Learn English through Massive Open Online Courses

British Council has developed Massive Open Online Courses that are available for free on FutureLearn, which is the UK’s social learning platform, wholly owned by the Open University, UK with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. These courses draw on the British Council’s expertise in online learning.

You can buy a Statement of Participation for these online courses — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part. You must mark more than 50% of all course steps as complete and attempt all test questions to be eligible to buy a statement of participation.

Becoming a Better Teacher: Exploring Professional Development

All good teachers want their learners to do well. Evidence has shown that a focus on in-service professional development has a significant impact on learner outcomes. MOOCs are an important channel for professional development

India has the largest number of teachers and learners of English in the world. In pursuit of SDG targets, there is a concerted effort among teachers to develop their practice to improve quality in the classroom and learning outcomes for their students. To facilitate this, many teachers in India would like to be able to interact, learn and share their knowledge and experience with teachers from other contexts around the world. Teachers in India work in extremely diverse contexts – from small, rural government schools with few resources to private, highly resourced and state of the art schools, mainly in urban areas. 

Click here to register yourself for this free MOOC.

COURSE OVERVIEW

By the end of this MOOC, teacher – especially those working in or through English – will be better able to:

  • analyse personal beliefs about teaching, learning and professional development
  • articulate the characteristics of successful professional development
  • employ reflective practice to identify and develop aspects of their professional learning and practice 
  • apply a range of tools and strategies to reflect on and improve teaching and learning
  • create their own iterative professional development plan
  • interact with and learn from peers, by engaging with communities of practice (face-to-face and/or virtual).

Use the hashtag #FLBetterTeachers to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

Understand key concepts in the effective teaching and learning of languages.

What is language? How do we learn meaning in a new language? What is easy and hard about learning another language? And what is the best way to teach other languages?

This free online course suggests some answers to these questions. It has been developed by the University of Southampton and the British Council, and draws on their exciting joint online course, MA in English Language Teaching.

If you are a fully participating learner in “Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching,” you will be eligible to apply for a scholarship to cover part of the MA fees. You will find out more when you join the course.

The course takes place over five weeks. It will introduce you to some of the latest ideas in research and practice in language learning and teaching. We will:

  • Explore second language learning and what it means to learn language
  • Consider language classrooms and how teaching affects our language learning
  • Look at the use of technology in teaching, and its benefits and challenges for language learning
  • Investigate the case of English - the most widely learnt and taught language in the world - asking how it has achieved this position
  • Update you on the latest research into the use of English and give you a taste of what it is like to be a researcher in Global English.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in a live research project by telling us about language policies and practices where you are.

The course includes quizzes, activities, discussions and videos filmed around the world. The videos feature experts such as British Council teachers, and staff and students at the University of Southampton.

During the course, you will hear different voices sharing their ideas and opinions – and we want to hear yours too. How do you use language in YOUR life? What is YOUR experience of language learning and teaching? Join us – to discuss effective language learning and teaching.

Click here to learn more and register.

Professional Practices for English Language Teaching

The Professional Practices for English Language Teaching free online course starting on 25 January 2016 is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

The course will be useful for teachers of English at primary, secondary or higher levels.

Each week, we will look at a different professional practice that helps make a successful teacher. Weekly topics will include lesson planning, classroom management, classroom resources and continuing professional development.

Use the hashtag #FLTeachEnglish to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points of each week.

Understanding language: learning and teaching

What is language? How do we learn meaning in a new language? What is easy and hard about learning another language? And what is the best way to teach other languages?
This free online course suggests some answers to these questions. Understanding language: learning and teaching starts on 04 April 2016 and it is aimed at graduates with an interest in the development of languages and language teaching. It has been developed by the University of Southampton and the British Council, and draws on their exciting joint online course, MA in English Language Teaching. It will give you a taste of postgraduate study in the field of English language teaching. However, no prior knowledge is required to take part in the course and we welcome anyone who is curious to know more about language learning and teaching.

COURSE OVERVIEW

The course takes place over four weeks. It will introduce you to some of the latest ideas in research and practice in language learning and teaching. We will:

  • Explore second language learning and what it means to learn language
  • Consider language classrooms and how teaching affects our language learning
  • Look at the use of technology in teaching, and its benefits and challenges for language learning.

Finally, we will investigate the case of English – the most widely learnt and taught language in the world. How has English achieved this position? What are the implications of the spread of English for policy, teaching and other languages?
The course includes quizzes, activities, discussions and videos filmed around the world. The videos feature experts such as British Council teachers, and staff and students at the University of Southampton.
During the course, you will hear different voices sharing their ideas and opinions – and we want to hear yours too. How do you use language in YOUR life? What is YOUR experience of language learning and teaching? Join us – to discuss effective language learning and teaching.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you are a fully participating learner in this course, you will be eligible to apply for a scholarship to cover part of the MA fees. You will find out more when you join the course.

Exploring English: Language and Culture

The Exploring English: Language and Culture free online course starting on 22 February 2016 is for people who are learning English and who are interested in finding out more about British culture and improving their English language skills.

The course will use short videos to present a different topic each week, including English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Filmed in Great Britain, these videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English. Our experienced tutor will examine some of the language used in the videos and will draw your attention to useful points that will help you improve your spoken and written English.

The course does not follow a language syllabus but takes authentic English in context as its starting point. Short quizzes and discussions will help you measure your understanding and practise your English throughout the course. At the end of each week you will be asked to describe your own feelings and experiences about that week’s topic in a short piece of writing.

You can find out more about this course in Chris Cavey’s post for the FutureLearn blog: 3 tips for getting the most out of Exploring English.

Use the hashtag #FLlearnenglish to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching

Our free online course: Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

In the programme, we will look at the 12 professional practices for CPD on our teacher development framework.

The four week course which starts on 29 August 2016 will focus on four professional practices:

  • Planning lessons and courses
  • Managing resources
  • Managing the lesson
  • Taking responsibility for professional development.

Learn with English language teachers worldwide

Each week will focus on one of these practices. Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points of each week.
You will be asked to share your own experiences and opinions as you become part of a global community of English language teachers discussing what leads to success.
The course draws on the British Council’s many years of expertise in teacher training and development around the world. It will be useful for teachers of English at primary, secondary or higher levels.

Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners

Our free online course: Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

In the programme, we will look at the 12 professional practices for CPD on the British Council’s teacher development framework.

The four week course which starts on 10 October 2016 will focus on four professional practices:

  • Understanding learners
  • Knowing the subject
  • Using inclusive practices
  • Understanding national policies and practice.

Learn with English language teachers worldwide

Each week will focus on one of these practices. Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points.
You will be asked to share your own experiences and opinions as you become part of a global community of English language teachers discussing what leads to success.
The course draws on the British Council’s many years of expertise in teacher training and development around the world. It will be useful for teachers of English at primary, secondary or higher levels.

Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World

Our free online course: Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

In the programme, we will look at the 12 professional practices for CPD on the British Council’s teacher development framework.

The four week course which starts on 21 November 2016 will focus on four professional practices:

  • Integrating ICT
  • Promoting 21st-century skills
  • Using multilingual approaches
  • Assessing learning.

Learn with English language teachers worldwide

Each week will focus on one of these practices. Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points.

You will be asked to share your own experiences and opinions as you become part of a global community of English language teachers discussing what leads to success.

The course draws on the British Council’s many years of expertise in teacher training and development around the world. It will be useful for teachers of English at primary, secondary or higher levels.