“In learning we teach and in teaching we learn.”
The participants in this course learn how to plan, conduct, report, and present research related to teaching and learning English as a foreign language (EFL). They explore different methods for data collection and analysis and find out about the latest trends regarding research topics and methodologies. They learn about important aspects researchers in the field of Education must consider (e.g., research ethics) and receive many practical tips for early-career researchers. The teaching methods in this course include presentations by the course instructor and the participants; guided reading and writing activities; individual and group tasks; and implementing electronic tools for data collection, data analysis, and keeping track of sources. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this course is currently taught exclusively online.
Based on the expert position paper "Global skills: Creating empowered 21st century citizens" (Mercer, Hockly, Stobart, and Galés; Oxford University Press, 2019), global skills can be grouped into five interdependent skills clusters: communication and collaboration; creativity and critical thinking; intercultural competence and citizenship; emotional self-regulation and wellbeing; and digital literacies. This course deals with questions related to global skills in English language teaching (ELT), such as
- What are global skills and why are they important?
- How can teaching activities that support the development of global skills be integrated into ELT at Austrian secondary schools?
- What should teachers consider when planning and teaching global skills in English?
True to the motto "practise what you preach," the teaching methodology of this course is blended learning with approximately 50% face-to-face time on campus and 50% online class meetings. The participants engage in four group projects about global skills. They publish the outcomes of the projects on self-designed websites and present these in class.
Communicative Language Teaching in Practice 2 (Bachelor of Education)
Emphasising learner diversity and inclusion, the course introduces preservice English teachers to practical aspects of communicative language teaching. It provides guidance for classroom observations and for preparing, teaching, and reflecting on lessons, all of which they practice during a concurrent internship at local secondary schools. Other topics covered in this course include giving instructions, time management, team-teaching, brain-friendly learning and teaching, setting and correcting homework, giving feedback, and the influence of the teacher's L1 background on EFL teaching. The teaching methodology used in this course is problem-based learning (PBL) with specifically designed course materials. PBL provides a framework in which the participants are actively involved in the syllabus design as well as in the implementation of the individual lessons.
Focus on Language and the Learner: Language Learning Strategies and Cooperative Open Learning (COOL) (Bachelor of Education)
The participants of this course collaboratively plan and conduct small empirical research projects related to language learning strategies and/or learner cooperation. Opportunities for data collection are provided at an excursion to a COOL school. The participants engage in group discussions based on academic literature, classroom observations, and expert presentations. They learn about research methodology and the composition of research proposals and reports. Furthermore, they cooperate with peers and give guided feedback on each other’s research projects and papers.
Focus on Language and the Learner: Games and Activities in the EFL Classroom (Bachelor of Education)
In this very practice-oriented course, the participants develop meaningful games and activities for EFL teaching and learning situations. These include games and activities for individuals/pairs/groups; online games and activities; modifications of board games, card games, and game shows; and games and activities for the development of specific skills and knowledge. The participants present and try out the games and activities in class. Then they analyse them in light of the current literature and classroom experience. Based on the feedback the participants receive on their presentations from their peers and the course instructor, they write a reflection paper, in which they suggest improvement and options for further adaptation.
Introduction to Communicative Language Teaching (Bachelor of Education)
In this course, the students are introduced to some theories of first language learning in early childhood and foreign language learning and teaching. Research findings from language acquisition and their implications for foreign language teaching are discussed with an emphasis on a pedagogy with a communicative orientation. Furthermore, the course raises the participants' awareness to individual learner characteristics, and specific attention is drawn to ways of teaching the four skills, grammar, and vocabulary.