If you are a teacher of English who has a teaching qualification and has been teaching for a while, and would like to develop professionally and/or are considering doing the DELTA, the International House’s Certificate in Advanced Methodology (CAM) will provide the high level of methodological input for you to refresh and build on your teaching knowledge and skills. The course is conducted face to face online using Zoom.
On successful completion of the International House Certificate in Advanced Methodology course, trainees will be awarded a teaching certificate which is not only recognized by every International House school across the world but also by Cambridge English Language Assessment who moderate the course. All certificates will come with both the International House and the Cambridge logo.
The IH CAM course is designed to:
- Develop teachers’ theoretical knowledge of teaching and so make them more informed practitioners.
- Develop teachers’ practical teaching ability and self-analytical skills to make them more reflective practitioners.
- (For pre-Diploma candidates) Raise teachers’ awareness of what they can expect from a Diploma-level course and explicitly prepare them to take one.
NB: The focus of the course is General English to adults and possibly teenagers.
At the end of the IH CAM course, participants will have:
- Attended and participated in 36 hours of trainer input sessions, workshops and tutor-supported research sessions, covering topics such as theories of language learning, language learners, skills and systems, which is run intensively over 4 weekends.
- Completed pre- and post-session background reading of methodology books, articles and web-based research.
- Implemented and experimented with methodology and materials design in their respective classroom contexts.
- Completed a series of reflective post-course tasks, designed to consolidate the theoretical knowledge from the input sessions.
- Completed a reflective essay at the end of the course of 1500-2000 words.
- Observed peers or academic managers.
Course Input Sessions
Here is a selection of sessions covered on the IH CAM course:
The aim of this session is to revise and extend your knowledge of the lesson frameworks you may, or may not, have been introduced to on your initial Teacher Training course, such as the Cambridge CELTA. On top of that, we will examine how coursebooks interpret the different approaches and encourage debate about the different choices in choosing the different lesson frameworks.
The description of reading and listening as receptive skills is, of course, connected to the idea that both involve understanding what others are trying to communicate to us rather than actively trying to communicate our ideas to others, which is what we associate with speaking and writing, the productive skills. How we go about doing this, and how this might translate into classroom activities is the subject of this module. We will look at the different micro and macro features of features of texts, alternatives to a strict top the aims of course book materials.
Being able to distinguish as a teacher whether an activity primarily promotes accuracy or fluency is an important skill, as they both serve different, but complementary, purposes, in helping learners develop their English competence. This session looks at the theory behind this and highlights the key ingredients of successful productive skills activities and the benefits of task repetition. You will also come away with an extensive list of useful productive skills activities.
What is grammar? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, because ‘grammar’ is itself a rather vague and unscientific term. Grammar is a convenient label which people apply to different phenomena according to their interests. Here we look at what grammar is and invite you to think about the aims of grammar teaching. We will also look at the process of analysing grammar for teaching purposes and discuss different approaches to teaching grammar and the principles behind them.
Are teachers too materialistic? The big publishers have a very keen interest in persuading us that the answer to every pedagogical problem lies in more materials. Take coursebooks; they now come with a staggering array of add-ons – workbooks, CDs, photocopiable tests and resources, flashcards, videos and dedicated websites. We do not seem to be asking ourselves what extra value the wealth of materials adds to the curriculum. The session examines the assumptions and principles of coursebook writers, the principles to consider when evaluating materials, and the strategies for adapting materials to learners’ needs. We will also discuss the principles of Dogme and how to apply it in class.
Formal exams? Informal tests? Discrete item tests? Direct tests? Indirect tests? Formative tests? Summative tests? Reliability? Practicality? Validity? Backwash? This session unpacks the different types of tests and examines and questions the principles behind them and the choices test designers face. You will also have practice in applying the principles of test design and other testing considerations in order to understand the choices behind test design better.
Error and Error Correction
Perhaps more than any other area of ELT, error-correction elicits a variety of attitudes from both teachers and students. The teacher’s views of error and how to deal with it determine their teaching approach to a large extent. The student’s view of error in turn determines their expectations from the teaching approach. These attitudes vary from considering errors to be “bad” to considering errors to be evidence of learning and students’ progress. Here we will examine common error types, explore the causes of error and discuss the principles behind error correction. You will also have a chance to put the principles into practice.
Discourse is any connected piece of speaking or writing. It follows that discourse analysis is the study of how the separate ‘bits’ of language which make up the discourse are connected in such a way that the discourse makes sense. And if it doesn’t make sense, of course, discourse analysis enables us to find out why. To a large extent, discourse analysis involves looking for patterns of language which are not obvious from looking at individual sentences in isolation, but rather reveal themselves only when the discourse as a whole is examined. Here we will look at how a cohesive and coherent text can be created and evaluated, the key characteristics of spoken and written discourse, and practise noticing, recognizing and classifying cohesive devices.
Writing still often remains ‘a neglected skill’, with many teachers feeling less enthusiastic about it than about any other skill or system, this attitude often having a negative effect on learners’ perception too. This module should help you build confidence about different aspects of writing by understanding processes involved better and by considering different popular teaching approaches.
Speaking and Spoken Interaction.
It is important to remember in what ways speech is not spoken writing. Speaking happens in real time, words are spoken at the same time as they are decided upon. These time pressures affect the speaker’s ability to plan and organise a message and subsequent control of the language being used, resulting in shorter and less complex sentences, unfinished utterances, and reformulation within sentences, all of which present formidable challenges for the language learner. We will analyse the features of spoken interaction, give practice in recognising the features in action and consider how to address features of spoken interaction in teaching.
What does it mean to know a word? If we take the word ‘photograph’ on its own, how well do the students in the class really know the word? For starters, can they use it in a sentence? Do they know the part of speech? In which situations can they use the word? What other words can be formed from it? How important is the word to know? These are just some of the questions that come to mind if we start to consider more fully the extent of the question, ‘What does it mean to know a word?’ In this session, we will discuss how this might affect our choices about what to teach in class, explore further what it means to know a word and examine the selection process behind the choices of vocabulary in course books.
The Theories of Learning and Teaching 1
The aim of this module is partly to inform you about the history of SLA theory and methodology so that you know where some current practices come from and so can understand the thinking behind them, but the main aim is that you should be able to critique these approaches, so that you can make informed and principled judgements of how, when and why to include them – or not – in your repertoire of teaching techniques.
Phonology is the study of how sounds function within a given language and can often be divided into two broad approaches: segmental and suprasegmental. Here we will look at these two approaches and the different features of phonology they entail. This sessions will also revise useful terminology for describing phonological features of English and explore ways to support students in dealing with different aspects of segmental and suprasegmental phonology, both receptively and productively. We will also look at the impact of NNS–NNS communication compared to NS-NNS communication on pronunciation teaching.
At different points in time different methods / approaches were considered ‘the best’ by teachers and learners, with our perception of what effective teaching is and how learning happens developing over time. However, it is essential to understand that this has not been a linear process but rather a cyclical one, and what is currently considered progressive may not necessarily be new. We will look at the reasons behind the development of different approaches/ techniques and critically evaluate new ideas and developments in order to help you make principled decisions about your own teaching.
Is there any difference between how novice and expert teachers plan their lessons? Are there any special secrets that you learn about as you become more experienced? While it is true that in most cases our lesson planning skills evolve with experience, there is unlikely to exist some sacred knowledge you eventually get access to; it is more like ‘cooking’ something more ‘exciting and nourishing’ using all the familiar ingredients. In this session, we will highlight the key features of principled decision making for lesson planning and practice making planning decisions using coursebooks materials. This session will also be crucial for anyone considering planning for the Delta M2.
The Theories of Learning and Teaching 2
This session continues to go deeper in examining the factors that are involved in second language learning and acquisition. We will review review the ideas and theories of the most influential linguistic thinkers of the past 50 years and provide an overview of current SLA thinking. You will also be encouraged to develop your own well-informed, personal view of the strengths and weaknesses of some alternative approaches, and to adopt a critical approach to coursebook analysis with regard to the theoretical bases of their approaches to language learning and teaching.
The course is run intensively over 4 weekends from 09:00 to 14:30 Thai time. On each day there will be a mixture of input sessions, workshops and tutor-supported research sessions that explore various teaching theories, approaches and ideas to language learning. The sessions are supported by pre-session reading, which candidates will have to undertake during the week. After the month of online face to face sessions the participants will have a series of reflective tasks to complete and submit in order to understand further how these ideas work in practice. During these four weeks, you will be in regular email contact with your trainers and we will set up regular Zoom chats to ensure that you are on top of the work and deal with any queries you have. The deadline to submit all the tasks and the reflective essay is approximately four weeks after the online face to face course has finished.
Mode of Assessment
The certificate is awarded to teachers who have followed and contributed to the CAM course programme and satisfactorily completed the assessed portfolio (a collection of homework tasks and a final assignment).
There is no grading of coursework but participants should fulfill the assessment criteria, which is moderated by the Assessment Unit of International House World Organisation. There is also no teaching component to the course.