I work as an English teacher at a university. I need to be high-skilled, competent and professional in order to ensure quality learning/teaching in higher education.
To continue developing as language professional, I took part in two sessions for English-teaching professionals that lasted from September 28 to November 09 (first session) and from November 9 to December 18 (second session) on the Coursera platform under the course titled, - “Shaping the Way We Teach English” that consisted of two separate sessions, - : (1) The Landscape of English Language Teaching, and (2) Paths to success in ELT.
Both sessions were free and they created an opportunity for current teachers of English as a foreign language in any educational milieu to improve the quality of their teaching approaches.
What is COURSERA?
It is a well-known MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses): Coursera. It offers courses on different fields (business, science, psychology, and technology, in particular) from top universities and educational organizations, for example, University of California, The State University of New York, University of Michigan, and Duke University among others.
Most of the courses in this educational portal award successful graduates with a certificate. To get a certificate, you have to pay for the course. In addition, many universities also enable their students from all over the world to access COURSERA courses for free of charge.
To be honest, I did not have any plans or intention – at first - to take an online education on the Coursera platform.
However, a colleague who attended this educational platform a few years ago at a university recommended taking it.
After taking the above mentioned teacher-training courses, I learnt much beneficial information concerning my specialization. Although they lasted five weeks each, the effect was significant. Peer-checking, working collaboratively with other teachers on common issues about teaching through partaking in discussion forums were extremely useful.
Before I had not had much experience of teaching methods, as a consequence, my teaching has changed dramatically into a modern, brand-new stage.
A major advantage of Coursera was enabling teachers to establish, adapt, and update their materials, teaching methods, classroom activities to improve English-learning of their students. Another important merit was a unique, multimedia-rich collaborative milieu where participants could collaborate, share with educators at their different experience stages from all around the world.
Furthermore, the courses comprised of varied interesting activities which were highly motivating, and attention grabbing, for instance, weekly contests, video lessons, pre-viewing Knowledge check, required and optional readings, quizzes, and discussion forums.
While I was a COURSERA student, many language specialists and language educators were registered in The Landscape of English Language Teaching and Paths to success in ELT courses. Educators should invariably work on themselves to become a professional educator and meet the needs of the present student populations.
Thus, it is a must to regularly update and establish new methods of teaching. If you are an English teacher or a foreign language specialist, I would encourage you to take COURSE courses to further your professional development.
By participating in COURSERA courses, teachers of any educational setting (primary school, secondary school, high school, universities) will have an opportunity to get to know people, new methods of teaching, and new approaches to English teaching.
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