Duration 4 weeks
Weekly study 3 hours
Extra benefits From $74 Find out more
Understand key concepts in the effective teaching and learning of languages.
What is language? How do we learn meaning in a new language? What is easy and hard about learning another language? And what is the best way to teach other languages?
This free online course suggests some answers to these questions. It has been developed by the University of Southampton and the British Council, and draws on their exciting joint online course, MA in English Language Teaching.
If you are a fully participating learner in “Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching,” you will be eligible to apply for a scholarship to cover part of the MA fees. You will find out more when you join the course.
The course takes place over five weeks. It will introduce you to some of the latest ideas in research and practice in language learning and teaching. We will:
- Explore second language learning and what it means to learn language
- Consider language classrooms and how teaching affects our language learning
- Look at the use of technology in teaching, and its benefits and challenges for language learning
- Investigate the case of English - the most widely learnt and taught language in the world - asking how it has achieved this position
- Update you on the latest research into the use of English and give you a taste of what it is like to be a researcher in Global English.
You will also have the opportunity to take part in a live research project by telling us about language policies and practices where you are.
The course includes quizzes, activities, discussions and videos filmed around the world. The videos feature experts such as British Council teachers, and staff and students at the University of Southampton.
During the course, you will hear different voices sharing their ideas and opinions – and we want to hear yours too. How do you use language in YOUR life? What is YOUR experience of language learning and teaching? Join us – to discuss effective language learning and teaching.
(Course Image ©ivosar/Shutterstock)
What topics will you cover?
- The nature of language and language learning including discussion of what is hard and easy in second language acquisition
- Language teaching in the classroom including consideration of classrooms as communities of practice and theories about effective classroom pedagogy
- Consideration of two case studies in current teaching practice: task-based language teaching (TBLT) and content and language integrated learning (CLIL)
- Technology in language learning and teaching and the changing role of teacher and learner
- Online versus face-to-face language learning
- The use of English as a global language or lingua franca
- The historical spread of English and implications for language policy and teaching
- Definitions of English as a lingua franca (ELF), the scale of ELF use and its pros and cons
- Exploration of the work of Global Englishes researchers and invitation to join in with a research project.
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more
Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at graduates with an interest in the development of languages and language teaching. It will give you a taste of postgraduate study in the field of English language teaching.
Who will you learn with?
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