A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - What Is English and English Language Teaching?
The English language is everywhere—in music and movies, classrooms and airports, newspapers and e-mail. It's the language of both Shakespeare and Hollywood. So everyone knows what English is . . . or do they? Is it British, American, Canadian, or Australian? Is it harder to learn than other languages? In our first lesson, we'll explore the native vs. non-native distinction people often make about English speakers. We'll also look at how teaching English is different from teaching other subjects. And finally, we'll see which aspects of memory are most helpful in learning a language.
Lesson 02 - What Is Teaching?
What exactly is teaching? Have you given much thought to what kinds of roles you play in the classroom? Well, today you will! Teachers have many roles, including lesson planner, friend, authority, coach, assessor, and role model, just to name a few. In this lesson, you'll reflect on the different roles you play in the classroom, the role of English language teaching in your curriculum and community, and what factors should shape your particular style. After this lesson, you might agree that the best answer to, "What exactly is teaching?" is, "It depends!"
Lesson 03 - Who Are You Teaching?
As an English teacher, you naturally want to choose the most appropriate materials and activities for your classroom. But how do you do this? First, you must answer the most important question of all: Who are you teaching? In this lesson, you'll think about the faces you see every day in your classroom. Are they younger or older? What life experiences and intellectual abilities do they bring with them? Why do they want to learn English? All these variables will impact how you teach, shaping your approach and the activities you choose. One thing's for sure: It's really not English we're teaching, but students.
Lesson 04 - What Have Been Some Popular Methods?
In this lesson, we'll take a look at some of the many methods people have used over the years to teach foreign languages. Some are hundreds of years old, while others are fairly new on the scene. As you'll see, though, all of them suffer from certain limitations. Are they useless to us then? Not at all. Today we'll explore how, even though the methods themselves may not help us much, we can still gain a lot from understanding the ideas that led to their creation.
Lesson 05 - What Is Principled English Language Teaching?
If methods are too limiting, what can you use to guide you in your teaching? In this lesson, we'll focus on general principles that can guide your choice of classroom activities whatever your situation may be. You'll learn about Communicative Language Teaching, as well as a number of principles that experts have developed along the way. Of course, you're not limited to what others have done. Instead, you'll discover ways to select or even develop your own principles. And you'll find the freedom to choose the principles that are relevant to your teaching situation and let go of those that aren't.
Lesson 06 - How Do You Teach Vocabulary?
How do we define what a word is? By its spelling? By its pronunciation? By its dictionary meaning? As teachers of the English language, words are our stock-in-trade. We must teach vocabulary, because a language is made of its words. But we can't really teach the true meaning of words if we teach them in isolation and out of context. In this lesson, we'll look at several types of meaning you need to be aware of and explore some techniques for teaching vocabulary items in the most helpful way.
Lesson 07 - How Do You Teach Grammar?
No other aspect of language teaching is more misunderstood and disliked than grammar! Like it or not, though, grammar is the linguistic glue that holds words together. In this lesson, we'll look at interesting ways to teach grammar, including using listening, the lexical approach, the top-down approach, and context. These approaches will not only be useful and relevant, but they might even make grammar exciting for your students to learn!
Lesson 08 - How Do You Teach Listening and Speaking?
Listening and speaking come so naturally in our first language that it might seem hard to believe that we actually need to teach these skills in a second language. Natural or not, these two skills are exceedingly complex, and each demands special approaches and techniques. In this lesson, we'll look at how these skills differ, and then we'll examine ways to help students improve their listening comprehension and speaking abilities.
Lesson 09 - How Do You Teach Reading?
The majority of English learners around the world need to learn reading the most, yet this skill is probably taught the least. In this lesson, we'll look at different writing and spelling systems, the problems that come with the irregularities of English, and different types of reading skills. We'll also examine teaching techniques like skimming, scanning, and transcoding that can help students improve their reading comprehension and speed.
Lesson 10 - How Do You Teach Writing?
Millions of people around the world can speak perfectly well but can't read or write in their own language. A person needs years of schooling to develop strong writing skills—and it's even more challenging to learn to write in a second language. So today, we'll review the characteristics of good writing, and you'll get some ideas about how to make learning this skill a little less daunting for your students.
Lesson 11 - How Do You Assess Your Students?
Have you ever met a student who really likes to take tests? Probably not. And with all the work that goes into them, teachers like them even less! Yet we constantly need to assess, evaluate, and test to know what progress our students are making and where they may need help. In this lesson, you'll learn the key difference between mistakes and errors, get some ideas about how to offer correction, discover different types of tests, and see how to keep them fair, accurate, and relevant.
Lesson 12 - How Can You Become a More Reflective Teacher?
In our final lesson, we'll explore how to become more reflective and effective teachers. You'll learn how to become more expert and efficient, and you'll discover ways to gain insight into your vocation through watching and learning from other teachers, observing and evaluating yourself, and journaling. Finally, you'll see the great value in continuing your professional growth, becoming the great teacher you were meant to be!