A team of researchers at the universities of Essex and Southampton have developed the course, which will explain how primary school children learn foreign languages, what motivates them and how to make sure they progress.
Professor Florence Myles, from the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University at Essex, worked with Alison Porter, from the University of Southampton, to develop the course, which combines research-informed teaching principles, teacher video “stories” explaining best practice, and opportunities to reflect on and experiment with classroom innovation.
Professor Myles believes the course will be particularly relevant to teachers at a time when there are few opportunities for training because of restrictions imposed by the current global pandemic.
“We know that learning a language from a young age is very beneficial, it helps improve children’s problem-solving ability, their creativity and their intercultural understanding.
“This course will focus on key themes such as motivation and engagement, language development and literacy. Each week, we will guide participants through some of the answers research has provided to these issues and draw out the pedagogical implications of these findings for example, what motivates children in that age group, what teaching tools are appropriate, and why do they work?”
Although mainly aimed at primary school language teachers, the course will also be of interest to school leaders, parents, private tutors and those who run after-school language clubs.
It starts on Monday 6 July and runs for three weeks. For more details, and to register for this free course go to the FutureLearn website.
The project was funded by ESRC IAA awards.