Section I: General Education Theories & Language Teaching Approaches (60 hrs.)
1: Early Childhood Development Theory (estimated time required = 10 hrs.)
This unit introduces trainees to the history of early childhood education as practiced by Friedrich Fröbel, Maria Montessori, John Dewey, and Chen, Heqin. It discusses what is known about the developmental stages of young children and how they affect what we teach and when we teach it. The discussion includes the cognitive, affective, motor, and social developmental stages and domains as described by Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and others. Also covered are the stages of linguistic development, Chomsky’s language acquisition device (LAD), and the critical period hypothesis. Trainees are then challenged to choose and develop language-teaching activities that are developmentally appropriate for young children of various ages.
2: Experiential Learning Theory (estimated time required = 8 hrs.)
Columbia University’s great progressive thinker, Dr. John Dewey, is widely considered the father of experiential learning or “learning through doing.” Dewey’s work revolutionized education in the first half of the 20th century and continues to impact the field as reflected in the contemporary theories of Paolo Freire and Howard Gardner. This unit explores the application of experiential learning across the early childhood curriculum. Discussion then focuses on the emergence of the Task-Based Learning Approach to second language acquisition (TBL) and how it relates to the recent work of N. S. Prabhu, Rod Ellis, Jane Willis, and David Carless. Trainees are then encouraged to contemplate how to apply the concept of experiential learning to their own lessons.
3: Multiple Intelligences Theory (estimated time required = 8 hrs.)
In 1983 Harvard University professor, Dr. Howard Gardner, proposed his revolutionary Multiple Intelligences Theory (MI), which suggests that learners can be intelligent in a wide variety of ways—a break from the traditional unitary view of intelligence. The theory has had a significant impact on how lessons in all subject areas are taught and on how students are evaluated. Through convincing examples, this unit reveals the evidence that supports the existence of multiple intelligences. It also covers the basics of each of the eight intelligences currently recognized by Gardner. Practical application activity ideas engage trainees in thinking about how to plan language lessons and evaluation procedures that appeal to a variety of intelligences in young learners.
4: The Direct Approach (estimated time required = 8 hrs.)
This unit briefly presents the history of the Direct Approach for language teaching, beginning with François Gouin’s Series Method and
progressing through the work of Maximillian Berlitz and Emile B. de Sauzé. The discussion then turns to modern methods that have emerged from the Direct Approach, including the Rassias Method, developed at Dartmouth College by Dr. John Rassias and, most notably, Total Physical Response (TPR) as championed by Dr. James Asher of San Jose State University. Several variations on TPR, including TPR Storytelling (TPRS), are also discussed. Trainees learn step-by-step procedures for planning and delivering TPR lessons to very young learners and practical application activities that leverage the Rassias Method and TPR for use in their own classrooms.
5: The Aural-Oral Approach (estimated time required = 8 hrs.)
The Aural-Oral Approaches emphasize listening and speaking as the most basic skills of language and de-emphasize reading and writing in the early stages of language learning. Resulting from the Aural-Oral Approach was the Audio-Lingual Method (ALM), which reached its peak in the West in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but is still very prominent in Asian language teaching. ALM assumes that much of language learning is a matter of habit formation, so activities generally require very frequent repetition with single-slot or double-slot vocabulary substitutions. The unit also discusses the Situational Approach, which is primarily an approach to syllabus organization, but shares many of the features of ALM. This
unit familiarizes trainees with the basic tenets of the Aural-Oral Approaches and presents them with practical young learner language practice activities that are capable of facilitating hundreds of student exchanges in a single class period.
6: The Natural Approach (estimated time required = 8 hrs.)
Proposed by Dr. Tracy Terrell and Dr. Stephen Krashen, the Natural Approach to language instruction assumes that a second language is learned
in much the same way as the first. Krashen and Terrell proposed five hypotheses for the Approach: the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, the Monitor Hypothesis, the Natural Order Hypothesis, the Input Hypothesis, and the Affective Filter Hypothesis. Trainees studying this unit learn about these five hypotheses and how they apply to curriculum design, lesson planning, and classroom practices. The five hypotheses and the general application of the Natural Approach are dynamically illustrated using a series of engaging language-teaching activities.
7: The Communicative Approach (estimated time required = 10hrs.)
The Communicative Approach emerged from the field of anthropological linguistics through the work of linguists such as M. A. K. Halliday, who think of language primarily as a system of communication. This unit discusses the key elements of the Approach including the concept of communicative competence and the Approach’s focus on meaning and function, language authenticity, and integration of the four language skills. In application, the Communicative Approach relies heavily on pair and group communication activities, such as information gaps and biographical databases, that immerse students in situations that require communication. Trainees taking this unit learn a wide variety of pair and group communicative activities as well as integrated skills and dialogue teaching activities.
Section II: General Education & Language Teaching Methods (40 hrs.)
8: Managing the Classroom (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
One of the most important elements in quality teaching is the ability to effectively manage a class. This unit explores classroom management beyond the traditional rules and punishment approaches of the past. Positive classroom management, student self-management, and token economy systems are among the topics discussed. Trainees become familiar with a wide variety of classroom management techniques that will help their students remain efficiently focused on their learning objectives.
9: Teaching with Technology (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is a rapidly growing field within the general education and the language-teaching domains. A wide variety of media including audio, video, CD-ROM, talking books, and the Internet can now be leveraged in teaching a language, even to the youngest of learners. This unit presents the variety of technology-based teaching tools available on the market, with an emphasis on those directed at language teaching. Also discussed are the limitations of using technology with very young learners or large classes. Trainees also learn to evaluate multimedia products for possible use in their classrooms.
10: Testing & Assessment (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
Student testing and assessment is an essential part of education, but traditional forms of assessment are often inappropriate for very young learners. This unit presents methods of assessment suitable for learners as young as three years old and presents alternatives to traditional types of testing for older young learners as well. Trainees learn about using consolidation activities to assess the youngest of learners and discover the values of constructed response testing and portfolio assessment in lieu of traditional multiple choice examination in the early elementary school grades.
11: Planning Lessons (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
This unit discusses planning lessons that suit various stages in early childhood development as well as various educational theories and language teaching approaches. Trainees explore the essential elements of an effective lesson plan and discover a variety of possible lesson plan formats. They learn to brainstorm activities for a weekly lesson plan. They also learn how to plan daily or per-session lessons that follow the common PPP format, a variation on PPP called the R-PPP format, the ACT format, or the Madeline Hunter Model.
12: Teaching Early Literacy (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
This unit presents a variety of methods for teaching English pre-literacy to preschool children and early literacy in the lower levels of elementary school. Topics include letter recognition, letter formation, phonemic awareness, phonics teaching, and sight word recognition.
Trainees learn how to establish and maintain a library of early literacy materials in their classroom. They also participate in a wide variety of literacy teaching techniques.
13: Teaching Through Stories (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
In this unit, trainees explore the power of storytelling in teaching a language to very young children. They learn to select, adapt, or write stories that provide comprehensible input as recommended by the Natural Approach as well as how to present stories in a way that appeals to a variety of Gardner’s multiple intelligences. They also discover how the repetitious patterns common to many traditional stories loosely follow Paul Pimsleur’s graduated interval recall and backwards buildup methods to vocabulary and sentence pattern learning. The trainees then learn how to make story time exciting, engaging, and even interactive through a variety of methods and story-based activities ranging from TPR Storytelling to creative dramatics.
14: Teaching Through Songs & Chants (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
This unit presents the history and modern practice of using music and chants for language teaching. Trainees learn to use songs to appeal to their students’ musical intelligence and to leverage chants in teaching the natural intonation patterns that exist in a stress-timed language such as English. Trainees also discover how to select and write appropriate songs and chants for their students’ age and ability group according to the principles of the Natural Approach. Finally, trainees learn a wide variety of song and chant activities that can be used daily in their language-teaching classrooms.
15: Teaching Through Drama (estimated time required = 5 hrs.)
In this unit, trainees learn how multiple intelligences theory, TPR, and creative dramatics apply to teaching a language though drama.
Attention then turns to dramatic play and a variety of dramatic play methods including puppet shows, shoelace theater, musical plays, and stage plays. Trainees learn the secrets of writing their own children’s plays and creating simple inexpensive children’s costumes and props. They then learn how to instruct creative drama from rehearsal to performance.
Section III: Language Teaching Materials & Techniques (20 hrs.)
16: Managing Materials (estimated time required = 4 hrs.)
Engaging materials can help the teacher to deliver effective lessons. This unit shows trainees how to maintain and utilize traditional materials from white boards to craft supplies as well as how to create inexpensive and innovative new materials. Trainees learn to create a variety of materials that can be used in teaching general education subjects as well as language arts classes to young learners.
17: Flashcard Activities (estimated time required = 4 hrs.)
In this unit, trainees learn in 25 adaptable activities that use picture flash cards to teach vocabulary and sentence patterns to young learners. Some of the activities encourage choral practice, while others encourage children to respond individually in turns, giving teachers an ideal opportunity to assess each child’s acquisition of the target vocabulary or structure. Most of the activities facilitate intensive repetition and substitution practice as advocated by the Aural-Oral Approach or Audio-Lingual Method.
18: Physical Movement Activities (estimated time required = 4 hrs.)
In this unit, trainees learn dozens of indoor and outdoor physical movement language-teaching activities that help to develop children’s gross and fine motor skills as well as to appeal to their bodily-kinesthetic intelligence during either general education or language-teaching lessons. Some activities are specific to particular themes or learning objectives while others are adaptable such that they can be used for a wide variety of lessons. All of the activities also enhance students’ general health and fitness.
19: Whiteboard Activities (estimated time required = 4 hrs.)
The white board is the center of attention in this unit in which trainees learn more than 20 whiteboard activities for language learning. The activities include those that are designed to facilitate vocabulary and sentence pattern practice, those that encourage dialogue or story practice, and those that are simply exciting point keeping methods to make other classroom games more engaging for students. All the activities are adaptable such that teachers can use them to teach almost any set of vocabulary or sentence patterns.
20: Holiday Activities (estimated time required = 4 hrs.)
In this unit, trainees learn a wide variety of language-teaching activities for teaching thematic lessons related to popular holidays from around the world. Some activities are based on Western holidays while others are based on Eastern holidays.