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ALC8038 : Teaching Languages Online

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to provide learners with a theory- and practice-based account of:

a)       course design features of distance language teaching delivered online,
b)       effective practices in delivering synchronous and asynchronous language teaching
c)       engaging learners and establishing a community within a virtual learning environment
d)       perspectives on online language assessment and future directions in online language teaching.

Outline Of Syllabus

We first explore what constitutes online teaching within distance language learning and discuss the essentials of online courses. We engage in online language teaching for different group sizes starting with course design for extremely large groups, followed by small group institutional online teaching, and 1-1 tutoring. We then discover effective practice in designing and delivering asynchronous teaching in virtual learning environments. Finally, we investigate various online assessment methods, points to consider when teaching young learners online, and future directions in online language teaching and your future teaching career.

Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to link the respective theoretical frameworks with your own previous experiences and beliefs; explore the relationship between theory and pedagogic practice and experience; design, deliver, and reflect upon 1-1 teaching via videoconferencing, and explore the pedagogic potential of different online teaching tools and resources (including MOOCs, VLEs, videoconferencing technologies and others). Through research-informed pedagogy and reflective practice, you will develop effective practices for teaching languages online.

Week 1 – Basics of online course design: the essentials
Week 2 – Massive Open Online Courses
Week 3 – Small class teaching: engaging and motivating learners online
Week 4 – 1-1 tutoring via videoconferencing
Week 5 – Elements of effective online instructional conversations (instructions and feedback)
Week 6 – Establishing your presence, building rapport
Week 7 – Creating engaging pre-recorded video content
Week 8 – Setting up and managing a virtual learning environment
Week 9 – Online assessment & giving feedback
Week 10 – Future directions
Week 11 – Assessment preparation (Drop-in/surgery)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity32:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study162:0062:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching methods include pre-recorded lecture materials and activities for self study, tutor-led and small-group discussions, workshops with small-group or individual tasks. Learning activities include reading key texts, engaging with recorded lecture materials and tasks, participating in seminars and workshops, online language teaching practice and reflection, individual and collaborative study.

Lecture materials provide an introduction to the weekly content, establish a basic level of understanding of the topic, and signal areas for individual further study and reading materials on special topics.

Seminars offer a discussion of current research papers related to the weekly topics and ensure a research-informed perspective towards effective online language teaching practices.

Workshops, 1-1 online teaching sessions and reflections provide experience in effective planning, designing and delivery of online language teaching drawing on a theoretical background.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log2M50Data led reflections on 3 x 1-1 language teaching practice via videoconferencing
Essay2A50Essay describing the design of an online language course for a specific context
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The reflective log demonstrates the students’ skills in delivering online teaching via videoconferencing and their development in specific areas through reflective practice with reference to theory and research. (2000 words + video recordings of teaching practice)

The essay provides the opportunity for the learners to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in effective online course design, and elements of teaching and learning to create motivating, engaging, and interactive virtual learning environments for a given context. (2000 words)

Reading Lists