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Free online course

Teaching Your Subject in English

Build your confidence to use English effectively to teach subjects such as Maths, Science or History with this free online course.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Teaching Your Subject in English

Why join the course?

Build your confidence and use English effectively to teach Maths, History, Science or any other subject. This five-week language course will help you use English to promote active learning at all stages of a lesson, from the very first moments, all the way to the end… and into the next lesson.

You’ll study:

  • language to get your learners interested, motivated and engaged in your lesson content;
  • language to help you develop your learners’ thinking skills;
  • language to check learning;
  • and more.

You’re welcome on the course, no matter what subject you teach, what your level of English is, or how long you’ve been teaching your subject in English. You can learn just a few phrases each week to try out in your classroom, or revisit and completely transform the way you use English with your learners.

Learn with experts and teachers worldwide

Experts at Cambridge English and Cambridge International Examinations will provide you with a range of functional language and practical tips for using it.

You’ll also join a community of teachers from across the world – you’ll be able to share your expertise in teaching your subject, find out what works for other teachers who teach similar subjects, and look for new ideas from a range of different contexts.

Both Cambridge English and Cambridge International Examinations are part of Cambridge Assessment, a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge.

Teach your subject effectively in English

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify parts of a lesson where you can improve the English that you use to teach your subject;
  • identify instructional language that you can try out in your lessons;
  • put a range of instructional language into practice in your teaching context;
  • experiment with suggestions from the course, to address some of the potential difficulties in using English in your context;
  • and reflect on how your use of English in the classroom can help your learners succeed.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to explore how to use digital tools for teaching and learning as you work through the course.

With thanks to NILE, Bell Cambridge International School, International House London and all the teachers and trainers involved.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsI teach History in English, in Hungary, in a bilingual secondary school. My subject is Physics. I teach History and Geography in English. I teach Science in English for Grade 5 students, and also I teach Social Studies for Grade 6 students. I teach ICT in English, and I also teach P.E. but it's not in English, now. Maybe later. Are you teaching Maths, History, Science, or another subject in English? Do you want to build your confidence and use language effectively in your classes?

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsWe invite you to join our free course: 'Teaching Your Subject in English'. When working on projects you need to communicate a lot, you need to establish roles, you need to look for information, and English is everywhere. I have to do a lot of lateral thinking because I not only have to think of the questions that I would like to ask but also what the learners are likely to say, so that I can think of further questions. One basic rule, I think, is use as simple a language as possible. Keep it short and simple, so that by, the simpler your instructions, the simpler your definitions are, the more likely you'll succeed.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsI also like to use prompts: something that will motivate and inspire learners to say something about the topic.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds During the course you'll explore language that you can use to help your learners engage with your subject in English: language for helping learners get ready to learn, language for understanding core concepts, language for developing their thinking skills, and more. Since I teach Geography and History, I think it’s quite important to get students to make connections with whatever they know about the subject in their lives, because it’s very much about life. For example when I'm trying to describe cyclical events in Geography or in Science then I would take a simple example like the water cycle or the seasons, just to show how in nature these cyclical events go on in many different places in many different ways.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 seconds Experts and teachers from around the world will share their insights with you. You'll have plenty of opportunities to practice your English and to think about how you can use language to support learning. Our students are students who, usually, after graduating from school, they usually go to universities abroad. For example, one student graduated this year, here in Cambridge, so I’m very proud of him. As to monitoring your students’ progress, I think you should never underestimate the power of justified praise. I'm Helen from Cambridge English Language Assessment. I produce professional development materials for teachers across the globe. We hope to welcome you on the course soon.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Identify parts of a lesson where you can improve the English that you use to teach your subject
  • Identify instructional language that you can try out in your lessons
  • Put a range of instructional language into practice in your teaching context
  • Experiment with suggestions from the course, to address some of the potential difficulties in using English in your context
  • Reflect on how your use of English in the classroom can help your learners succeed

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for current secondary school subject teachers who deliver lessons in English. It will be especially relevant for teachers involved in Bilingual Education and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and also relevant for teachers who expect to teach a subject in English in the future. Examples of language in the course come from a wide range of subjects, for example Maths, Science, History, Geography and Economics.

Who will you learn with?

Helen Allen

I produce digital professional development materials for teachers at Cambridge English Language Assessment. My professional interest lies in helping children and adults access and engage in learning.

Kay Bentley

I'm a teacher trainer and consultant for CLIL and Bilingual Education. I'm Chair of TKT: CLIL for Cambridge English Language Assessment and author of CLIL materials for Cambridge University Press.

Paul Ellis

Head of Teaching & Learning at Cambridge International Examinations. Formerly teacher of English and Modern Languages in France and the UK. Trainer of teachers and school consultant in 40 countries.

Who developed the course?

Cambridge English Language Assessment is part of a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge, delivering English language testing, teacher development and curriculum reform worldwide.

Cambridge International Examinations prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £29.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.