• University of Glasgow

TESOL Strategies: Supporting ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms

Learn the basic principles, considerations and strategies for cultivating a rich language-learning environment

23,427 enrolled on this course

Children sit in a circle, interacting with teachers

Explore strategies to support the language needs of learners

With increased migration and refugee flows, most teachers are encountering increasingly diverse students in their mainstream classrooms. This course is designed for teachers at all levels, working with language learners across the curriculum.

This course will give you new insight into the different aspects of language, the language learning process and the demands of different curricular areas. It will enable you to enrich your daily practice to ensure the needs of the language learners are met.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: The 21st century has seen a lot of change and mobility. So even if you stay in the same place, things might be changing around you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: For teachers, the most obvious change may be the new types of students in your classrooms– students with unfamiliar names and different accents who are learning the language at the same time they’re learning the curriculum content. How can you support these students’ language learning in your classroom?

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: Hi. I’m Catherine Doherty.

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: I’m Sally Zacharias. We’re applied linguists working in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: This is not a course for language specialists. It’s for mainstream teachers in school settings who want practical ideas on how to enrich their classroom practises with language learning strategies.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: We start by stretching the definition of language. It’s more than just grammar, pronunciation, and spelling. And each curriculum area creates its own particular language demands.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: We’ll introduce some of the deep principles of language learning that you can apply when you design classroom activities.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: We spend some time thinking about particular strategies to support and develop students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and how these skills can work together.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: We also spend some time thinking about every day classroom talk and how this can be tailored to better support the participation of your language learner.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: Every teacher is a language teacher to some degree. We believe that a little knowledge about how language works, how languages are learned, and how knowledge is built in and through language can make a huge difference.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds CATHERINE DOHERTY: This course will help you develop background understandings and practical strategies to do this aspect of your job well. This investment in your own learning will benefit both first and second language in your classrooms.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds SALLY ZACHARIAS: We hope to see you on this course soon.

What topics will you cover?

  • What does language involve and what does language learning involves?
  • What kind of pedagogies can support the language learner in content lessons?
  • How can I develop speaking and listening skills for my ESL learners in my mainstream classroom?
  • How can I develop reading and writing skills for my ESL learners in my mainstream classroom?
  • How can I enrich my feedback and classroom talk to better help the language learner?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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...

  • Explore the multiple dimensions involved in learning a language
  • Discuss how language learners can differ in their circumstances and needs
  • Interpret the different registers and genres of language at work in school settings
  • Design strategies and activities that can support language learners in mainstream classes

Who is the course for?

Practising teachers, both primary and secondary, offering English medium instruction in schools. An initial teaching qualification, or experience working in English medium classrooms, is desirable.

While the Educators themselves aren’t available to facilitate this run, we encourage you to engage with other learners and there are opportunities to do this throughout the course.

Who will you learn with?

Catherine Doherty is Professor of Pedagogy and Social Justice in the School of Education, at the University of Glasgow. Her work is informed by sociology of education and applied linguistics.

I am an applied linguist and teacher educator with over 20 years of teaching experience. I currently work at the School of Education at the University of Glasgow on the MSc/MEd TESOL programme.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

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  • Discuss your learning in comments
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