Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

Sara Pierson, University of Southampton

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 work together producing a joint online MA in English Language Teaching.

The course takes place over four 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)

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.

No prior knowledge is required to take part in the course and we welcome anyone who is curious to know more about language learning and teaching.

Dates:
  • 8 March 2021
  • 12 October 2020
  • 27 April 2020
  • 21 October 2019
  • 29 April 2019
  • 22 October 2018
  • 11 June 2018
  • 8 January 2018
  • 24 April 2017
  • 17 October 2016
  • 4 April 2016
  • 19 October 2015
  • 20 April 2015
  • 17 November 2014
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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