Online Language Teaching

Free Professional Development Courses

Our fully online, asynchronous professional development courses feature task- and project-based learning, as well as extensive instructor interaction and access to a supportive community of peers. Instructors of all languages are invited to apply. Information about each course is found below. 

We believe in the affordances given to foreign language instruction through high quality online instruction. As such, instructors who are admitted will have their course tuition paid directly by our program.

Application Requirements

Because space is very limited in each course, participants will be selected based on several factors, including the strength of their application. Applicants will submit their application through the portal, where they will need to upload:

  • a resume
  • a cover letter discussing their interest in the course topic and familiarity with learning technologies, detailing how taking this course will impact their career and their program/institution, and committing to the workload described below

Applicants will indicate which course(s) below they are interested in. Applicants can apply to more than one course, but please note we will try to accommodate as many applicants as possible.

Deadlines for Spring course applications:

  • Oral Communicative Tasks: January 15th
  • Creating Engaging Materials: February 19th
  • Purposeful Technology Integration: March 18th

Selected applicants will be notified as soon as decisions are made, but no later than one week after each deadline. 

Courses offered

Oral Communicative Tasks

Engage in best practices for designing and facilitating synchronous and asynchronous oral communicative tasks for both presentational and interpersonal modes of instruction. Design scaffolded task progressions in order to meet all your language objectives in rigorous fashion. 

Spring Dates: January 29 – February 23

Oral Communicative Tasks in Online Language Teaching is a fully online course designed for experienced university-level language instructors (e.g. instructors who have developed and taught an online course at least once, or have participated in our Introduction to Online Language Teaching). During the four weeks, participants will:

  • Identify best practices for how to execute both synchronous and asynchronous oral communicative presentational and interpersonal language tasks
  • Develop scaffolded, incremental task progressions and assessments in order fully meet course language objectives
  • Develop a plan for connecting with the Target Language Community online

The online nature of the course 一 and the combination of both asynchronous and synchronous components 一 exposes participants to all of the affordances and constraints of an online environment for oral communicative tasks in language teaching and learning.

How can the development of speaking skills be promoted in a synchronous or asynchronous online environment? What should our expectations for proficiency outcomes be? Participants will review and engage with sample oral communicative tasks, provide suggestions for improvements, and will create tasks to meet selected learning objectives in the presentational and interpersonal mode of communication. Participants will receive feedback from the instructor and, by the end of the course, will have developed a principled plan for meeting and assessing oral proficiency learning objectives in rigorous fashion.

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Week 1: Models for Bichronous Online TBLT
  • Week 2: Interpersonal Mode and Synchronous Teaching Tasks
  • Week 3: Presentational Mode and Asynchronous Teaching Tasks
  • Week 4: Putting It All Together

COURSE DETAILS

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Delivery: online, largely asynchronous
  • Small, seminar-style cohort-focused curriculum similar to what you’d find in a graduate course, with extensive and personalized instructor feedback and interaction
  • Expected workload: 5-7 hours of asynchronous work per week + one live session per course (not required)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)
  • Not for credit; a certificate will be provided to participants upon successful completion of the course
  • Please note: we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course session if the minimum enrollment number is not met
  • Instructor:  Austin Kaufmann (learn more about Austin on our Faculty page)

Creating Engaging Materials

Develop in-depth expertise for developing engaging online materials. Build a portfolio of 3-6 sets of materials in a variety of domains of your choice (vocabulary or grammar, reading or listening, and culture or pragmatics) for use in your online or hybrid courses.

Spring Dates: March 4 – 22

Creating Engaging Materials for Online Language Teaching is a fully online portfolio-based course designed for experienced university-level language instructors (e.g. instructors who have developed and taught an online course at least once, or have participated in our Introduction to Online Language Teaching). During the three weeks, participants will:

  • Identify foundational principles of materials design and develop criteria for assessing curriculum
  • Create, evaluate, and review 3-6 sets of materials which will become part of their Engaging Online Materials Portfolio
  • Participate in weekly feedback/review of materials created by other participants using rubrics provided by the course

Creating materials that pique our students’ interest is a goal for both synchronous and asynchronous teaching. To prepare ourselves to do that we need to ask ourselves a few questions: What makes a set of materials engaging? What criteria must be included? Which technology tools are best for which types of objectives? How should the task be assessed? How can teachers develop routines for easy creation of interesting materials that fits their learning environment and objectives? Participants will work together with colleagues to develop these criteria, skills, and routines.

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Apply backwards design principles to visual, audio and interactive design elements to create their own engaging materials that correspond with their objectives
  2. Select appropriate technology tools to assist in meeting their objectives
  3. Reflect on the success of their task(s)
  4. Determine how they may improve them further and how they can expand the projects in the future

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Week 1: Principles of Backwards Design and Foundation for Development & Evaluation of Engaging Online Materials
  • Week 2: Portfolio Development and Evaluation Part 1 (Listening/Reading & Vocabulary/Grammar)
  • Week 3: Portfolio Development and Evaluation Part 2 (Culture/Pragmatics) and Portfolio Completion

COURSE DETAILS

  • Length: 3 weeks
  • Delivery: online, largely asynchronous
  • Small, seminar-style cohort-focused curriculum similar to what you’d find in a graduate course, with extensive and personalized instructor feedback and interaction
  • Expected workload: 5-7 hours of asynchronous work per week + one live session per course (not required)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)
  • Not for credit; a certificate will be provided to participants upon successful completion of the course
  • Please note: we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course session if the minimum enrollment number is not met
  • Instructor: Austin Kaufmann (learn more about Shannon on our Faculty page)

Purposeful Technology Integration

Explore novel and alternative technology-supported pedagogical approaches, identify technology-enabled practices with the most transformative potential, and design an intentional “new normal” for what language instruction might look like for you in the near future.

Spring Dates: April 1 – 19

Our experience with remote teaching and learning during COVID, while extremely challenging, has certainly brought to the surface the potential of certain technology-enabled pedagogies to transform our classroom practices in a positive way. The goal of this course is to create a space for language instructors to process their remote teaching experiences during the pandemic, identify those technology-enabled practices having the most transformative potential, and design an intentional “new normal” for what language instruction might look like in the near future. You’ll be joining a cohort of like-minded individuals who believe in the transformative potential of technology and who will help you craft a plan for your course. Let’s not waste the lessons learned in the last year!

COURSE GOALS

  • Explore novel and alternative pedagogical approaches, models, and modalities
  • Interpret and apply transformative technology integration principles, models, and theories
  • Evaluate current practices in light of the potential impact of transformative approaches
  • Identify barriers and challenges to change and propose possible solutions
  • Produce short-, medium-, and long-term plans for transformative technology integration
  • Develop a network of like-minded peers for ongoing sharing and support

COURSE DETAILS

  • Length: 3 weeks
  • Delivery: online, largely asynchronous
  • Small, seminar-style cohort-focused curriculum similar to what you’d find in a graduate course, with extensive and personalized instructor feedback and interaction
  • Expected workload: 5-7 hours of asynchronous work per week + one live session per course (not required)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)
  • Not for credit; a certificate will be provided to participants upon successful completion of the course
  • Please note: we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course session if the minimum enrollment number is not met
  • Instructor:  Austin Kaufmann (learn more about Austin on our Faculty page)

Teaching the Whole Class: Technology for Differentiated Instruction

Leverage technology in both the synchronous and asynchronous modality to facilitate proficiency development for class sections with heterogeneous learners (differing proficiency levels, heritage learners, etc.).

Next Session: TBD

COURSE GOALS

  • understand and explain key principles and techniques of reverse design to WL course curricula;
  • critically examine and use existing WL standards and guidelines (ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, World-Readiness Standards, ACTFL Can-Do Statements, etc.) to inform reverse design and address issues of inclusivity and differentiation in the WL class;
  • identify and utilize realia and other authentic materials to create tasks for synchronous and asynchronous instruction;
  • create tasks appropriate for synchronous/F2F and asynchronous/remote learning
    construct tiered tasks/projects at appropriate proficiency levels using the same source materials;
  • identify and construct assessment instruments appropriate for differentiated and inclusive learning (e.g., portfolios, projects, performances, etc.)

COURSE DETAILS

  •  Length: 3 weeks
  • Delivery: online, largely asynchronous
  • Small, seminar-style cohort-focused curriculum similar to what you’d find in a graduate course, with extensive and personalized instructor feedback and interaction
  • Weekly expected workload: 5-7 hours + 1-2 hours of synchronous sessions (TBD)
  • Learning Platform: D2L (MSU’s Learning Management System)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)
  • Not for credit; a certificate will be provided to participants upon successful completion of the course.
  • Please note: we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course session if the minimum enrollment number is not met.
  • Instructors: Tom Garza, UT Austin, and Luca Giupponi (learn more about Luca on our Faculty page)