TEFL Certificate Program - EL816

weekly focus, course readings, assignments

week one: getting started
learning and teaching, language, culture, lesson planning, assessment

shock language; debrief

Introductions, goals and expectations: guided questions about learning and teaching

icebreaker: find someone who...

questions and assumptions about language learning and teaching

using grids to elicit learner input

Debrief: ESOL class observation
video: ESOL literacy class
developing lesson plans - what's entailed; developing a plan utilizing My Wife Doesn't Work

assessment: purposes, instruments, ongoing processes

four skills areas: speaking, listening, writing, reading (receptive/productive skills)

preparation for practicum classes - development and review of lesson plans
elements of teaching: presentation, listening, observation, feedback

dialgoue journals, language experience approach - building from student input/content

Beginning ESOL Learners' Advice to Their Teachers by MaryAnn Cunningham Florez in Focus on Basics, Vol 5, Issue A, August 2001

Eight Approaches to Language Teaching, prepared by Gina Doggett, ERIC Q&A

readings from: Teaching English to Adult Learners: A Practical Introduction, Betsy Parrish;
For Tuesday, Chapter 1, for Wednesday, Chapter 2

for Wednesday: check out digests here ; read Assessment and Accountability: A Modest Proposal by Heide Spruck Wrigley. Adventures in Assessment, Volume 11, Winter, 1988

For Thursday: Assessment Types from the Study Place

Reflections at the End of an ESL Day Joanna Scott
Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners: Some Considerations MaryAnn Cunningham Florez and Miriam Burt

First journal response (what's going on, what are your expectations, challenges, questions?) due Friday by 9:00 AM.

for Monday, June 28th: Second Language Acquisition Research: Staking out the Territory, Diane Larsen-Freeman, TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 25, #2, Summer, 1992, p. 315-339.

Parrish, chapter 4

Herrell and Michael Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners, Theoretical Overview

Diane Larsen-Freeman Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching , Introduction, and Chapters 2 - 4

Second Language Acquisition in Adults: From Research to Practice, Donna Moss and Lauren Ross-Feldman

Language Learning Strategies: An Update Rebecca Oxford, University of Alabama.

week two
focus on listening, speaking, materials development, classroom practice

materials development: how do materials reflect assumptions about teaching, approaches, learning?

listening/speaking activities - analysis of benefits and drawbacks to various activities (from Tasks For Teacher Education: A Reflective Approach, by Rosie Tanner)

ongoing reflection - practicum classes

materials - choosing, developing, using, connecting to ongoing classroom practice

readings from: Teaching English to Adult Learners: A Practical Introduction, Betsy Parrish;
for Tuesday chapter 5, for Wednesday, chapter 8)

for Tuesday: Improving Adult ESL Learners' Pronunciation Skills by MaryAnn Cunningham Florez

for Wednesday: Content-centered Language Learning Joann Crandall, University of Maryland Baltimore County;

Chapter 8 (TPR) in Larsen-Freeman text

Trauma and the Adult English Language Learner and

Mental Health and the Adult Refugee: The Role of the ESL Teacher

for Thursday:

review Reflections at the End of an ESL Day Joanna Scott

for Friday:

review readings to date, reading for something that now makes more/different sense than it did when you'd first read it

over the weekend: Universal Characteristics of EFL/ESL Textbooks: A Step Towards Systematic Textbook Evaluation, by Hasan Ansary and Esmat Babaii; and see section on evaluating materials on the resources page

review Assessment Types from the Study Place

Strategies for Content-Area Teachers, by Patricia A. Richard-Amato and Marguerite Ann Snow, in The Multicultural Classoom: Readings for Content Area Teachers, edited by Patricia A. Richard-Amato and Marguerite Ann Snow, Longman, 1992

Grammar and Its Teaching: Challenging the Myths Diane Larsen-Freeman, School for International Training

Larsen-Freeman text, chapters 9 and 10

Second journal response due Tuesday, July 6 by 9:00 AM.

to think about: an icebreaker, conversation starter for Monday's field trip with international students.

for Friday, July 9 - Teaching Multi-Level Classes in ESL

week three
focus on reading and writing, ongoing classroom practice

what is reading? - consideration of elements of learning to read; L1, L2 literacy, context, prereading, comprehension, etc.

integrating skills areas - reading/writing, oral/aural practice

for Wednesday:
Review Chapter 5 (reading and writing) in Teaching English to Adult Learners: A Practical Introduction, Betsy Parrish

Teaching Reading in a Foreign Language Marva A. Barnett.

View Reading Demo at CLESE site.

for Thursday:

Teaching Multilevel Adult ESL Classes Cathy C. Shank and Lynda R. Terrill

see also Activities for the Multilevel Classroom From The English Teacher's Assistant by Betsy Parrish

See Dick Flunk by Tyce Palmaffy and Reading between the Lines by Stephen Metcalf

for Friday:

Multilevel Classrooms, Focus on BasicsVolume 1, Issue C, September 1997

Jill Bell: Teaching Multi-Level Classes in ESL

over the weekend: review readings to date; choose two articles/readings to re-examine, in light of what you've done/learned/considered since you first read them.

Larsen-Freeman text - chapters 11 and 12; optional: Chapters 5 and 6

Reading and the Adult English Language Learner by Carol VanDuzer

scan Herrell and Jordan text for strategies that might make sense for you class - with or without adaptation

review resources on the resources page; choose one to explore in depth and be prepared to discuss on Monday

week four
focus on reading, writing, speaking listening - pulling it all together; ongoing classroom practice,reflection, final presentation

implement someone else's lesson plan

error correction

assumptions about privilege: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

wrapping up: reflection, writing - what's been learned, questions pending

Monday: (in class): Reading and the Adult English Language Learner,

for Tuesday: readings from: Teaching English to Adult Learners: A Practical Introduction, Betsy Parrish - choose from chapters not yet read according to your interest.

Writing Skills at the OnestopEnglish site. Choose one of the exercises and bring in a critical review -- what made sense? what might work? isn't a good idea? How/could it be adapted?

Peer Teachers: the Neglected Resource, by Patricia A. Richard-Amato in The Multicultural Classoom: Readings for Content Area Teachers, edited by Patricia A. Richard-Amato and Marguerite Ann Snow , Longman, 1992

Tuesday: (in class) Reading and Adult English Language Learners: The Role of the First Language

for Wednesday: Final journal response due by 9:00 AM.

for Thursday

Annotated list of 5 texts you'd bring with you anywhere, if you could only bring five

The teacher as self observer: self-monitoring in teacher development by Jack Richards, in Language, Learning and Community, edited by Candlin and McNamara, NCELTR, Sydney, 1989.

required texts

Herrell, Adrienne L. and Michael Jordan (2003). Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners (Merrill/Prentice Hall)

a review of Herrell's text

Larsen-Freeman, Diane (2000). Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching

Parrish, Betsy (2004).Teaching English to Adult Learners: A Practical Introduction, (McGraw Hill/Contemporary)

recommended text

Bell, J. (1991). Teaching Multi-Level Classes in ESL. (Dominie Press)

texts available at the Brown Bookstore

recommended readings

Adult ESL/Literacy from the Community to the Community : A Guidebook for Participatory Literacy Training Elsa Auerbach (Editor)

Bringing Literacy to Life by Heide Wrigley and Gloria Guth

Community Partnerships Elsa Auerbach, Editor

ESL for Literacy Learners - Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks

A Handbook for ESL Literacy. by Jill Bell and Barbara Burnaby, (Ontario: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1993).

Making Meaning, Making Change. Elsa Roberts Auerbach(McHenry, IL: Delta Systems and the Center for Applied Linguistics, 1992).

Participatory Practices in Adult Education Pat Campbell and Barbara Burnaby, eds. (2001) Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (read another review here

Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, 3rd edition H. Douglas Brown (1994); additionally, a search at Google.com ["Douglas Brown+grammar"] yields a number of online grammar activities culled from Brown's texts

Talking Shop: A Curriculum Sourcebook for Participatory Adult ESL by Andrea Nash, Ann Cason, Madeline Rhum, Loren McGrail, and Rosario Gomez-Sanford

Tasks For Teacher Education: A Reflective Approach, by Rosie Tanner; (and trainers' text)

[click here] and [click here] sets of ESOL syllabi

teacher training/ESL

supplemental resources

Framework for Adult ESOL in the state of Massachusetts

ESOL course notes, part 1

Requirements for Certificate

- teach throughout practicum, attend all classes and seminars

- pair presentations (see assessment, below)

- 3 Journal Entries submitted to Janet Isserlis and Alison Simmons

- 3 Lesson Plans submitted to Observer during the practicum

- 4 Observations total including 4 reflections after meeting submitted within 3 days of observation

- Final Presentation including poster presentation due July 16

- Professional Portfolio due July 15


Class Participation

Students are expected to participate in class discussions, and to attend all sessions.


Students will work with a partner to present an overview of the skill area assigned and to lead class discussions on the subject (i.e. listening and speaking). Pairs will also prepare and distribute a one-hour lesson plan (modifiable for any age group), which promotes ESOL student development of the skills identified. Each presentation will be about 15 minutes with time at the end or built in throughout for questions from the class.


Students will submit (via email) 3 journal assignments with a minimum of 3 entries per due date. Journals will investigate the link between the topics being discussed in class and the real world. Journals are also the time to reflect on the differences you anticipate (have experienced) working with non-native speakers within the US vs. working with those in a non-English dominant setting. Topics:
Listening and Speaking Skills
Literacy in English
Integrated Curricula and Real Students

Lesson Planning

Students will prepare and document at least one class taught each week. You will work with the visiting instructor to assess strengths and weaknesses of the lesson and submit the unit on the Monday following. The lesson packet will include lesson plan content, reflection on class, evaluation of class (what did and didn't work), and subsequent lesson planning directions.

Poster Presentations

Students will identify a topic within the context of the class, which they will research independently. Each student will prepare a final poster presentation (20 minutes in length) and be prepared to introduce the topic to classmates and invited guests as well as to answer questions about their topic.


Students will prepare a professional portfolio for their own use. The portfolio should include a current resume organized to highlight TESOL skills and experience, a statement of teaching philosophy and goals as well as sample instructional materials, related letters of support and transcripts (as desired).

TEFL 816 Frequently Asked Questions

Class Requirements:

What are the requirements for receiving the certificate?

See "requirements" in your packet. More detailed assignments are in your syllabus.

What texts am I required to read?

There are required readings and additional resources. While we do not expect you to be able to do all of the readings in the resources, it is helpful/important to know what to refer to in the future. As you progress in your teaching career, you will find that teaching/classroom issues arise and that teaching is a learning process. ItŐs good to know where to look.

Practicum Class

Who are the students in my practicum class?

The students in your classes are enrolled in ESOL classes throughout Providence, East Providence, and Pawtucket. Some are high school students in ESL programs in their schools. Others are adult students who attend morning or evening classes after work.

If I have a problem with one of my practicum students, whom should I go to, how should I handle it?

First, please do not hesitate to ask for help from any of the instructors/observers. "Problems" are nothing but opportunities for growth for you and your learners. Call Elizabeth or Elda, speak to Janet in class. It may be helpful to get a few perspectives/ideas for managing classroom issues. If it seems serious, please let Elizabeth know right away so we can address it.


How will the observation process be handled?

TEFL students will be observed a total of 4 times: first as a team, then individually. You will be recorded on video camera, and given the opportunity to observe your own teaching. After the observation, you will meet with Elizabeth or Elda to discuss specific objectives. You will then write up your own recommendations/amendments to your lesson plan to submit to Janet/Alison.

What if a class goes poorly while I'm being observed?

Don't sweat it. It happens. Who you are as an instructor, how well you have tried to prepare for the class will come through. The question is, what do you learn from each class situation?

Will I be evaluated as part of my team, or individually?

Both. See above.

TEFL certificate resources

last updated June 17, 2010