Florence Myles, University of Essex
Free MOOC – register now!
Interestingly, we had planned the creation of this MOOC well before the pandemic and the move to online teaching and learning as the new ‘norm’! Like pretty much the whole of the Education sector, we had to move everything online in our respective universities very quickly, and it has been a steep learning curve!
This meant altering our initial plans, and seriously considering whether to go ahead or not with our planned launch in July. But we decided that online CPD courses were needed now more than ever, and we went ahead. We couldn’t use the professionals that we had intended to film for us in schools, so we did what a lot of us have had to do – we speedily learned how to do it ourselves from home! And if we couldn’t film teachers in schools, we could interview and discuss with teachers at home and their knowledgeable ‘voice’ runs through the sessions to great effect; they all rose to the challenge admirably! As a result, we are now ready to launch our new primary languages MOOC on the 6th July. It is the result of a collaborative effort between the Universities of Southampton, Essex and Reading, led by Alison Porter, Florence Myles, and Suzanne Graham.
A MOOC, as many of you will know, is a Massive Open Online Course, a hugely popular way of delivering interactive courses, and after several months of intensive work we have developed an exciting course on Teaching and Learning Languages in Primary Schools. The three-week course in July focuses on the symbiotic relationship between research and practice. Each week presents its own key theme: motivation and engagement; language development; and literacy. And each week participants are guided through what research has to say and the implications that this has for pedagogy, showcasing a range of classroom activities.
The MOOC is interactive and there are three staged pathways (evaluator, reflector, innovator) encouraging participants to explore and try out the pedagogic principles. And of course there are many of opportunities to engage and reflect.
We hope that you will be pleased with the result and will enjoy following the course as much as we enjoyed preparing it for you. By the end of the course, you should have a better understanding of the latest young language learning research, and be able to reflect and experiment with new resources to expand your language teaching practice. There are plenty of tips and ideas to think about and try.
If you have ever wondered how primary school children learn foreign languages, what motivates them and how to ensure their progress, then this course is for you! It is free, and open to anyone, including, of course, pre- and in-service teachers and headteachers, teacher educators, school leaders and parents.
See you online!