Effective Language Teaching

Course Code: TEJL-1

What approaches to language teaching are most effective? Topics in this course include: processes by which learners learn languages; types of teaching materials and activities for different levels and ages; how to encourage motivation and enthusiasm; and suggestions as to how to teach skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as the integration of those skills, or fluency. Whilst there is an ongoing debate amongst academics and researchers related to what constitutes an effective foreign language teaching (e.g., Bell, 2005; Ellis, 2008), practitioners and researchers are adopting, adapting and developing (Brown, 1995) their own teaching approaches, methodologies and techniques that are applicable the most in their teaching contexts. What is effective foreign language teaching? Who is an effective and/or good teacher? Are teachers born or made? (Ur, 1997)? This course will focus on potential effective and efficient language teaching strategies that are applicable in the context of Japan. This is a core course for the Teaching English to Japanese Learners certificate program and is therefore designed for current and prospective teachers.

Course participants will be able to:

1. choose relevant teaching materials for teaching English to various groups of students;

2. design lesson plans for teaching English language skills;

3. reflect on and scrutinize current ideas about teaching and learning English;

4. create a syllabus for an English course and/or a thematic unit

1. the course is intended for current English language teachers;

2. for individuals who intend to pursue English language teacher career;

3. as a professional development course, for those who are interested in enhancing their understanding of teaching English as a second language in the context of Japan.

Textbook and other course materials will be provided by the instructor.
Alexandra Shaitan
Alexandra Shaitan has a Master’s Degree with a focus on TESOL, from Temple University, Japan Campus, and a PhD (ABD) in Applied Linguistics and Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London. Alexandra has lived and worked in the UK and Japan for the past 20 years, teaching numerous academic courses to ESL learners at different educational institutions including pre-schools, high schools and universities. Her current research interests include bilingualism, language and identity, learner autonomy and task-based language teaching. She recently delivered a workshop on “Language and Identity” at the University of West London, the UK, as an invited speaker. Her calling and passion are sharing her teaching experiences with others.