LING-259 How to Teach Second/Foreign Languages
Spring for 2013-2014
This course is designed to prepare students with the basic skills and resources that are foundational to successful second language teaching. Our main goals include familiarizing you with the basics of instructional design, setting goals, and assessment, and current best practices. You will also be familiarized with the fundamentals of teaching speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Within each of these units we will introduce numerous teaching techniques which can be adjusted to apply to a range of teaching situations. The course emphasizes how to develop effective and engaging lessons in today’s classrooms, for example through a unit on how to use on-line resources, such as Youtube and popular sitcoms, as the basis for appealing lessons.
Current research shows that students tend to learn a second language best when language is set in context and emphasizes communication. Part of our focus will include understanding the ways people use and interpret language in different contexts. With understanding “meaning” as a foundation, we move on to exploring a variety of issues in language and culture, including language and social rules of politeness. We start with a brief introduction to what every second language teacher needs to know about the human mind and how language works in context. These will be recurrent themes throughout the units on the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in a second language.
We will also address how to teach vocabulary and grammar in ways consistent with a communicative approach to language learning.
You will be given numerous opportunities to apply what you learn through observing and reporting on L2 classrooms and developing lesson plans. Your last assignment involves developing a 5 day unit. We also encourage your active participation in class discussions. Another way you can be more involved is to post ideas and questions on Blackboard.
Guest speakers with expertise in topics such as how to use the internet to create interactive engaging materials and effective use of task-based materials will also be a featured aspect of the course.
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