20-hour TEFL Workshop Syllabus

Session 1: Student levels: Standards, assessment and classroom implications

This session will cover approaches to identifying and handling varying student skill levels. The major approaches will be covered, including:

  • Common European Framework
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks

The levels will be analyzed in some detail using specific examples in a workshop approach. Trainees will practice basic correlations between students’ skills and benchmark levels.

Session 2: Effective lesson design: The role of lesson planning

This session will cover, from a linguistic and pedagogic point of view, what there is to teach and learn:

  • Language patterns
  • Language skills
  • Combinations
  • Culture
  • Study skills

This session will also broadly consider the main lesson planning approaches and formats in Communicative Language Teaching (CLT).

  • Presentation-Practice-Production (PPP)
  • Test-Teach-Test (TTT)
  • Engage-Study-Activate (ESA)
  • Task-Based Learning (TBL)

Guided discussions will engage the group to consider the impact of levels on classroom approaches:

  • Selection of materials
  • Design of activities
  • Exploitation of materials and reinforcement of skills
  • Meta-language of the teacher

Session 3: Authenticity in the classroom

Part 1: The authentic classroom

This session will address the tenets of authenticity in English language teaching. The concept goes beyond the use of authentic material (though that remains a significant element) through to including “real life” in the classroom.

  • Understanding contexts and keeping them relevant
  • Identifying the elements that textbooks don’t cover
  • Recognizing the benefits of authenticity (and the limits)

Part 2: Authentic material

Most textbook material is developed from the linguistic aim; the aim comes first, and the material is generally developed to fit it. For this reason, the fit between the material and the aims is generally smooth. Authentic material is the opposite: the material comes first, and aims to fit it must be developed from there. This session focuses on the development of material from authentic sources. This requires a keen focus on linguistic aim and an ability to recognize key elements and adapt material for appropriate classroom use.

Session 4: Lesson development workshop with authentic material

This session puts the concepts of the previous sessions into practice. Participants will build lesson plans using authentic material. Considerations in the development of the lessons will include:

  • Preparation requirements
  • Identification of appropriate level(s)
  • Exploitation for a variety of aims
  • Choosing the best lesson design for the material and the aims
  • The place of the material in the lesson (central or peripheral)

Participants will have an opportunity to compare approaches and exchange feedback.