Shaping the Way We Teach English, 1: The Landscape of English Language Teaching

Learn effective approaches to English language teaching. This is the first of two teacher training courses based on the internationally-recognized Shaping the Way We Teach English videos and resources and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the University of Oregon. You can begin with either course.

About The Course

This course is aimed at English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, both those who are intending to pursue this field as a career and those already working in the field who would like to revise and refresh their methods and approaches. The materials and approaches presented should complement college courses such as Introduction to TEFL/TESOL Methods.

This five-week course explores important aspects of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The goal of this course is to help you become a better teacher. By the end of this course, you should be able to explain how the various materials and approaches presented will lead to better language learning; you will be able to choose appropriate materials and apply varied classroom activities to improve your students’ study of English. You will also be able to better evaluate both your own and other teachers’ practices.

This is the first of the two-part Shaping the Way We Teach English series. The second part is Paths to Success in English Language Teaching. You can begin with either course.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I get a Certificate after completing this class?

    Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment from the U.S. Department of State and the University of Oregon. This is a digital document, downloadable/printable from Coursera.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, you will need a reliable Internet connection, a computer or mobile device capable of playing back web-based audio and video files, and the ability to type well enough in English to participate in discussions. Videos may be downloaded to your desktop or viewed online. They will be closed-captioned. Copies of the readings can be viewed online in your browser with a PDF reader, or downloaded to your computer or tablet, and/or printed. All materials are free. You will need time to view the short videos, do the readings, explore the wealth of optional resources, and discuss the class in our Forums.

  • What is the best part of this class?

    You will have a window into the classrooms of teachers from around the world, and you will come away with an archive of lesson plans from these teachers.

  • How can I get the most out of this class?

    Create or join a group of local teachers and work together to understand the videos and readings and to complete the lesson plan project. Be sure to connect with other teachers in the Forums, too.

  • Do I need to take the two courses in order?
  • No, you can take either course first. Enjoy!

Recommended Background

Previous or current language teaching experience is desirable, but not necessary to take this course.