Shaping the Way We Teach English, 2: Paths to Success in ELT

University of Oregon

Learn effective approaches to English language teaching. This is the second of two teacher training courses based on the internationally-recognized Shaping the Way We Teach English videos and resources and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the University of Oregon. You can begin with either course. The next Paths course will be November 9-December 14, 2015.

This course is aimed at English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, both those who are intending to pursue this field as a career and those already working in the field who would like to revise and refresh their methods and approaches. The materials and approaches presented should complement college courses such as Introduction to TEFL/TESOL Methods.

This five-week course explores important aspects of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The goal of this course is to help you become a better teacher. By the end of this course, you should be able to explain how the various materials and approaches presented will lead to better language learning; you will be able to choose appropriate materials and apply varied classroom activities to improve your students’ study of English. You will also be able to better evaluate both your own and other teachers’ practices.

This is the second of the two-part Shaping the Way We Teach English series. The first part is the Landscape of English Language Teaching. You can begin with either course.


Syllabus

Topics for Paths to Success in English Language Teaching include:

  • Week 1: Integrating skills and using tasks to motivate learners; project overview, introductions

  • Week 2: Alternative assessment that shows what learners can do with language; lesson plan phase 1 is due

  • Week 3: Incorporating individual learning differences in instruction; peer and self-evaluations are due

  • Week 4: Ideas for effective classroom management; final lesson plan is due

  • Week 5: Improving practice with reflective teaching; final peer and self-evaluations are due


Recommended Background

Previous or current language teaching experience is desirable, but not necessary to take this course.

Suggested Readings

Please refer to the detailed syllabus for each week for required and optional readings and media.

Course Format

This is a collaborative course, where you enhance your English language teaching expertise by sharing ideas with others. The basis of this discussion will be a short video and reading each week. The videos are of master teachers in real classes around the world, providing a look into the international community of EFL teachers. Closed captioning helps you understand what the teachers and students are saying.

Each week, a reading on methods and teaching practices, written by teachers for teachers, adds perspective to the classroom videos. To share ideas about each week’s topics with others, you are invited to join discussion forums. In the discussions, you can contribute to the dialogue: Find out what other teachers do in their classes, ask questions, share and gain insights into classroom practice. These discussions will also help you formulate the culminating project.

For the culminating project, you will write a lesson plan incorporating some of the ideas from your readings, videos, and conversations with others. The project will build over the 5 weeks of the course, resulting in a practical, well-designed lesson that will demonstrate an understanding of the course material, and be truly meaningful for your students. As part of the project, you will read others’ lesson plans and offer constructive criticism. This peer reviewing activity will heighten your awareness of others’ assumptions about teaching and give you a window into how English learning proceeds in other cultures. With the peer reviews, you will also build a repertoire of completed lessons to share and experiment with.

As you watch and read and discuss, we hope you’ll build your creativity and flexibility as a teacher. The videos, readings, and discussion will give you plenty of food for thought, and help you answer these questions:

  • How could this be adapted to my own classroom?

  • How could this be adapted to my own students and culture?

  • How could this be adapted to different materials and objectives?

FAQ

  • Will I get a Certificate after completing this class?

    Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment from the U.S. Department of State and the University of Oregon. This is a digital document, downloadable/printable from Coursera.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, you will need a reliable Internet connection, a computer or mobile device capable of playing back web-based audio and video files, and the ability to type well enough in English to participate in discussions. Videos may be downloaded to your desktop or viewed online. They will be closed-captioned. Copies of the readings can be viewed online in your browser with a PDF reader, or downloaded to your computer or tablet, and/or printed. All materials are free. You will need time to view the short videos, do the readings, explore the wealth of optional resources, and discuss the class in our Forums.

  • What is the best part of this class?

    You will have a window into the classrooms of teachers from around the world, and you will come away with an archive of lesson plans from these teachers.

  • How can I get the most out of this class?

    Create or join a group of local teachers and work together to understand the videos and readings and to complete the lesson plan project. Be sure to connect with other teachers in the Forums, too.

  • Do I need to take the two courses in order?
  • No, you can take either course first. Enjoy!



Dates:
  • 9 November 2015, 5 weeks
  • 11 May 2015, 5 weeks
  • 9 February 2015, 5 weeks
  • 12 May 2014, 5 weeks
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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