Course Introduction
Unit 1: Defining English
Unit 2: Using English
Unit 3: Learning English
Unit 4: Teaching English
Unit 5: Changing English
End of Course


Who is the course 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 is the course 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 is the course 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 (EIL) or English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). However, there are practical suggestions for teachers in Units 4 and 5, and on the resources page. You can also share your own resources in the relevant Comments section.

How does the course work?

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 Section and read about the views of other users 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, 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 will 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:

Main Concept
Feedback on activity
Reflective activity
Discussion point

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.

Can I re-use the course materials?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You can freely download MS Word versions of all the materials.

How do I get a certificate?

Completing this course means that you have engaged in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and your engagement should be recognised as such by your employer.

On completing the course, York St John University will issue you with a certificate. To be eligible for a certificate you will need to:

  1. Register with us before you begin the course.
  2. Demonstrate engagement and interaction with other users, by posting in the relevant Comments section 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.