Language Education in the Post-Method Era

Course Leader: Dr Viorica Condrat

Home Institution: Alecu Russo Balti State University, Republic of Moldova

Course pre-requisites: B2 or higher in English on the European CEFR

Course Overview
Language education focuses not only on the development of the four basic skills, i.e. reading, writing, speaking, and listening, but also on the 21st century skills or the 4Cs, i.e. critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Indeed, the language educator’s role has changed dramatically from ultimate transmitter of knowledge to facilitator of the language acquisition process. This course is designed specifically for learners who plan to become teachers of English as a foreign language as well as for EFL teachers who want to consider some new perspectives in TEFL and eventually readjust their language education process taking into consideration the new demands of the 21st century. The course will focus on current methods and approaches to language education, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the learners’ motivation and autonomy, on the one hand, and developing higher order thinking skills, on the other. Designing and assessing the education process are the other 2 key aspects to be covered during the course.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • scaffold the learners’ language acquisition process taking into consideration the latest tendencies in language pedagogy:
  • integrate effectively technology into the EFL classroom;
  • analyze the impact a flipped language classroom can have on students’ learning;
  • create lesson plans meant to develop learners’ higher order thinking skills;
  • compare and contrast various methods to develop the learners’ communicative competence and select the one(s) that would best meet the learners’ needs;
  • understand the role of formative assessment in boosting learners’ motivation and autonomy.

Course Content
The role of the language educator in the post-method era

Technology integration into the process of language education

Flipping the language classroom

Development of lower order thinking skills and higher order thinking skills

Task based instruction

Content based instruction

Implicit vs explicit grammar teaching

Culture exploration in an EFL setting

Designing a great lesson

Assessing and motivating learners in the EFL classroom

Instructional Method
The course is intended as a series of workshops where learners will be actively engaged in the process of instruction. They will be encouraged to work in pairs and small groups. Similarly, they will be asked to participate in class discussions when tackling an issue in the field of language education. Another technique to be used is micro-teaching where learners will be invited to review some lessons and provide constructive feedback about what has worked and what could be improved in those lessons.

Required Course Materials
Access to a computer with an internet connection will be needed as well as the following software: word-processing, and presentation software.

Recommended Reading List:

KUMARAVADIVELU, B. (2003). Beyond Methods: Macrostrategies for Language Teaching. Yale University Press.

UR, P. (2012). A Course in English Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.

CONDRAT, V. (2019). The Flipped Classroom: The Role YouTube Videos Can Play to Enhance Students’ Learning. In: Professional Development in Language Contexts: Perceptions and Practices (symposium proceedings). Bălți: Indigou Color, pp. 63-71.

CONDRAT, V. (2018). Helping students develop higher order thinking skills. In: The use of modern educational and informational technologies for the training of professional competences of the students in higher education institutions (conference proceedings). Bălți: Profadapt, (Tipografia din Bălți), pp. 238-242.

CONDRAT, V. The Use of Technology to Promote Learner Autonomy. In: Materialele Colocviului internaţional „Filologia secolului al XXI-lea”. Ediţia a V-a, „Creativitatea lingvală: de la semn la text”. Iaşi: Pim, 2014.

Assessment

Coursework quizzes throughout the two weeks

Design and presentation of a lesson plan

Final essay on a suggested topic