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Why are we all so fascinated by language?

‘Applied Linguistics and TESOL’ online course offered by the University of Leicester will explore why Applied Linguistics is fundamental to understanding communication in today’s world

Have you ever wondered why some people learn a language more easily than others? Why Donald Trump sounds different to other politicians? Whether we’ll all be speaking English, Chinese or Martian in the future?

A brand new free online course provided by the University of Leicester will be shedding light on such questions, and demonstrating the impact that linguistics has on practically every aspect of our personal and professional lives.

The course, ‘Introduction to Applied Linguistics and TESOL’ is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which is available to join from 21 May 2018, and is now open for enrolment.

Taking place over a six week period, the course can be taken at the learner’s own pace and will explore the role and use of language in real life settings, particularly in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) environments.

A wide range of topics will be covered- including language testing, language change and globalisation and language learning and teaching.

The course will be delivered in partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform.

Dr Pamela Rogerson-Revell, Associate professor in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Leicester, said: “Language is central to our lives- it’s how we communicate our thoughts, feelings and intentions. It’s how we relate to each other, and the world around us. As a result, everyone is interested in language and how we use it. If we can’t communicate successfully, we can’t get what we want; whether it’s a baby crying to be fed or international leaders conducting sophisticated business or political negotiations.

“This course will examine some of the key areas of applied linguistics and how these can be applied to everyday life, from the banal to the momentous. And if you’re interested in learning more about how to observe, analyse and assess language, then we think you’ll find this MOOC stimulating and enjoyable.”

The course will begin by introducing students to the field of Applied Linguistics and its importance in understanding communication and language use in real-life settings, including business, healthcare and education.

Specialists will discuss how Applied Linguistics research and methods can be used in a variety of real-world contexts – such as second language learning and teaching, international business communication, politics and media.

Students will look at the field’s impact on a range of contemporary issues such as reducing gender bias in language use, raising awareness of accent discrimination, and ensuring intelligibility in areas of international communication such as air traffic control.

As the course progresses, those enrolled will also come into contact with a series of case studies. These case studies will illustrate the ways in which applied linguistics work to solve language and TESOL related problems.

Upon completion, students should be able to apply the knowledge they have gained to a professional context.

The course is open to anyone with an interest in the field of applied linguistics and language teaching and there are no academic requirements for enrolment. It is scheduled to begin on 21 May 2018.

The course could also be useful as a springboard for further study of applied linguistics at MA level, or as an update for professionals already working in the field on current thinking and practice.

As with the majority of courses on FutureLearn, the course can be completed for free or there is the option to upgrade for additional benefits.

More information about the MOOC here:
/courses/introduction-to- applied-linguistics

The University currently has eight online courses available in partnership with FutureLearn, including:

Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum
Discovering your PhD Potential
England in the Time of King Richard III
Concepts in Sustainable Development

MOOCs are short courses that are delivered online for free enabling everyone, everywhere to enjoy learning throughout their lives. The courses are self-directed, meaning participants follow the course materials at their own pace, complete the readings and assessments, and discuss the learning material with a large community of fellow learners.

About FutureLearn
Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 7.5 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

About the University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment.

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