Applied Linguistics to Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

Evdokia Karavas


The overall purpose of this course is to provide course participants with awareness, knowledge and skills related to the teaching and learning of languages, particularly to English as a foreign language in Greece as a member state of the European Union. Therefore, European language education policies and recommendations are taken into serious account. 

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Course Objectives
  • To demonstrate the relationships between theory and practice so that course participants may understand the underlying rationale of mainstream and alternative foreign language pedagogy. 
  • To introduce course participants to theories of language and theories of language learning which have influenced the development of current thought regarding foreign language teaching and learning practices and approaches to curriculum/syllabus design, to materials development and to the development of tools for the assessment of linguistic and communicative competence. 
  • To familiarize them with curriculum/syllabus documents for the teaching of English in Greek schools, with the national curricula for languages in other member states and with European language curricula guidelines. 
  • To enable them to evaluate teaching/learning approaches and methodology in relation to the pedagogic, the political and the social goals that these fulfill. 
  • To enable them to assess pedagogic aims and suggested classroom practices in connection with educational and language policy aims. 
  • To build a framework for conceptualising approaches to language teaching and learning that serve the needs of their prospective students operating in particular sociocultural contexts. 
  • To introduce them to recent methodological approaches to the teaching of English as a foreign language including experiential learning, differentiated instruction etc. 

Evdokia Karavas

Specialising in the area of Applied Linguistics, Dr Karavas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistics of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and co-coordinator of the Pre-service teacher education programme. She is also tutor for the Hellenic Open University on the MA programme in ELT where she teaches the Course design and Evaluation module. She has also coordinated the development of and co-authored material for open and distance learning of the Hellenic Open University.

A graduate of the Faculty where she currently teaches, Dr Karavas completed her postgraduate studies in the UK in the area of TEFL. She holds a doctorate from the University of Warwick where she specialized in the evaluation of ELT curricula educational research methods and English language teacher education. She has experience in the evaluation of ELT programmes (in Europe and elsewhere) and in the management of post-service teacher education programmes. For a number of years, she was a lecturer at the Centre for English Language Teacher Education at the  University of Warwick where she taught postgraduate courses for EFL teachers. She has taken part in conferences within and outside Greece and her research interests include curriculum/ programme evaluation, EFL didactics, educational research methods, teacher education and development. She has publications in these areas in local and international journals.

Within the wider context of the research, evaluation and development work for the KPG, Dr Karavas is responsible for issues related to the oral component of the KPG in English- development and design of speaking module and responsible for the training of oral examiners and markers for the KPG exam.


The Applied Linguistics Reader and Workbook. (2008). Athens: University of Athens. 

  • Brown D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Prentice Hall. 
  • Cook G. and Seidlhofer B. (1995) Principles and Practice in Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University press. 
  • Council of Europe (2001). Common European Framework for Languages: Teaching, Learning and Assessment. 
  • Dendrinos, B. (1992). The EFL Textbook and Ideology. Athens: N.C. Grivas Publications. 
  • Dendrinos, B. (2001). The Politics of ELT. The University of Athens Publications. 
  • Johnson, K. (2001) An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. London and New York: Longman-Pearson Education. (Chapters 2-12) 
  • Kohonen, Viljo et al. (2001). Experiential learning in Foreign Language Education. London and New York: Longman-Pearson Education. 
  • Lantolf, J.P. (ed). (2000). Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Macedo, D., Dendrinos, B. & Gounari, P. (2003). The Hegemony of English. Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Publishers. 
  • Morrow, K. (ed). (2004). Insights from the Common European Framework. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Papakonstantinou, A. (1991) Suggestopedia. An art of teaching, an art of living. Athens: Hellenika Grammata. 
  • Papakonstantinou, Α. (1997) Creating the Whole Person in New Age. Athens: A. Kardamitsa. 
  • Papaefthymiou-Lytra S. (1987a) Communicating and Learning Strategies in English as a Foreign Language with Particular Reference to the Greek Learner of English. Athens: University of Athens press 
  • Papaefthymiou-Lytra S. (1987b) Language, Language Awareness and Foreign Language Learning. Athens: Athens University Press. 
  • Papaefthymiou-Lytra S. (1990) Explorations in Foreign Language Classroom Discourse. Athens: Athens University Press. 
  • Richards, J.C. & Rodgers, T.S. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Τοκατλίδου, Β. (2003). Γλώσσα, Επικοινωνία και Γλωσσική Εκπαίδευση. Αθήνα: Εκδόσεις Πατάκη. 
  • Willis, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-Based Learning, London and New York: Longman. 


CompassThe purpose of this unit is to provide an overview of the nature and main concerns of Applied Linguistics and how it relates to other language related disciplines such as linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. Students are introduced to the various branches of applied linguistics and the focus and central issues to be discussed in the Applied Linguistics Course to Foreign Language Teaching and Learning.


GearsThis unit focuses on well known approaches and methods used in the teaching of English as a foreign language. The presentation begins with a discussion of the main principles and features of “approach” and “method” and how they relate. The rest of the unit provides an overview of the main principles of well known and widely used methods and closes with a discussion of the drawbacks of methods and the rationale of an eclectic approach.

lego blockThis unit focuses on theories of language and how they affect language syllabus design and language teaching practices. More specifically, the main principles of the structuralist/formalist trend and the functionalist trend are discussed as well as their impact on the design of language syllabi and foreign language pedagogy more generally.

light bulbThis unit attempts to answer the question “what does it mean to know a foreign language”. Starting with a discussion of the terms competence and performance as defined by Chomsky, the presentation focuses on communicative competence and models of communicative competence developed within the area of applied linguistics. The distinction between declarative and procedural knowledge is also discussed and how different conceptions of foreign language knowledge impact on language course design.

notebookThe purpose of this unit is to raise students’ awareness of the main features and purposes of curriculum and syllabus and how these relate. The presentation continues with an overview of the curriculum development process in the US, UK and Greece. The major focus of this unit is on the stages in language course design where issues such as needs analysis, means analysis and syllabus design are thoroughly discussed.

markerThis unit continues to focus on language learning presenting research on good language learners. More specifically, individual learner variables (affective, personality and cognitive) which have been found to influence success in language learning are discussed. Special attention is given to learner strategies and learner autonomy and how they can be developed in the foreign language classroom.

magic wandThe final unit of the course focuses on recent approaches in foreign language teaching. More specifically, it begins with a detailed overview of the main principles and features of the communicative approach, principles of communicative activities and its drawbacks. This leads to the presentation of the rationale and main features of task based language learning and the design task based lessons. The unit closes with a presentation of culture in language teaching and the importance of developing students’ intercultural competence.

lampThis unit focuses on the area of psycholinguistics and second language acquisition providing an overview of the main theories of language learning (e.g. behavioursim, cognitivism, constructivism, social interactionism), their principles and how they have affected language teaching practices in the classroom.

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