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Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Learn what it means to be a TEFL or English Language Teacher, and start preparing for your first teaching job.

114,951 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Thousands of English language teachers take up posts around the globe every year, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) to different nationalities and speakers.

If you’re thinking about joining them, this free online course will help you find out more about the world of English Language Teaching (ELT).

We’ll be answering some key questions -

  • What is ELT and what does it involve?
  • Where can you teach English?
  • Who are your learners?
  • And what do you need to know about the English language?

Get practical advice from English language teachers and experts around the world

The course will run over six weeks and feature learners from different countries and teachers who’ve taught all over the world, giving you ideas and information on key areas of English language teaching.

Throughout the course, experts from Cambridge English Language Assessment – one of the leading providers of exams and qualifications, such as CELTA and TKT, for learners and teachers of English – will be asking you for your ideas and input. We’ll have articles, videos, quizzes and live events where you can ask the experts your own questions.

Explore the opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language

You’ll also learn more about where your new adventure can take you, and find out the best way to get started.

From teaching children in Vietnam, to teaching business people in Switzerland, we’ll give you a taste of what you’ll need to know. We’ll provide ideas on practical activities you can use in class and show you how you can look at English from a whole new viewpoint.

Thanks to Bell Cambridge International School, International House Budapest Teacher Training and EF International Language Centre Cambridge.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds I really love to bring the potential out of people. I love the variety that it brings. Allowing them to work together on their own, in pairs, in groups. I think that really helps. Get ready! Ready, set, go! English Language Teaching is an exciting and rewarding experience that allows you to explore and discover the world, interacting with people of all ages and cultures.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds If you’re thinking of teaching English, or already have some experience and want to find out more, Exploring the World of English Language Teaching will help you make decisions about the kind of teaching experience you want to have and introduce you to the skills you need to be an effective English language teacher. I made the decision to change career and just pursue EFL because that’s what I love doing. If you’re going to be a language teacher you need a solid foundation in language. Be very, very organised. Patience. Enthusiasm. By the end of the six weeks, you’ll have answers to the following questions; What does it mean to be an English language teacher? How can you motivate and manage learners?

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds What do you need to know about language? What resources are available for teachers to use? And what training can you do to help you become a confident and effective English language teacher in different cultures and contexts. An effective teacher should think about the learners and the learning. You can use books, magazines, songs, films, TED talks, board games. The world is your oyster really. During the course we’ll talk to English Language Teaching professionals and find out about their experiences; where they’ve worked, how they prepared, and what top tips they have to pass on. So I taught in Hong Kong, I was in Vietnam, a little bit in Spain.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 seconds We’ll also talk to students and ask them what they think makes a good English language teacher. The teacher that has a lot of passion do this kind of work. Can teach you grammar but also vocabulary and the culture. Throughout you’ll have the opportunity to share ideas and learn from others and after the course the interactive forum will remain open so that you can continue to network and share experiences and teaching ideas. I like to do competitions and games with reading and writing, and speaking and listening as well so that kind of motivates them to listen more carefully. I’m Monica Poulter, Teacher Development Manager at Cambridge English Language Assessment and I’ll be one of your guides throughout the course.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 seconds I hope you enjoy exploring the world of English Language Teaching and that this will be only the start of your English Language Teaching journey. And so I thought, OK I’ll try it and have a go, and turns out it is suiting my personality quite well, which is a relief to be fair!

What topics will you cover?

Teaching contexts
  • Places to teach
  • Types of classes
  • Motivations for learning English
  • Learners and the learning context
  • Different types of learners
  • Ways to motivate learners
  • Classroom management
  • Classroom language
Language skills: reading, listening, speaking, writing
  • Basic concepts and terminology used for describing communication skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Potential barriers to acquiring communication skills and suggestions for helping learners overcome them
Language analysis and awareness
  • Basic concepts and terminology used in ELT for describing language; grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • Potential barriers to learning language and suggestions for helping learners overcome them
Using resources
  • Published resources
  • Authentic materials
  • Realia
  • Digital tools
  • Issues relating to selecting materials
Becoming an English language teacher
  • Qualities of an English language teacher
  • Different training options
  • Preparing for a CELTA course
  • Terminology relating to ELT

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify ELT terminology
  • Engage with key topics in ELT
  • Evaluate a variety of ELT teaching and learning materials
  • Discuss different types of learners
  • Identify classroom management techniques
  • Explore language systems and language skills
  • Apply practical ideas about materials and activities for future use with learners
  • Evaluate training options

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), either in your own country or abroad. No prior knowledge is required to take part in the course.

Who will you learn with?

English Language Teacher, Teacher Trainer, Assessor and Joint Chief Assessor for a range of teaching qualifications from Cambridge Assessment English.

Previously, Teacher Development Manager at Cambridge Assessment English for 25 years, now a volunteer teacher and co-ordinator providing refugee support.

Who developed the course?

Cambridge University Press & Assessment

We are a department of the University of Cambridge. Together with teachers and our partners, we’re here to engage and inspire millions of people throughout their entire learning journey. We help them confidently prove their skills to the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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