Unit 1: Defining English
This unit introduces the idea of alternative monolithic and plurilithic conceptions of English.
- 1.0 Introduction
- 1.1 Monolithic vs Plurilithic Concepts
- 1.1.1 Monolithic Concepts of Language
- 1.1.2 Plurilithic Concepts of Language
- 1.2 ‘Standard English’
- 1.2.1 ‘Standard English’: History
- 1.2.2 ‘Standard English’: Beliefs
- 1.2.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘Standard English’ for ELT
- 1.3 Rules of English
- 1.3.1 The ambiguity of the word rule
- 1.3.2 Rules of English: The Monolithic View
- 1.3.3 Rules of English: The Plurilithic View
- 1.4 Four Dimensions of Monolithism
- 1.5 Check Your Understanding
- 1.6 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 2: Using English
This unit explores the plurilithic usage of English in diverse global settings.
- Unit 2: Using English
- 2.1 Introducing Lingua Franca Usage
- 2.2.1 Native speaker Variation
- 2.2.2 Native speakers: Accommodation
- 2.3 Englishes in the British Isles
- 2.4 World Englishes
- 2.4.1 Englishes in Your Part of The World
- 2.4.2 Owning a language (Part 1)
- 2.5 ELF
- 2.5.1 Intelligibility
- 2.5.2 ELF in Your Part of The World
- 2.6 Translanguaging with English
- 2.7 Check Your Understanding
- 2.8 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 3: Learning English
This unit discusses how English is learned as a first or additional language.
- Unit 3: Learning English
- 3.1 First Language Acquisition
- 3.2 Back to Rules
- 3.2.1 Rules as Patterns in the Mind (Part 1)
- 3.2.2 Rules as Social Markers
- 3.2.3 Rules as Mental Representations
- 3.2.4 Rules in Schools
- 3.2.5 Rules as Patterns in the Mind (2)
- 3.3 Models and Targets
- 3.4 Learning Contexts
- 3.5 Owning a Language (Part 2)
- 3.6 Learners and Users
- 3.7 Check Your Understanding
- 3.8 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 4: Teaching English
This unit examines the teaching implications of plurilithic conceptions of English.
Unit 5: Changing English
This unit suggests ways to share your learning on the course with others.
- Unit 5: Changing English
- 5.1 The Challenge
- 5.2 Changing Learners’ Beliefs About English
- 5.3 Changing Teaching Colleagues’ Beliefs About English
- 5.4 Changing Policy-Makers’ Beliefs About English
- 5.5 Changing the Public’s Beliefs About English
- 5.6 Check Your Understanding
- 5.7 Reflect and Discuss
- Course Finish
Who the course is for
This course is for teachers of English as an additional language, whether in training or with different amounts of experience, who are open to new ways of thinking about their profession and are interested in English as it is used around the world, as a lingua franca or for interacting in predominantly native speaker contexts. For information about how to adapt this course for a teacher development programme or workshop, click here.
What the course is about
The course invites visitors to ask the following questions:
- What is English?
- How is it used beyond the classroom
- How is it learned in the classroom
- How is it learned beyond the classroom
- What does this mean for my teaching
- How can I influence policy about English learning, teaching, and use?
Unlike many resources and discussions in English Language Teaching, it concentrates on what English teachers (should) teach and learners (should) learn, rather than on how teachers (should) teach it.
What the course is for
This course has two principal objectives:
- • to help raise teachers’ awareness of the variable and dynamic nature of global and local Englishes and to reflect on implications for professional practice and policy formation.
- • to engage teachers in the process of developing learning and teaching strategies which respond to the reality of global Englishes but which are relevant for their local needs and contexts.
The course won’t supply you with many classroom activities or materials. Neither will it tell you how to teach English as an International Language or English as a Lingua Franca. However, there are practical suggestions for teachers in Units 4 and 5, and on the resources page. You can also share your own resources on our Discussion Board.
How the course works
The course guides you through a series of conceptual units, activities and feedback. The activities include opportunities to:
- • reflect on your own beliefs and levels of awareness, as well as on new ideas and data that we provide;
- • try flashcard quizzes to check your understanding of key terms;
- • collect and analyse your own data;
- • share your own findings, experiences and reflections to our Discussion Board and read about the views of other users of this through:
- • three reflective activities per unit (you must do the last one in each Unit to obtain a Course Certificate)
- • two discussion points per unit
- The activities (marked ) and feedback (marked ) form an integral part of the course, often presenting new ideas which will be needed subsequently, so we recommend that you don’t skip them. Some sections, in green font and preceded by a icon, provide in-depth treatments of the material covered. You may choose to skim through these if you are short of time, though they may include information that is referred to subsequently. If you do decide to tackle them in full depth, make sure you’re feeling particularly alert before you start!
- • On each page, a progress bar tells you how far you have got and how much further you can go.
- • How much time you spend on the course is obviously up to you, but we estimate that you might need at least two hours per unit.
- • You may need to make notes during the activities. If so, try typing them into a Word (or similar) document as you go along. That way, you will have a record of your thinking at the end of the course.
- • A menu bar gives you access to the course units and quick links to other parts of the site.
- • Technical terms are defined (just hover over them or consult the Glossary at the end); clicking on references takes you to the entry in the full References list.
Guide to icons:
We recommend opening links in a new tab/page so you can return easily to where you were in the course. You can do this by right-clicking on the link and choosing the relevant option.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. You are free to use all material with appropriate attribution.
How to get credit
- 1. Enrol with us before you begin the course.
- 2. Demonstrate engagement and interaction with other users, by posting on the Discussion Board at least one response to another user’s contribution as part of the last Reflective Activity of each Unit.
- 3. Complete the entire course within 1 year of your start date.