Learning tells you how to teach. Therefore, we will begin this course by considering theories of second language learning. We will consider different definitions of language and how they each correspond to a particular understanding of second language learning. We will also consider the individual differences that language learners bring. While not static, monolithic traits, individual differences nonetheless play a major role in influencing how individuals go about learning other languages.
Language learning theories inform different second language instructional approaches. We consider the latter in their historical contexts. We investigate each approach for its underlying principles and the techniques designed to implement them. Students will have an opportunity to try out the various approaches, to experience first-hand the strengths and limitations of an approach from an inside point of view.
Students will also learn the foundations of how to teach the various skill areas such as writing, reading, pronunciation, speaking, and listening to learners with different levels of proficiency and different reasons for studying a language.
Activities include lesson planning and peer teaching. There will also be group presentations on relevant current news articles. Written assignments include a language learning autobiography/biography and a personal statement of language teaching principles.