UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


TEFL course unit

Course code

Teaching English as a Foreign Language 1.0 course unit (15 ECTS): LCTE7900
Portico level: Advanced 

Aims and objectives

This initial teacher training course will help you acquire the skills you need if you plan to teach English abroad as part of your degree, or if you wish to teach English during the holidays or after you have finished your studies.  The course also covers transferable skills such as team building, time management, presentation skills and cross-cultural awareness.  On completion of the course, you will receive your module credit as part of you degree programme and a teaching certificate, validated by Cambridge English. 

Course content

The course covers the following basic principles of teaching English as a Foreign Language:

  • The study of the English Language: grammar (e.g. grammatical terms, the verb system, functions); vocabulary; the main elements of pronunciation;
  • Focus on learners: the theories of learning; motivation and needs of the learner; learning styles and strategies;
  • Classroom management skills: for example setting up group and pair work; giving instructions; monitoring learners’ work; handling feedback; teaching large classes; dealing with mixed ability classes;
  • Classroom techniques: for example presenting and practising language; checking learner understanding; dealing with learner errors; teaching the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • Lesson planning: key elements of a lesson plan (e.g. anticipating learner problems); ensuring lesson progression and staging; timing activitie;
  • Teaching resources: for example the use of the whiteboard, visual aids; exploiting course books and supplementary materials;
  • Areas of specialism: there will also be sessions on specific areas of teaching, such as teaching young learners, teaching business English and teaching basic literacy.

Teaching practice

The Teaching practice component of the course will be assessed as part of the CELTA qualification. TP will be organised with the assistance of volunteer, non-native students, and for this you will work in small groups. It will be run with classes made up of these volunteer students from pre-intermediate to advanced levels. You will teach for a total of six hours. Teaching practice begins in the second week of the course and there will be a total of 20 teaching practice sessions over the two terms (INCLUDING DURING READING WEEKS). You will share responsibility for teaching practice with other members of your group and will build a close working relationship with the volunteer students; therefore a regular commitment on your part is essential for your successful completion of the course. You will be given teaching practice guidelines to help you plan and stage your lessons. For each teaching practice there will be an experienced trainer with the group who will watch the teaching. From Term 2 you will plan your own lessons. After the lesson has finished there will be a feedback session which will involve both the trainees and tutor who has observed the lessons. You will be asked to write a personal self-evaluation of how you think the lesson went and you will also receive written feedback from your tutors.

Observation of experienced teachers

You will also be able to observe experienced teachers working with English classes in the CLIE and at a private language school. There will be two observations, one in Term 1 (1.5 hours) and one in Term 2 (1.5 hours); you will be expected to write reports on your observed classes. You will also have a chance to watch three hours of DVDs designed for teacher training.

Materials and handouts

You will be expected to buy one recommended grammar book for your language analysis and one methodology book. There will be a full working library of reference and resource books for you to borrow from in the CLIE Self-Access Centre.