8 Course Outline

1. Foundational Principles

Prospective and current ESL teachers will identify, summarize, and evaluate 7 basic language learning paradigms. Learners will be presented information on such foundational principles as motivation, risk taking, two different modes of learning, and balancing the teacher profession. Learners are also given an understanding of basic techniques founded on those principles, such as teacher talk, looking “ridiculous” in order to lower the affective filter, and networking. With these foundational principles in mind, ESL teachers will scrutinize common assumptions about language learning by comparing how they stack up to research-based core principles.

2. Theories of Second Language Acquisition

In this course learners are introduced to second or foreign language theories and practices for teaching and assessing listening, speaking, and pronunciation. Learners will also be introduced to basic studies in second language acquisition and their pedagogical implications. Teachers will be invited to recognize the importance of grounding their own teaching philosophy through an examination of purpose, content, and technique.

3. Lesson Design and Assessment

Learners will be introduced to designing lesson plans based on principles and knowledge of learning objectives, assessment plans, methods, materials, and learning activities. Learners will find and prepare appropriate teaching materials through careful analysis, adaptation and creation of professional resources. Learners will also reflect on the cohesion between lesson design and teaching philosophies.

4. Capstone Project 1

In the Capstone Project, you will apply the skills you learned by observing teachers at work. You will build on the concepts learned from the previous courses to analyze the lessons. You will also submit your teaching philosophy, a five-day lesson plan, and a teaching tip. You will deliver a portion of your lesson, submitting a 6-10 minute video.

5. Second Language Reading, Writing and Grammar

In this course, you will learn ideas for teaching reading and writing courses, and how to include grammar instruction within them. Learn how to help students with differing types of reading problems and how to implement both intensive and extensive reading strategies. Learn strategies to engage students in the stages of writing–pre-writing, writing, and post-writing. Find out about different writing problems that students may encounter. Incorporate grammar through the use of noticing and input enhancement.

6. Second Language Listening, Speaking and Pronunciation

In this course, you will be introduced to some of the challenges of teaching and learning listening and speaking, such as paralinguistics, performance variables, reduced and regional forms, and differing types of oral discourse. Then you’ll learn how to ease the acquisition of listening and speaking for your students. The course also highlights the powerful opportunity to include pronunciation in listening and speaking classes and offers strategies to incorporate pronunciation activities.

7. Technology Enriched Teaching

This course focuses on the key concepts you need in order to effectively integrate technology into your teaching, without letting it overshadow language learning. Discover current and future trends in educational technology, along with strategies for implementing these trends in the classroom and beyond. As technology is continually evolving, learn how to keep up on current technological applications through professional development networks and training opportunities.

8. Capstone Project 2

In the final Capstone Project, you will apply the skills you learned by doing practice teaching. You will build on your assignments from the previous courses to refine your lesson plans and video-tape yourself presenting the lesson. You will submit a total of ten videos.