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Teaching English Language Learners (ELL): An Introduction
Workshop #: CECO-16


This course focuses on effective strategies for English language instruction. Participants will go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to explore and implement innovative ways of teaching vocabulary and grammar, listening and speaking, reading and writing, and designing fair and accurate assessments. Learn more about ELL (English language learner) students and their needs and how to choose the most appropriate materials and activities for the classroom. Explore how teachers can choose and fine-tune the principles that exactly fit their teaching situation. Participants will rethink the traditional native vs. non-native distinction, see why teaching English is so different from teaching other subjects, and explore innovative approaches like Communicative Language Teaching and the lexical approach.

Course Objectives: Participants will

  • Use a number of general language-teaching principles to guide your choice of classroom activities.
  • Discover some different ways to select and teach words and phrases that are especially useful for your students, and get to know the lexical approach.
  • Examine listening, speaking, and reading skills while exploring what you can do to help learners communicate more effectively in English and improve their comprehension and reading speed.
  • Select appropriate tasks and topics to help your students compose texts more effectively with a better sense of why writing is the most challenging ability for language learners.
  • Be a more effective and reflective teacher, as well as see the importance of continuing your professional growth now and throughout your career.

Student Expectations:
This online course is experiential and interactive. Participants will engage in a variety of activities to learn, practice, and apply the skills outlined in the course. This will include workbook exercises, short answers that are reviewed by a moderator, quizzes, observation and analysis of lessons, coaching interactions with a coaching partner that include feedback and analysis of both the lesson and the coaching episode. A final exam is also a part of the course. Participation in all of these areas is necessary for students to successfully complete the course with a passing grade.

Upon completion of the course, students can decide if they would like to receive credit and from which university they would like to receive credit. Please see the Affiliations tab at the top of the main page,, or select How to Obtain Credits under the Obtaining Credits tab within your account.

Class Outline:
Lesson 1
   1a. How Linguists Look at English
  1b. Why People Can Learn New Languages
  1c.Who is a “Native Speaker” of English?
  1d. Taking a Continuum Approach
  1e. The Critical Perio (CP) for Learning
  1f. How English Language Teaching is Different
  1g. Summary

Lesson 2
  2a. ESL/ESOL/ELT: It’s all about teaching and learning
  2b. Roles and Expectations
  2c. ESL and EFL
  2d. Four Teachers
  2e. Different Styles of Classroom Interaction
  2f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 3
  3a. Introduction
  3b. The Effects of Age in General
  3c. The Particular Effects of Age
  3d. Why Are Your Students Studying English?
  3e. Students in Class: Similarities and Differences
  3f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 4
  4a. Introduction
  4b. The Direct Method and the Grammar Translation Method
  4c. The Audio-Lingual Method
  4d. The Humanistic Revolution
  4e. Limitations of Methods
  4f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 5
  5a. Introduction
  5b. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
  5c. Eight Principles from Murphy and Byrd
  5d. Your Own Principles Choosing
  5e. Choosing and Developing Principles: Two Examples
  5f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 6
  6a. Introduction
  6b. Three Kinds of Meaning
  6c. Three Limitations of Teaching Only Referential Meaning
  6d. Teaching Vocabulary Using Synonyms and Antonyms
  6e.Teaching Vocabulary Using Word Chains, Rhyming, and Expressions
  6f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 7
  7a. Introduction
  7b. Teaching Grammar through Listening
  7c. Teaching Grammar Using the Lexical Approach
  7d. Top-Down Grammar Teaching
  7e. Teaching Grammar in Context
  7f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 8
  8a. Introduction
  8b. The Importance of Stress in English Pronunciation
  8c. Four Kinds of Listening and Speaking
  8d. Teaching Listening
  8e. Teaching Speaking
  8f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 9
  9a. Introduction
  9b. Writing and Spelling Systems
  9c. Different Types of Reading Skills
  9d. Teaching Reading Skills
  9e. Types of Reading Classes
  9f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 10
  10a. Introduction
  10b. The Transcription of Spoken English
  10c. The Vocabulary and Grammar of Writing
  10d. Characteristics of Good Writing
  10e. Teaching Writing
  10f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 11
  11a. Introduction
  11b. Assessment
  11c. Testing Terminology
  11d. Designing, Administering, and Scoring Tests
  11e. The Use and Abuse of Testing
  11f. Supplementary Material

Lesson 12
  12a. Introduction
  12b. Teaching Knowledge
  12c. Teaching Efficiency
  12d. Teaching Insight
  12e. Professional Development
  12f. Supplementary Material

Final Exam

Contact Information: or 425-788-7275 ext 104


Graduate credit is available after course completion for an additional fee from various universities.

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