be active and participate! Whenever it is possible, attend the online classes and take part in the forums. The exchange of information, opinions, ideas and resources enrich us and the course.
  • And, remember, you are studying online: your effort and perseverance are the key element to obtain good results. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!!!