The aim of this course is to examine (among other but less directly relevant issues) problems surrounding language teaching and learning. We shall consider why people learn languages, what they need to know in order to communicate effectively; and how they should be taught. In doing so, we shall relate our discussion to the rapidly changing position of English in the contemporary world, and to changes in global communication in general. In particular, we shall examine the ongoing debate between traditional views of language learning and more recent `communicative', `natural' and `task-based' approaches. We shall consider the rival claims for attention to fluency or accuracy, form and meaning, linguistic knowledge and cultural knowledge. We shall also consider the changing roles of teachers and learners, and the intellectual and ideological currents which shape changes in the educational curriculum. In addressing the problems of teaching and learning, we shall consider which models of language and communication are best suited to developing our understanding of language and communication in use. We shall see how ideas from linguistics interact with insights from other disciplines to produce a rich and complex model of the knowledge and abilities needed for successful language teaching and learning.