The Language Centre at Keele offers a wide range of opportunities to study English and Modern Languages in a welcoming and friendly environment.
In the spirit of Keele’s ethos of internationalisation, the Language Centre is a focal point for cultural and linguistic diversity. The wide range of modules we provide allow international students to improve their English skills while other students may wish to develop their highly desirable Modern Languages skills. In addition, we also offer modules leading to a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Our modules can be taken as part of many degree programmes thus allowing for a broader student experience and enhancing employability after graduation. We also extend a warm welcome to Keele staff and to external learners on our conversation classes.
Online teaching and learning 2020/21
We appreciate you may have lots of questions around how your online teaching and learning sessions will work this year. It’s likely that at least part of your course will be delivered via Microsoft Office 365 and Teams, which you access using your Keele username and password. This ‘Office 365 for Students’ Sway is a useful introduction to familiarise yourself with the platform, and you will also have been added to an induction/re-induction module on the KLE, so please work through this before the term begins. You might also find these IT FAQs for students helpful. For in-person teaching and learning sessions, please visit our coronavirus web pages for more information about how the campus will operate safely.
Your Language Centre modules will be fully integrated into the University’s new flexible digital education model. This is designed to ensure the best possible academic experience whether this is in person on campus or online, or a combination of both delivery modes. In the autumn semester 2020/21 most language modules will be delivered online.
We want you to gain the most from the new way of learning and have committed to teaching you in small groups of a maximum of 8 students. Working in small groups gives us the best opportunity to support your learning while allowing you plenty of opportunities to develop your language skills.
Your classes will consist of a combination of independent guided learning and a 50-minute face-to-face session every week.
Your class materials will be on the KLE. You will have a weekly folder containing the materials and guided tasks to help you practise and develop all your language skills. Each week you will begin by completing a series of guided learning tasks at your own pace and at a time chosen by you. These tasks will include at least one hour of structured preparatory tasks per week. We will also provide you with a wealth of additional material for self-study and further practice. You will use the online guided tasks to prepare for the weekly classes, and to reinforce your learning once the class has finished. In particular, you will have short video clips, narrated PowerPoint presentations and Sway tutorials, and similar instructional material to help you prepare before the class. By completing these tasks beforehand we can maximise class time for practice and asking and answering questions.
When we have the live online classes, we will be using Microsoft Teams. This is a very useful platform because it allows us to set you up in small groups which will give you plenty of opportunities to practise with your peers and tutor.
We will also offer regular individual feedback as well as general feedback on practice tasks, and will offer individual consultation slots.
Learning a language involves practice. Therefore, we will pair you with a language buddy from your class to allow you to develop your speaking skills outside the scheduled class time.
Language modules will continue to focus on all skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – alongside cultural content and you will be able to show your progress in each if these. There will therefore be a reading and writing assessment in semester week 8 and a spoken interaction exam in semester week 12 for all Modern Languages. You will be able to submit written formative and summative assessments through the KLE, and after they have been marked, we will give you feedback online and we will also be available to discuss your work.
TESOL students will be able to complete all of your written assessments in electronic format. You will be able to submit these through the KLE and after they have been marked, we will give you all of your feedback online.
TESOL 3 and TESOL 4 will both be running in 2020/21 and you will still be able to gain the Trinity Cert TESOL qualification. While social distancing remains in place you will carry out your teaching practicals through online classes. This is an excellent opportunity for you to develop some new skills as online teaching is one of the big growth areas in TESOL and many schools now want to hire teachers who have had some experience of this. At the end of last semester all of the TESOL 4 students completed their teaching practicals through online classes and they all commented on how enjoyable they found this. We will train you how to adapt your classes for online delivery, organise classes with our Keele students and observe the classes you teach. The actual process will be the same as with on campus classes; you will be given a teaching topic and material, a chance to meet with a tutor to help with your planning and someone will observe the lessons and give you feedback. When appropriate, we will go back to teaching at ASHA.