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Welcome to the first module of the course, the “Context for teaching academic writing.” in this module we look at the broad context for teaching academic writing to ELLs in the language classroom.

There are five lectures in this module:

1.1 Challenges in teaching
1.2 Problem ELL students face in learning
1.3 Context of English language teaching: quiz
1.4 Key issues in teaching
1.5 Interview with Kelly Reider

Lecture 1

There is also a reading assignment, a self-assessment checklist, and a graded quiz.

In the first lecture, Challenges in teaching, we address these two questions:

Why teach academic writing?

What is academic English and writing?

First, we discuss the importance of learning academic writing in the English language classroom. We draw a distinction between conversational English and academic English. Then we list four reasons to teach academic writing.

Lastly, we look some of the characteristics of academic writing and draw a distinction between good academic writing content on the one hand and style on the other.

Lecture 2

In the second lecture, Problems students face in learning, we look at some external and personal issues English language learners face in the academic classroom.

We also introduce briefly some effective strategies and techniques for teaching writing. This is a topic we go into much more detail in future lectures and readings.

Lecture 3

The third lecture, the “Context of English language teaching,” is actually a short quiz. It deals with some facts about English language learners and teachers that you may or may not know.

Lecture 4

Lecture 4, Key issues in teaching English language learners, examines three major topics or dichotomies in the language classroom:

  • the distinction between conversational English and academic English,
  • the relationship between the content classroom and the language classroom, and
  • how comprehensible input and output can help English language learners achieve better results.

Lecture 5

In lecture 5, we talk to Kelly Reider, founder of English Learner Portal and a specialist in the WIDA writing rubrics. Kelly tells us why and how the rubrics are a great tool for teachers in preparing their courses.

There is a reading, Teaching in the dyslexia-friendly classroom, and an article I wrote which describes teaching strategies for ELLs and students with dyslexia.

There is a self-assessment that allows you to keep track of what you have mastered in the module and what you need to review.

Finally, there is graded quiz to test what you’ve learned from the lectures and reading.

You don’t need to follow the lectures in a linear fashion, unless you are taking the course for credit. However, I would recommend that you follow all the lectures, do the reading, and the self-assessment before you do the graded quiz.